August 6, 2008

Sweet Treats in Bergenfield

Editor's note: This is a weekly feature where we see how far $20 can stretch in North Jersey's myriad markets.

To stretch your $20 at Jollibee Oriental Food Mart, make sure you have the munchies to match. We skipped the fresh seafood and beauty products at this Filipino grocery store and headed straight for the snack aisles, where our deepest gustatory cravings could be fulfilled. An overflowing grab-bag of yummies checked out at $19.83.

Alfa Garcia

White Rabbit Creamy Candy: This milky, nougat-like, sweet snack is a native of China but popular in the Philippines. If you have braces, you might want to steer clear. $1.59.

Sunflower crackers: Need something salty? Grab a bag in regular or chicken flavor. Otherwise, the other flavors (strawberry, mango, orange, lemon, melon) give just a tinge of sweetness. $1.19

Ensaymada: This sweet bread is topped with butter, sugar and cheese. Cut into portions and serve for dessert. $1.75

Hopia: A savory and filling flaky pastry stuffed with a sugar, onion and scallion paste. Also available with ube (purple yam), mungo (mung beans) and pork filling. $3.75

Puto: A popular steamed rice cake topped with a bit of cheese. Think of unsweetened cornbread with a lighter consistency. $3.50.

Dried mangoes: Chewy, sweet and tangy here's a favorite of many different cultures. This brand picks their mangoes from the southern Philippine island of Cebu. $3.69

Shrimp chips: Crunchy and pungent, with a surprisingly addictive taste. Makes for a good snack on the go. You might have to bring a mint, though. $1.49

Yan Yan: This Japanese snack is a hit in Filipino stores. Dip the crackers into the attached dip holder, available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Each cracker comes with an adorable (though often puzzling) message. 89 cents each

Buko juice: Young coconut juice is high in potassium, calcium and magnesium and makes for a great refresher on a summer day. We just love chewing the little coconut chunks. $1.09

Jollibee Oriental Food Mart is at 48 E. Main St., Bergenfield; 201-439-1242.

(c) 2008 Record, The; Bergen County, N.J.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.