Episode 88: Guest Post – Smoked Salmon and Cream Pasta by Mary Grace

We at Unlimited Grub Grabs value the comments of our readers, some of which suggest places to visit or dishes to try out. We even have a few who gave their own reviews to convince us how great the food spots they’ve visited are.

Joining us on this post is Wattpad writer Emanuelle Bonifacio, who told us about his recent dining experience at Mary Grace Cafe. We do love their ensaymadas, but it turns out there’s more to love at Mary Grace aside from their cakes and pastries.

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Restaurants today are blooming fast and booming with surprises that catch our enthusiastic appetites. Coffee shops, tea cafes and honeyed donuts give us quick bites to indulge our early dessert treats. But nothing beats a full plate of a perfected recipe.

Introducing, Mary Grace Cafe’s  Smoked Salmon and Cream Pasta. Salmon fans’ buds will be flooded with glee by its rich and authentic freshness. The oozing buttery sauce eases the fish flavour along with its well-prepared linguine pasta. The smoky savour stays in your mouth after some spoonfuls surely leaving you to want more. Finishing this awesome blowout will offer you an unforgettable experience.

Chow!



About the Author
Emanuelle Bonifacio is a daydreamer, story-weaver and an adventurer. He has been both his student and master of himself. He’s always thankful for mayonnaise, pizzas, and root beer. When he’s into an idea, he hibernates (see you next season). You can reach and know him more on https://www.facebook.com/emanuelle.bonifacio.9 and 
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Learn more about Mary Grace Cafe through their website or visit them at their various branches.
If you have reviews, tips, and other articles that you’d like us to post, send them over at
unlimitedgrubgrabs@gmail.com
or contact us through our Facebook page.
 
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Episode 87: Christianity and Food


Food is an integral part of our culture, as defined by the ingredients, cooking methods, and the resulting dishes that each country or ethnic group uses and enjoys. The same could be said of religion, which incidentally sets standards in what believers are expected to eat and drink.

Symbolic foods are rife in Christian tradition. For starters, there’s the sacramental bread or “host”, a thin, round unleavened wafer served along with a goblet of grape wine in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. These symbolize the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, of which people are invited to partake of (sometimes, minus the wine) as a way of professing their faith.

Milk and honey are usually mentioned in the Bible. Milk is thought to provide spiritual wisdom and perfection, while honey is a reward for appreciating truth and goodness. Old scriptures also use these as a symbolism for fertile land, particularly the one promised to the Israelites. Olive oil, on the other hand, was used to anoint God’s appointed kings.
And then there’s fish. Fish is traditional fare for the first Christians, who live on fishing for their livelihood. Christians who abstain from meat eat fish instead. The Bible also contains references to fish, the most popular of which is Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. And then after his resurrection, Jesus was offered grilled fish and honeycomb.
The fish itself is a symbol of Christianity. Jesus Christ teaches Christians to be “fishers of men”. There’s also “ichthys”, the Greek word for “fish”, which is used as an acrostic for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”.
Some countries have types of food that hold Christian symbolism. The Greek pastry baklava, for instance, is supposedly made of 33 layers, each symbolizing a year in the life of Jesus Christ. There’s the hot cross bun, eaten on Good Friday to commemorate the crucifixion of Christ. The pretzel, popularly eaten during Lent, is supposedly a symbol of a child’s arms folded in prayer. There’s also the Easter egg, decorated eggs that symbolize new life.   
Even we Filipinos have the Panecillos de San Nicolas (a Kapampangan treat incidentally sold at Razon’s of Guagua), biscuits bearing the image of San Nicolas de Tolentino that are used as lucky charms. By the way, Christian tradition says pancakes are supposedly eaten on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, to symbolically end rich, luxurious eating in preparation for Lent.  
Despite the abundance of symbolic culinary treats, Christians do follow certain dietary rules.
The general rule is that fasting and abstinence is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, unless you’re from Bantayan Island in Cebu, where eating meat during Holy Week is allowed. Also, on all Fridays of the year, Filipino Christians may either abstain from meat, or do an exercise of piety or charity. In most cases, abstaining from meat or any other food for that matter is voluntary.
What’s remarkable about Christianity is its respect for food in general. Christians generally have no restrictions on the type of animals that may be eaten. This stems from the story of Saint Peter’s vision of a sheet with animals. In the vision, Peter is ordered to eat the animals, which were deemed unclean by religious laws of his time. Peter refused, to which he is told, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
Scholars interpret this as God’s symbolic order to stop discriminating against people from other religions or races. In a slightly literal context, Christians are allowed to eat any type of food with no guilt feelings associated with violating religion.
As we continue our commemoration of the Lenten Season, let us set aside some time to thank the Lord, the animals and plants, the chefs, farmers, fishermen, and everyone else involved in the food-making process. It is through God’s grace, and the sacrifice and effort of others that we are able to have something to eat and drink every day.

Episode 86: Get ready for Miss Global Philippines 2016!

Beauty queens make for great role models, no doubt. There’s much that we admire from titleholders like Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach, or the ageless ones like Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran, such as their grace, poise, and winsome smiles, among others.

Then again, there’s always more to being a beauty queen than beauty and brains.

I got a chance to meet some of the winners of Miss Global Philippines 2015 to get briefed on the basics of being a beauty queen.

 

Candice Ramos, Miss Global Philippines 2015 (and 4th Runner-up at Miss Global 2015), says a beauty queen is expected to be a “total package”, someone with the right balance of looks and talent, and knowledgeable about a bit of everything. She also needs a lot of self-confidence, adds 2nd Runner-up Sam Gonzales, and a positive attitude.

Beauty queens wield a considerable amount of influence, which is why they promote advocacies in line with their personal beliefs. One such example, Candice and Sam told me, is empowering the youth, and teaching them to stand firm in their role in shaping society.

Candice and Sam, along with other fellow titleholders, support Miss Global Philippines Tourism Foundation Inc. in promoting Philippine tourism and culture. They also engage in charity projects, and work hand-in-hand with the government’s tourism initiatives. “Exuding beauty and charm, the eventual winners of the pageant will embody the hospitality of the Filipinos known all over the world in helping the government strengthen its tourism campaign,” so the foundation says as part of its objectives.

The drive to promote the Philippines and its beauty continues with the search for the next Miss Global Philippines. This will be held on June 4 at NPAT Resorts World Manila. The winner will represent the Philippines in the Miss Global 2016 pageant to be held on September 3. This will be the third time MGPTFI is launching Miss Global Philippines, and the second time it will host in turn the international pageant.

Aspiring contestants should be 18 to 28 years old, about 5’6” tall, and at least a high school graduate. Single mothers are welcome to join. They will also have to submit a half and whole body photo, and NSO/birth certificate. Screening for candidates will be held on March 18 and 25. The deadline for submission of applications is on March 31.

Interested applicants may check out the Miss Global Philippines website or visit the Miss Global Philippines Foundation office from Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, at 4E Symphony Tower, Sgt. Esguerra St., corner Timog Avenue, Quezon City. (Please look for Rhea 0905-3228503/ (02) 9566483)