You are probably thinking, "Really Amber, you're writing about the trendiest and well known market in Manila." And to that I answer, yes I am. I am reinventing the wheel because this wheel was way more fun! Guys, I used to live in Salcedo and went to the Salcedo Market almost every Saturday for years. When we moved out of Makati I took a long hiatus until last month. My friend Joey is the Salcedo Market Queen and knows all the best vendors and items. (Follow her on Instagram for tips, you won't be disappointed.) After months of salivating over her photos it was time to do a group stall crawl.
Since Joey knows best I followed her lead and recommendations. Here are some tips from the goddess herself and a few of my own.
- Baby cucumbers were at the top of my list for items I wanted to buy. They are pretty much micro cucumbers and great for pickling.
- Tochi dark chocolate cookies were so rich I couldn't finish a whole, they deserve some type of award.
- If you haven't tried salted egg potato chips don't start now unless you like addictions.
- The traditional Japanese filled pancake just like three years ago still had a line 20 minutes long wait, worth it.
- My favorite tip from Joey: bagnet sisig. If you aren't in to sisig or haven't tried it, start here. The crispy pork sautéed with red onions, oh my!
- Take this opportunity to try new fruits. Most of the vendors give free samples. I tried langka for the first time and it was essentially fruit candy. It is the sweetest tasting fruit.
- Salcedo Market has it's fair share of home and handicraft items. Smaller than Legaspi Market but I still managed to find a number of pieces. I bought two cake plates from the white ceramic vendor in 2012 that I use for every birthday.
- Baskets. These last two don't even need expounding. Yes, I bought three baskets. EEEP!
- Fueling my suman addiction is the BudBud vendor and his kryptonite suman. If you try one thing please let it be the tsokolate suman. Pretty please!
- Fresh pressed Chinese spinach noodles. Best eaten fresh.
Here are some tips for a successful stall crawl.
- Meet early to beat the heat and better parking.
- Pack lots of cash and reusable bags.
- Drop kids at park and then meet up with the ladies. To be honest, it was more of a hassle to have my kids there on this particular day because of one particular child who shall remain unnamed. It was Oz. He was so beyond difficult that day.
- Share food. Each participant can buy something and then everyone shares.
- Having said that, don't feel pressure to buy because most likely they will be there next week. (I should follow my own advice.)