If you’re reading this, you’re probably as captivated by the City of Pines as I am. There’s something magical about this place – the crisp mountain air, the lush greenery, and, of course, the mouthwatering delicacies and unique products that make every visit memorable. As a proud resident, I’ve had the privilege of calling Baguio home for nearly a decade now, and I’m excited to be your guide on this virtual tour of the best Baguio products in 2023.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing my personal favorites – the products that have not only stood the test of time but have also evolved to keep up with the demands of the present day. From delectable food items to artisanal crafts, Baguio has something to offer every traveler and shopper. Whether you’re here for a quick weekend getaway or a longer stay, you won’t want to miss out on these top picks.
So cozy up, grab a cup of coffee, and join me as we peek into the list of top Baguio products you should take home with you in 2023. Let’s get started!
When it comes to Baguio, the city is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s a delight for your taste buds as well. As you wander through the picturesque streets, your senses are bound to be awakened by the delightful aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the sweet scent of strawberries wafting through the air.
Baguio’s edible treasures have been enchanting visitors for decades, and in 2023, they’re as scrumptious as ever. Whether you’re a fan of fruity flavors or sweet and savory snacks, the country’s summer capital has a delightful range of products to offer. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most mouthwatering pasalubong items you can bring back home.
Baguio’s Famous Strawberries
First on our list is perhaps the product Baguio City is most known for — strawberry. Grown in the cool climate of the highlands, Baguio strawberries are known for their exceptional sweetness and vibrant red color. These little red gems are not just delicious; they’re a symbol of the city itself.
To experience the true essence of Baguio’s strawberries, head to the Baguio Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, where you can pick your own berries straight from the field. If you prefer convenience, the Baguio Public Market is teeming with fresh produce any day of the week.
From Baguio’s Best Choice
Another iconic pasalubong item you can’t leave Baguio without is a jar of delectable strawberry jam. Baguio’s strawberries are legendary, and the city’s artisans have turned this beloved fruit into a delightful spread that captures the essence of Baguio’s sweetness.
Baguio strawberry jam is not limited to being just a spread for your morning toast. It’s a versatile ingredient that can elevate your culinary creations. Use it as a filling for pastries, swirl it into your morning yogurt, or drizzle it over ice cream for a taste of Baguio in every bite.
Be on the lookout for artisanal brands that emphasize the use of locally sourced, handpicked strawberries for an authentic Baguio experience.
If you’re in the mood for something a bit more indulgent, Baguio’s strawberry wine is a delightful choice. This unique wine embodies the spirit of Baguio and showcases the city’s ability to create fine products from its natural resources. It is a beautiful blend of sweetness and sophistication and has the fruity notes of strawberries with a refined touch that wine connoisseurs will appreciate. Sipping on a glass of this wine is like experiencing Baguio’s charm in liquid form.
Strawberry wine also pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes. Its fruity profile makes it an excellent accompaniment to cheese platters, light salads, or even grilled meats. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use strawberry wine as an ingredient in your culinary experiments.
To bring home a bottle, you can purchase one at the public market or visit local wineries in the city. These establishments often offer tastings, allowing you to savor the flavors before making your selection.
Ube, or purple yam, holds a special place in Filipino cuisine, and Baguio’s ube jam is a testament to the city’s culinary prowess. With its silky texture and vibrant purple hue, Baguio’s ube jam is a true delight for the senses. It is made by simmering purple yam with sugar and a touch of coconut milk until it reaches a creamy, dreamy consistency. The result is a spread that’s both sweet and earthy, a perfect embodiment of Baguio’s flavors.
Ube jam isn’t just a sweet treat; it’s also a versatile ingredient. Use it to fill pastries, blend it into your morning smoothie, or simply spread it on warm pandesal (Filipino bread rolls) for a quick and delightful snack.
The Good Shepherd Convent along Gibraltar Road and a short distance from the Mines View Park is the most famous place to buy this treat. You can also purchase one from the numerous stalls in the Baguio Public Market or souvenir shops in the tourist spots across the city.
Peanut brittle is a beloved crunchy treat that’s hard to resist, and Baguio’s version is a standout. With roasted peanuts encased in a sweet, caramelized sugar coating, it’s a timeless pasalubong that allows you to capture Baguio’s sweetness in a jar. It is the perfect balance of nutty, sweet, and crunchy. Each bite is a burst of flavor and texture, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
The convenient packaging of peanut brittle makes it an ideal on-the-go snack. Throw a few pieces in your bag for a quick energy boost while exploring the city, or save it for when you’re craving something sweet.
Look for peanut brittle in Baguio’s bustling markets, particularly in the Baguio Public Market. There, you’ll find different variations, some with the peanuts all crushed up and hugged by the lighter-colored caramelized sugar or with whole nuts but with thinner and darker sugar.
