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ruthdelacruz | Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Ruth dela Cruz is a travel and lifestyle blogger in the Philippines. She loves writing about her travels. Drop her a note at admin@ruthdelacruz.com. The internet knew her as @ruthilicious.

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March 2, 2019

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu 

Maybe, the Potato Gods are watching when I am indulging in French Fries and Crispy Potato Chips. I love potatoes. It is a food that is not hard to love - it is versatile, goes with any flavor and is healthy too. 

I got invited by the Potatoes USA to join the annual US Potato Safari in the Philippines. In this post, I will share my food crawl experience and the restaurants that we visited, my new learnings about potatoes and cooking hacks. On the second post, I will share the cook-off challenge. 



Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

Potatoes USA, chief marketing organization for all things US Potatoes has partnered with selected restaurants to feature dishes that use US Potatoes and highlights its versatility and flavor. For this year, the destination was Cebu, Philippines.

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

I flew in together with mommy bloggers and chefs from different restaurants and establishments to sample the innovative dishes prepared by 3 partner restaurants.

Before we embarked on a delicious journey, we first learned more about potatoes. As we know, potatoes are a versatile product that go perfectly with breakfast, lunch, dinner - or even snacks. Interestingly, some restaurants even incorporate potatoes in desserts.

US Potatoes Fun Facts

We have already learned back in school the health benefits of eating potatoes. Potatoes are not just good sources of nutritional benefits, like potassium, Vitamin C and fiber, but are also rich in anti-oxidants and are gluten-free.

Did you know that frozen potatoes are as good as fresh potatoes? The most common US Potatoes you can find in the grocery are frozen and are packed in different formats: frozen whole, frozen half shells, frozen wedges, straight-cut fries, curly fries, criss-cut fries, lattice potatoes, frozen tater drums, frozen hashbrown patties, and more.

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu
Cooking Tip: make sure that when you fry your fries, they are frozen not thawed. That's the secret to crispy fries!

Frozen US Potatoes are perfect for businesses because they are easier to prepare, store and have a longer shelf-life.

During one of our education sessions, we learned that US Potatoes (fries) are longer and give more
volume compared to other potatoes. You will notice that some fast food chains serve (what appear to be) smaller servings of fries compared to others (even if they follow the same serving weight).


Look at that! 

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

US Potatoes give more volume compared to others (all weighed 1 kilograms)

Another form of US Potatoes are US Dehydrated Potatoes (they can be granules or flakes). This kind is commonly used for baking and making mashed potatoes.

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

They are not powder, but underwent dehydration process helps with retaining most of the nutritional properties of potatoes and at the same time gives them a longer shelf life

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

We have seen how easy it is to prepare a mashed potato as prepared by Chef Alvin Ong. There is no need to peel, mash and mix potatoes for a long period. I think this is not only fit for businesses, but also for people on-the-go.

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

We were excited to check out the 3 restaurants for the US Potato Safari 6 and we traveled from Mactan to Cebu City to check out the innovative dishes. 

1. Cebu City Sport's Club

 Our first stop was at the Cebu City Sports Club that is an open-space dining hall with an impressive
view of the pool.


Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu
Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu


We were first served with Fried Cumin Potatoes. It was the perfect appetizer and I could eat these chips the entire night! I love that the chips remained crispy (we arrived late because of traffic) 😀 I would have loved to ask for another serving but we were served immediately with salad.  

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu
Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

The Japanese Potato Salad is more like a comfort food for potato salad lovers. I love the added colors of cherry tomatoes and lettuce. We were guessing they used Japanese Mayo (hello, Kewpie!) for this recipe.

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

For the main dish, we had Potato Crusted Fish Fillet with Sweet Miso Sauce. The crusted fish was
served on a bed of grated hash browns and ginger sauce. I love the texture of the dish, but somehow I was looking for a kick and contrast to the sweet flavor of the sauce (a hint of spiciness would have been nice). t was surprisingly filling, though.

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

For dessert, we had Potato Zeppole. Zeppole is an Italian Doughnut, and for this dish, they used potatoinstead of flour. I really liked the texture of the doughnut and the generous filling inside. I loved the combination of flavors and textures. This was a good dessert to cap off the meal.

