Food

In the Metro: Down to Earth

I felt a violent urge to bake a cheesecake a couple of weeks ago and garnish it with butterfly blue pea flowers. I had no idea where to find said flowers so naturally I took my search to Facebook. And that’s how I learned about Down To Earth – a small local farm that delivers a variety of organic and sustainably grown produce, grass-fed meat and dairy, and a host of products made from these wonderful ingredients. From what I understand off of their website, the place sounds like a farming utopia of sorts which I find absolutely fascinating! (I have secret hopes for a green thumb. Crossing green fingers.)

Along with my butterfly blue pea flowers, I placed an order for a bunch of other stuff because a) there’s a P1000 minimum purchase requirement for delivery and b) I wanted to try everything. But I was able to pull myself together and decided on these:

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Clockwise from top left: butterfly blue pea flowers, pink sorrel, pork tocino, kefir, smoked mozzarella, beef tapa, baby carrots.

Not seen here are fresh milk and pastured butter because they were out of stock, bummer! I was particularly excited about the milk. You see, I’m not big into cow’s milk but I noticed that I chug the stuff whenever I’m in Korea. Milk is soooo good there! A little (non-) investigation revealed that the majority of store-bought cow’s milk in Korea is unpasteurized which I think makes for milk that’s creamier, fuller, and just all-around more delish (also more nutritious!). I really wanted to find out how Down To Earth’s stacked up to that. And then imagine butter made from that milk, emergherd. Oh well. I’ll get them next time.

Right now, here’s a closer look at what I got and how I ate them.

Baby Carrots

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Oh my gosh, how tiny are they? And they’re purple! Like in Jamie Oliver-land! I gave them a good scrub and roasted them in some honey + olive oil + salt + freshly ground black pepper and threw them on a salad.

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Lettuce, roasted baby carrots, parmesan crisps, butterfly blue pea flowers dressed with a coconut nectar cider vinaigrette.

The baby carrots are so fun but I think they might be too tiny for their own good. They’re a little tedious to prep and hmm, I don’t know what else to do with them. Which really only shows my lack of imagination. Ideas welcome.

Smoked Mozzarella

I actually ordered what was just called mozzarella cheese on the website that looked like fresh mozzarella but they sent me the smoked kind and I’m not sure why. Smoked mozzarella isn’t even on the menu. But hey, any kind of cheese makes me happy (that’s not true, I think anything over a whisper of blue cheese is kind of nasty) so I grilled it between sliced bread.

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Smoked mozzarella grilled cheese soldiers with truffle honey.

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I don’t know why I didn’t think of grilling a smokey cheese sooner. It’s pretty legen…wait for it…dairy. As for this particular smokey cheese, it seems to be a bit tangy for mozzarella – is that a grass-fed dairy thing? Still super curious about the fresh mozza.

Grass-Fed Beef Tapa

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Grass-fed round beef, sea salt, muscovado sugar, spices.

It’s a little odd that it looks nothing like the beef tapa shown on the website but I don’t even care because THIS TAPA GOOD. It’s smokey-salty-sweet and seasoned just right, delicious with a hit of vinegar. The texture of the meat is closer to beef jerky than most tapas I’ve tried. Will order again.

Grass-Fed Pork Tocino

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Pork loin, sea salt, honey, spices, coconut amino sauce.

I kind of love that this looks nothing like the tocino we all know – no artificial pink dye here. And how curious for tocino, you can recognize what’s meat and what’s fat in the slices of pork har har. A quick scan of the ingredients also tells you it hasn’t been cured with sodium nitrite.

Maybe that’s why it doesn’t quite taste like the tocino we all know either. This tastes like a restrained and perhaps grown-up version of the stuff and I don’t think I mind.

Kefir

Prior to ordering this, I had only a vague knowledge of what kefir was (like yogurt) and I was so intrigued (because I adore yogurt).

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It does taste just like plain yogurt, maybe a little tangier, and I thought it would make a really nice addition to a smoothie bowl. (More on smoothie bowls here.)

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Banana-pineapple smoothie with strawberry, slivered almonds, flaxseed, chia seed.

After having read some stuff about kefir online, I’m sensing the beginnings of an obsession. Kefir’s list of benefits reads like some kind of magical cure-all so there’s also that.

This was such a fun and delicious education! I can’t wait to order more stuff. Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the cheesecake that started all of this, I’m doing a little re-imagining. It’s gonna be purple and marbled, just grate. Haha, I’m sorry!

To learn more about Down To Earth, check out the website or Facebook page. You can also reach them at (63)-02-8140854 or (63)-917-6731947.

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