Cafe Yagam, Circa 2020
Baguio Benguet coffee is more than just a beverage; it’s a sip of highland elegance that embodies the very essence of Baguio’s cool climate and fertile soil. Renowned for its rich flavor and aromatic aroma, this coffee is a must-try for any visitor to the City of Pines.
Coffee beans grown in the elevated terrain of Benguet province are known for their unique and complex flavors. Baguio Benguet coffee offers a delightful balance of earthy undertones, and some even give out subtle hints of fruity and floral notes, resulting in a cup of coffee that’s truly exceptional.
While in Baguio, you’ll have the opportunity to savor a variety of coffee roasts and blends. From single-origin beans to artisanal blends, there’s a coffee for every palate. Many coffee shops in the city roast their own beans, ensuring freshness and quality.
You’ll find Baguio Benguet coffee in local coffee shops, markets, and specialty stores. For the ultimate coffee experience, visit one of the city’s charming cafes, such as Hatch Coffee, Hot Cat Café, or Arca’s Yard, and enjoy a cup while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
Baguio’s pristine mountain environment is home to bees that produce some of the finest honey you’ll ever taste. Baguio honey is known for its purity and rich flavor, making it a sweet souvenir that captures the essence of the city’s natural beauty.
Honey manufactured in Baguio and the Cordilleras is celebrated for its purity. It’s harvested from bees that forage in the lush mountains, resulting in a product that’s free from additives or artificial flavors.
Besides being a sweet treat, honey is valued for its potential health benefits. Baguio honey is no exception, and it’s often sought after for its potential medicinal properties, including soothing a sore throat or providing an energy boost.
Local markets and specialty stores in Baguio, such as the Baguio Public Market and souvenir shops, offer various honey options. Look for artisanal honey produced by local beekeepers to experience the authentic flavors of the region.
Choco flakes are a delightful snack that combines the comforting taste of chocolate with the satisfying crunch of flakes. Baguio’s choco flakes are a go-to choice for those with a sweet tooth.
They are made with high-quality cocoa powder, giving them a rich and chocolatey flavor. Each bite is a sweet escape into a world of cocoa goodness. Whether you’re a child or an adult, choco flakes are an irresistible treat. They make for a great snack during a road trip or a cozy night in.
You can easily spot bags of choco flakes in the Baguio Public Market and various souvenir shops throughout the city. Keep an eye out for locally made variations, which often have a more authentic and delectable taste.
Lengua de Gato
Lengua de Gato, or “cat’s tongue” cookies, are delicate and thin cookies that are both visually appealing and delightful to the palate. They practically melt in your mouth, leaving a sweet and buttery aftertaste.
Baguio’s version of lengua de gato is a must-try for those looking to bring home a taste of elegance. These cookies make a perfect companion to a cup of Baguio coffee or tea. Their subtle sweetness complements the rich flavors of the beverages.
You can score packs or even boxes of lengua de gato in Baguio’s souvenir shops and markets. They often come in beautifully designed packaging, making them an attractive gift option for loved ones back home.
Longganisa is a Filipino sausage known for its distinctive flavors and regional variations. Baguio’s version of longganisa is a flavorful delight that combines sweet and savory notes, making it a beloved culinary treasure of the region.
Baguio’s longganisa is characterized by its sweet and garlicky profile with a hint of vinegar. The unique combination of flavors makes it a favorite breakfast item and a versatile ingredient in various Filipino dishes.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast featuring Baguio longganisa. It pairs perfectly with garlic fried rice and sunny-side-up eggs, offering a satisfying and flavorful morning meal.
You can purchase Baguio longganisa at local markets and meat shops throughout the city. Be sure to ask for cooking tips and recipes from the vendors, as they often have their own time-tested techniques for preparing this delectable sausage.
Raisin Bread from the Baguio Country Club
Baguio’s raisin bread is a beloved comfort food perfect for those looking to enjoy a sweet and satisfying treat. With its soft texture and generous helping of plump raisins, it’s a delightful snack or breakfast option.
Here, the raisin bread is generously studded with plump raisins that add a burst of natural sweetness to each bite. The combination of soft bread and sweet raisins creates a harmonious flavor profile.
Raisin bread is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, toasted with butter, or used to make delicious sandwiches. It’s a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire.
Look for freshly baked raisin bread in local bakeries and pastry shops around the city, particularly at the Baguio Country Club. The aroma of warm bread wafting from these establishments is sure to lead you to this delightful treat.
Fruits and Vegetables
Baguio’s temperate climate and fertile soil make it an ideal location for growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. When in Baguio, don’t miss the opportunity to savor garden-fresh produce that’s bursting with flavor.
