I’m now on the 5th day of my very own self-imposed 30-day blog post challenge which also propelled me to restart doing other things I love and one of them is helping out Mahal in our agribiz venture.
Mahal and I are always thinking of ways to preserve our mushroom harvest. The only ways we can do that for now are either to freeze them (which can be costly since our own personal fridge at home is small and can’t accommodate a lot of harvests), to dry it which is good because that’s very easy to do and you only need the sun to make it possible, or to process our harvest which is the best alternative. We chose to do the last 2 alternatives since they fit very well into our current lifestyle.
MUSHROOM CRISPY FRIES
When we were still in Alabang, we were getting a ton of harvest from our fruiting bags more than we can immediately sell. We didn’t want the unsold ones to be put to waste since their quality freshness only lasts in the fridge for a week (although we tried it for 2-3 weeks but of course the freshness of the mushrooms is no longer the same albeit still edible) so Mahal thought of turning them into mushroom crispy fries. It was a hit! We sold them online and delivered to some Facebook friends who ordered from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We thought of doing the same when we set up our mushroom growing house here in Mindanao but since we started from scratch, cultivated, incubated, and grew our own mushrooms, our time was consumed with other more important things that need to be taken care of at the farm.
DRIED WHITE OYSTER MUSHROOMS
Then a time came when we were scheduled for many trips, we wouldn’t be around to make the mushroom crispy fries ourselves. We also haven’t taught anybody else how we do it, much less how to make the mushroom crispy fries better — a lot crispier and non-oily. So we put that project on hold as we did our several scheduled trips and just asked our people to dry all the surplus white oyster mushroom harvests until we get home and go back to our farm life routine.
By drying the extra harvest, we could extend its shelf life much longer. We can then decide whether to sell it as a packed dried oyster mushroom or turn it into something else.
That’s when Mahal thought of processing the dried oyster mushrooms and one thing that came to his mind was to turn it into a mushroom chili paste.
MUSHROOM CHILI PASTE
Mahal loves everything spicy! As for me, I’m really not a spicy food lover but because Mahal would often times order something spicy when we eat out, I sometimes catch myself eating his spicy order as well.
So we first made a small batch at home for our own personal consumption. Mahal perfected his recipe and had me try it. And OH MY GOD!!! It was really delicious! I’m not so fond of spicy food in general but this one I loved! It’s like that saying “once you pop you can’t stop” lol!
I now put mushroom chili paste into everything we eat at home!
That’s when Mahal started making a whole batch of it (22 bottles) to be sold online. We didn’t realize how tedious it is until he finished the first batch. From preparation of all the ingredients to the actual cooking, then sterilizing the bottles, packing the mushroom chili paste into the bottle, canning and pressurizing, then labeling and sealing — all of these steps took him 20 continuous hours!!! OMG!!! No wonder these things are sold online for a whopping P250-320 per 200 grams give or take.
As for us, we first offered it at a special introductory price of P150, just enough to get the ROI. We sold our first batch to our Facebook friends and asked for their feedback. So far, they all liked it! They said that their family and colleagues loved it. And if there was one negative thing about it, it’s that those that aren’t supposed to eat rice, got to eat rice! Lol!
There was also one friend who tried it who said that it tastes good but she expected it to come with a lot of oil. We also had that in mind before when we were thinking of doing a mushroom chili sauce. But since this is a paste and not a sauce, we really intended it not to come swimming in oil. The extra virgin olive oil that we used is already well blended into the paste which really makes it very tasty. Perhaps we can do a separate product that comes swimming in oil and see if that will sell too.
So for now, The premier product since we launched our Tuscany Highlands Organic Farm Facebook Page is this Mushroom Chili Paste. It is made from organic dried white oyster mushrooms. The rest of the ingredients include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brown Sugar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt, and Spices.
It’s a good complement for any type of dish — fish, chicken, beef, pork, veggies! The possibilities are endless! You can take it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And for those who love chili so much, you can pair them with your heavy snacks too! I did it. We put mushroom chili paste on our tuna and chicken sandwich as well. And it tastes so good! But don’t just take my word for it. Try it!!!
You can contact me for orders at the following channels:
We will also be displaying our Tuscany Highlands Organic Farm Mushroom Chili paste locally here at Jaco’s StopOver Cafe in Claveria starting next week. We’ve spoken with the owner, Jeffrey Vallejos, yesterday and we are excited to do business with him!
So in case you’re here down south in Northern Mindanao, have breakfast, lunch or dinner at their cafe in Claveria located along the highway. They serve delicious meals and grow their own herbs where we bought some too for replanting at our own farm. Then check out their product display shelf. Our bottles of Mushroom Chili Paste will be there.
We are studying Shopee and will be selling there as well. We’ve just started 2 weeks ago and we’re still streamlining our processes so it won’t take up so much of our time just to make 22 bottles of mushroom chili paste per batch.
Nevertheless, we are committed to letting everyone try our product and so we are delivering nationwide and internationally VIA LBC or whatever is your chosen mode of shipment.
So, that’s how our Tuscany Highlands Organic Farm Mushroom Chili Paste came to be. What are you waiting for? Message me for your orders! Proudly Phillipine-made! ^_^