By Marifi S. Jara, Mindanao Bureau Chief
THE ANNUAL celebration of Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival during the month of August is timed with nature’s calendar.
It is within the period of what has historically been the peak of harvest season, not just in Davao, but also in other parts of Mindanao where such fruits as durian, mangosteen, and pomelo grow.
While modern agricultural practices have allowed for the year-round supply of the fruits, albeit in smaller quantities, the impact of climate change has also been disrupting crop cycles.
“In 2015, there was so much durian, but in 2016 we were hit by drought and there was so much rainfall in 2017. We are recovering this year,” Candelario B. Miculob, president of the Davao City Durian Industry Council (DCDIC) President said in a media forum earlier this month. (http://www.bworldonline.com/growers-seek-to-tap-china-demand-for-frozen-durian/)
“We are expecting a lot of production this year… Mangosteen is coming also as well as lanzones and rambutan. There’s a lot of fruits this year, luckily,” Mr. Miculob said.
In this anticipated bumper year, the Seda Abreeza hotel is celebrating its 5th year with dishes that honor the agricultural goods that Davao takes pride in.
“The region’s food products are an attraction of the city,” Seda Abreeza General Manager Kennedy V. Kapulong said, enumerating the varied fruits that do not readily grow in other parts of the country, the seafood from the Davao Gulf, and the Malagos chocolates and cheeses that he calls the “rising stars” in culinary art. (http://www.bworldonline.com/goat-cheese-could-be-next-big-venture-for-malagos-group/)
“Fruits are one of the attractions of Seda Abreeza in our breakfast buffet,” he said.
The ala-carte menu of the hotel’s Misto restaurant includes their own version of the tuna kinilaw (ceviche), Malagos dark chocolate cheesecake, and durian panna cotta.
For this year’s Kadayawan, the Misto kitchen is serving up specials such as a twist on its popular crispy prawns with Misto chili sauce by adding mangosteen to the dip.
Another main course special for the festival season is pan-seared red snapper filler with a generous dressing of Malagos blue goat cheese sauce.
The normally big serving of Malagos dark chocolate cheesecake has been tapered, and paired with a banoffee tart with a real banana slice inside.
“Davao’s culinary offerings have become particularly exciting in the past few years since some Davao exports gained prominence on the world food stage,” Mr. Kapulong said.