by Ana Marie “Alu” Aran, FoodFindsAsia.com |
It was in 1975 when Ju.D Lao started selling fruitcakes. A two-pound loaf of fruitcake at the time was P50. The Philippine population was at 35 million. The average salary was maybe a bit more than a hundred pesos a day. Through the years, Ju.D’s business has endured the scarcity of imported ingredients, rotating brownouts, devaluation of the peso and all sorts of calamities.
Her classic recipe, which took six months to develop was inspired by a trip to Switzerland where she was introduced to fruitcake that she enjoyed.
“I never attended cooking classes, but I love to read cook books. I do a lot of experimentations on recipes that catch my fancy. And since I’m from a big family, we’re never short of guinea pigs or should I say, brave and curious souls,” explains Ju.D who has authored two Vegetarian cookbooks for the Tzu Chi Foundation which are available in the different Tzu Chi chapters all over the world.
In the 1980s, Ju.D came out with fruitcake cookies which she has called the “Chewy Chewkies.”
The kids of her customers loved them because they tasted like fruitcakes but without the brandy. In the 90s, Ju.D started becoming playful and worked on different flavors of fruitcakes giving birth to Ju.D Gold- which is a honey-based fruitcake;
Ju.D Blue- Blue Mountain Coffee fruitcakes; Ginger Cranberries and Ginger Apricot Fruitcakes and even a Coffee flavored Prune Fruitcake. Her box of mini fruitcakes offers a sampling of the different flavors. In 2009, she came out with assorted premium nougat in cookies and cream, espresso, cranberry-almond and cheese.
For orders and inquiries, you may call (02) 633-1188 or (02) 633-0260.
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Ana Marie “Alu” Aran
Alu is a partner at Courage Asia (business consultancy firm & foodservice event organizers), an adjunct faculty at Enderun Colleges and a food and lifestyle writer. She also a Contributing Editor forwww.foodfindsasia.com, Managing Editor for www.dineph.com and a resource person & speaker on marketing, event management and parenting.