Holy Carabao: Easy and Conscientious Grocery Shopping
The Christmas holidays of 2016 can be good for the heart and soul, yet it can be tough on the digestive system. Sweets and alcohol are the usual suspects that I always end up resolving to consume a little less of both once the year ends.
If you’re looking to make a change this year, then simply watching what you eat will not do. For those of us who cook our own meals, what you put in your fridge (or pantry) is what’ll go into your system for the following days, so what you buy has a great impact on your meals.
Watching Netflix’s Chef’s Table during the holidays provided a lot of inspiration and proven that your food will only be as good as the ingredients that they’re cooked with. Now, I’m not asking you to scour food labels for calories, harmful chemicals, and fat content. However, unless you have the patience and time to search high and low for quality ingredients that will make your next home-cooked meal taste like a three-star Michelin chef’s, it’s easy to come up short and end up buying something that’s not quite what it promises to be.
Holy Carabao’s peg board is chock-full of calling cards, posters, and invitations from like-minded do-gooders. (Photo courtesy of Author)
Fortunately, Holy Carabao comes seeking to answer prayers for holistic food. Holy Carabao has made its home in a small store space on R. Palma St. (near Rockwell, Makati, Philippines) with the wholehearted promise to deliver good, honest-to-goodness food to your table. Here are a few of the best-sellers that can be found on their online shop:
1. Koobo (Bukid bred) Chicken
Free-range organic chicken bred and allowed to forage in Pitogo, Quezon will set you back P349!
Okay, maybe you don’t need the whole chicken, just its parts. Worry not, Holy Carabao’s got you covered.
There is a distinction between frozen and fresh chicken, and it shows in the texture of the meat once it’s been cooked. Holy Carabao also has ‘em whole, yet fresh and chilled, so feel free to do with your chook as you please.
From Bukid-Bred Eggs (in 10s and 30s), Chicken Leg Quarters (500-600g for P325), Wings (350-400g for P200), Breasts (250-300g for P200), and Ground Chicken (500g for P272.50) in packs
2. Coconut Flour & Adlai
Recent years have got us all scrambling for quinoa, which isn’t exactly native to the Philippines. I step into Holy Carabao Farmers’ Market and see a small cardboard sign pointing to a bag of something filled with roundish grain that remotely resembled quinoa.
Lo and behold, Hineleban Adlai (or Job’s Tears) is a local variety from Bukidnon that is nutritiously fiber-rich, and gluten-free. Adlai=2, Rice=0.
Coconut flour is also a healthier (less carb, zero gluten, more fiber!) alternative for your home-baked goods. It’s a diabetic’s dream. Score one for coconut flour!
3. Veggies & Veggie Boxes
Aside from selling individual veggies at varied weights, Holy Carabao’s Asian (P750), Continental (P950), Pinoy (P750), Juicing (P750) veggie boxes (pictured clockwise, L-R) are fresh and ready for consumption
Living in the CBD makes it so challenging to find the greens to stuff your gullet with, but Holy Carabao delivers so many fresh veggies, they’ll have you singing “sitaw, bataw, patani…”. Aside from the four in the photos, a Salad Veggie Box (P750) also contains salad greens, which can be paired with Holy Carabao’s homemade vinaigrettes.
4. Fruit Juice
Guyabano juice has always been a childhood favorite, and its taste is indelibly inked into my memory and on my taste buds with fondness.
Holy Carabao’s version comes with Chia Seeds!
Lemongrass, Mango, and Dalandan, all fruits native to our islands, are also available cold-pressed in 1L bottles, alongside some Kombucha (it’s not called the “elixir of life” for nothing), whose probiotic benefits are comparable to yogurt. Aside from cold-pressed juice, Holy Carabao also sells a pre-selected Juicing box for the Juicers among us.
5. Coco Sugar
Finally, a sweetener with nothing to hide
There is hardly anything you can’t do with the coconut, and whatever it is, it’s never bad for you. Now we know coconut sap can even be used as a sweetener!
6. Kale Pesto
You’ve heard of Malunggay Pesto, but have you tried Kale Pesto? Basil is far from being eclipsed as the king of herbs (check out Holy Carabao’s Holy Basil) but superfood Kale turns out to be a worthy substitute!
Netflix and chill to a bottle of this and your chosen crisps!
7. Chicken Stock
Way too many things can be made from chicken stock. Ditch your chicken stock cubes and go for the next best thing: Holy Carabao’s Chicken Broth!
Risotto, and dozens of soups and sauces rely on this cooking staple for their flavor.
8. Grass-Fed Butter
Butter. There are more fans than haters out there, and while our relationship with this block of cow’s milk fat is far from buttery smooth, there are ways to ease the (occasional) guilt that comes with its consumption.
Julia Child’s most exalted ingredient comes in Salted and Unsalted
Grass-fed poultry and livestock do not live penned in feedlots, but instead are permitted to roam free on pasture and forage for food, mainly grass. Allowing animals to feed on grass keeps them healthy and free of disease, which means the people who feed on them and their by-products (cheese, milk, and butter) also get a stab at staying healthy and disease-free.
9. Goats & Carabao Milk
A liter of goodness that ain’t just for kids
Cacao Carabao Milk from grass-fed Carabao, pasteurized and then sweetened with Muscovado, is reminiscent of childhood days spent gulping cool mouthfuls down after bites of toasted ensaymada.
Holy Carabao is a tad more specific about their treatment of the goats whose milk is poured into the bottles on display at the Farmers’ Market. Raised in Tarlac, their goats are fed 90% grass.
10. Bookid Bred Bacon & other Pork cuts (Pata, Adobo, Sinigang)
If you’re a nube at the home-cooking thing, welcome to the club. Learning to cook is one thing, but learning to how to do your groceries is a skill that takes just as much practice as the cooking.
When it comes to meat, it’s hard enough to pick the right cuts without professing your inexperience to the person behind the counter.
Holy Carabao thankfully packs their pork and poultry with neat labels, all cut and ready-to-cook.
Planning to make sinigang? Crispy pata? Bacon? Giniling? Adobo? Save yourself an embarrassing trip to the supermarket meat section and order from Holy Carabao instead! Their portions are just enough for a meal for four (or two).
Holy Carabao’s goods can be found at their Farmers’ Market, at Cartel Deli (L.P. Leviste St., and can be delivered via their website (for a minimum of P1500) or via Metro Mart!
(All photos from http://shop.holycarabao.com, unless specified)