Potato Fun Facts and New Dishes from US Potato Safari in Cebu

2. Mexi Mama

For the second restaurant (Day 2 of US Potato Safari 6), we had lunch at Mexi Mama. It is a highly-rated Mexican Diner located at the Parkmall, Cebu. It is a cute dining area that is vibrant and straightforward. I love its wall murals. 

mexi mama cebu us potatoes
mexi mama cebu us potatoes
mexi mama cebu us potatoes


I expected a colorful and flavorful spread from this cute diner, and Mexi Mama didn't disappoint. First out of the kitchen, Street-Style Mexican Potato. I really loved the texture of these corn croquettes that had the perfect crisp and chewy feel inside. The mix of flavors of chili lime crema, achiote aioli and queso was just perfect.

mexi mama cebu us potatoes

Now here's DIY Tacos (this dish used US dehydrated potatoes and masa harina). I really loved this plate and writing about it now makes me so hungry. You can make your own tacos with tequila-marinated prawns, pico de gallo, salsa roja, guacamole and roasted potatoes.

mexi mama cebu us potatoes

We enjoyed the food with margarita and mojito!

mexi mama cebu us potatoes


For the main dish, Grilled Pork Belly Al Pastor with homemade chorizo and US Potato fondue. To
complete the plating, there's grilled pineapple, lime gastrique, burnt onion puree and carrot emulsion (I would have preferred blanched carrots and roasted tomatoes on the side as everything appears to be mashed on the plate).

mexi mama cebu us potatoes

The dish was really filling. Mexi Mama does serve really good food. I had to ask for the menu to checkon the regular items and they are affordably priced, too! You guys must check out Mexi Mama when you are in Cebu City. 

mexi mama cebu us potatoes

Dessert was US Potato Cheesecake Flan with berry coulis, tuiles, chocolate mouse and oreo soil. The cheesecake itself was already a treat! I loved that it was not too sweet - and yes, it had potatoes! How innovative!

3. The Social  

The Social is one of the hangout destinations in Cebu that features an open kitchen, indoor & outdoor bar, and an attractive alfresco area. During our visit, we chanced upon guests who are friends, families and a lot of tourists. The Social also features live band performances.


the social cebu
the social cebu

For starters, we were served with Bacon and Cheese Croquettes made of US Dehydrated Potato Flakes and Shredded Hash. I loved its texture and the bed of greens on the side.

the social cebu

We were then served with Mushroom-Spinach Gnochhi Clear Soup. A very light soup with US
Dehydrated Potato Flakes, shiitake mushroom, spinach and a hard-boiled egg that was just perfect to whet the appetite and prepare us for a bigger main dish.

the social cebu

For the main dish, we were served with Grilled NZ Beef Ribeye Steak served with Dauphinoise
Potatoes. Such a generous serving of 200 grams of ribeye steak with asparagus, baby carrots, roasted
garlic, and shredded hash brown infused with garlic oil.

the social cebu

The dessert was not just your ordinary churros, but Potato Churros, which worked perfectly with
Chocolate Sauce. This reminded me of the time I enjoy my French Fries with a Chocolate Sundae.

the social cebu

If are heading to Cebu, check out these restaurants so you can also try these dishes made with US
Potatoes. These will be available on their menu for 3 months.

I had a really great time trying out new, innovative dishes from the 3 restaurants in Cebu - at the same
time sharing food insights with some of the country's talented chefs. Every dish that we tasted gives us a surprising experience. US Potatoes are truly versatile product and go well with any flavor and texture. You just have to think creatively to come up with new, exciting recipes.

Group Photo
US Potato Safari 6 

The finale of the Safari event was the cook-off challenge.
Wondering what dishes we prepared?

... to be continued. 



If you are wondering where to buy US Potatoes, you can check out the list of supermarkets and brands: 

SM Supermarket/Hypermarket/Rustans:
- Simplot, Lambweston, McCain

All Day Supermarket:
- McCain, Lambweston

S&R:
- Simplot, McCain

Landers:
- McCain



You can check out Potatoes USA Fanpage for more information about US Potatoes. 



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