Like I mentioned, Baguio is famous for its strawberries, and there’s nothing like picking your own strawberries at the Strawberry Farm or purchasing a punnet of freshly harvested berries from the local market.
Baguio is also known for its crisp and vibrant lettuce, which is a staple in many local dishes. Try a refreshing salad with locally sourced lettuce to appreciate its freshness. While exploring Baguio’s markets, keep an eye out for other fresh produce like heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, and broccoli. These ingredients can be a tasty addition to your meals during your stay or as souvenirs to bring home.
Local markets, including the Baguio Public Market and the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post, are the best places to find a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Engage with the local farmers and vendors to learn more about the produce and cooking tips.
Alfajor and Snowballs
Alfajor and snowballs are sweet confections that offer a delightful sugar rush for those with a sweet tooth. These treats have become iconic pasalubong items in Baguio.
Alfajor is a sweet sandwich cookie made of two soft, crumbly cookies filled with a rich and creamy filling, often made from caramel or dulce de leche. Baguio’s alfajor is a decadent treat that combines the sweetness of caramel with the delicate texture of cookies.
Meanwhile, snowballs are bite-sized delights made from crushed cookies or biscuits mixed with condensed milk, butter, and confectioners’ sugar. They’re a favorite among children and adults alike.
Look for these sweet confections at the Good Shepherd Convent, the public market, and souvenir shops throughout the city. Baguio’s alfajor and snowballs are packed in airtight containers, making them perfect for pasalubong or gifts for family and friends.
Non-edible and Artisanal Crafts
Beyond its delectable food offerings, Baguio and Benguet are also known for their vibrant artisanal crafts scene. These regions are home to skilled artisans who create unique, handcrafted items that showcase the area’s rich culture, heritage, and natural beauty.
Here are the top non-edible artisanal crafts you can discover in Baguio and Benguet:
Walis-Tambo, or simply “walis,” holds a unique place in Baguio’s local culture and everyday life. These sturdy brooms, made from a specific type of palm frond, have become a symbol of the city and are highly sought after by visitors as both functional tools and charming souvenirs.
The process of making walis-tambo is deeply rooted in tradition, often passed down through generations. Purchasing one of these brooms is a way to support local craftsmanship and preserve cultural heritage.
You’ll spot walis-tambo being sold at the Baguio Public Market and in various souvenir shops across the city. Keep an eye out for brooms with colorful woven patterns, which are not only practical but also make for eye-catching keepsakes.
Wood and Stone Carvings and Sculptures
Baguio’s artisans transform natural materials like wood and stone into captivating works of art. These sculptures and carvings often draw inspiration from the surrounding landscapes, indigenous cultures, and the vibrant spirit of the region.
Explore wooden sculptures and carvings that range from intricate figurines to larger-than-life creations. Many artists incorporate indigenous themes and intricate details into their wooden works.
Stone carvings in Baguio are equally impressive, showcasing the rugged beauty of the Cordillera mountains. These pieces are often sculpted from locally sourced stone, creating a unique connection to the region.
Visit art galleries, artisan markets, and craft shops along Long Long and Asin Road to discover a diverse range of wood and stone carvings and sculptures. You may also have the opportunity to meet the artists and gain insight into their creative process.
Woven and Knitted Items
Woven and knitted items in Baguio reflect the creativity and skill of local artisans. These items include textiles, garments, and accessories, each showcasing a unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.
Baguio’s textiles are known for their vibrant colors and intricate patterns. They are often used to create garments like “tapis” skirts and woven accessories such as wallets. Garments such as jackets, scarves, and shawls are skillfully woven or knitted by artisans. These cozy and stylish pieces make for excellent additions to your wardrobe.
Explore boutiques, artisan shops, and the Baguio Night Market for woven and knitted items. Keep an eye out for stalls offering handmade textiles and garments made with care by local weavers and knitters.
In the heart of the Philippines, Baguio beckons with its cool mountain air, lush landscapes, and a vibrant culture rich in artisanal craftsmanship and culinary delights. As we’ve explored in this guide, Baguio and its neighboring Benguet province are treasure troves of unique pasalubong items, non-edible artisanal crafts, and cultural wonders.
As you plan your next visit to this enchanting city, I invite you to immerse yourself in its culture, flavors, and artisanal treasures. Keep supporting local artists, savor regional delicacies, and explore the beauty of Baguio’s crafts and natural wonders. Whether you’re shopping for souvenirs, seeking unique gifts, or simply relishing the journey, Baguio offers an unforgettable experience.
Discover Baguio’s treasures for yourself, and bring home a piece of its magic. Your one-of-a-kind adventure in the City of Pines awaits!
Note: All photos, otherwise stated, are from Mitch Velete
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