If you are feeling self-indulgent, and want to treat yourself with whole foods without the guilt of consuming the bad stuff, I highly recommend the cacao-based products and homemade pastries of Candi-isan Diversified and Integrated Farm also known as CanDi Farm.
In just a year of being the Agricultural Training Institute’s (ATI) learning site partner, Candi-isan Diversified and Integrated Farm is now a School for Practical Agriculture (SPA). As an SPA, the farm became a training area in the field to complement the ATI in the delivery of training and extension services to the clients.
ATI's priority and best bet when it comes to conducting most of its trainings are through its learning site partners, because not only are they established farm areas owned and managed by its farmer partners, but they also serve good food with locally-sourced ingredients. Case in point are the pastry products and sikwate served by the Bacus family in their Malaybalay residence. The sikwate is whisked and frothed to perfection using cacao beans planted, harvested and roasted in their farm located at Sitio Candi-isan, Can-ayan, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. The rest of their baked goods’ ingredients were also sourced in the farm as well.
During our stopover for breakfast, I would be lying to myself if I only pick one favorite out of a handful of delectable treats served before me and my colleagues. The allure of the feast before us was heightened by being served in the open air, in a very country table setting with a rustic feel of cups, saucers, and plates along with bamboo trays and wooden cheese board.
Sikwate Chili – This dark and aromatic hot beverage is just perfect for today’s rainy and I’d-rather-stay-in-bed weather. CanDi’s sikwate chili is their spicy take on our favorite local hot chocolate drink sikwate. I love how the chili cuts through the chocolate richness with its spicy heat.
Since growing the recommended cacao varieties such as UF18, W10, and BR25, farm owner Recarte Bacus have enjoyed repeat orders here and abroad of their pure and aromatic tablea. Tablea (also spelled tableya) are molded bite-sized discs or tablets of pure ground roasted cacao beans, usually heated, combined with hot water and sugar to make a traditional Filipino chocolate drink called sikwate.
Enhancing the flavor of their hot bev are chilies which are naturally grown, harvested, washed, and purposely dehydrated to be used for Candi's sikwate chili.
Tablea ni CanDi – Tablea ni CanDi delivers since they produce and sell their own tablea for sikwate, champorado, and as pastry ingredients. The flavor profile is that of a rich chocolatey, nutty, and earthy flavor. Tablea ni CanDi, when turn into a sikwate, invokes fond childhood memories and comfort in a cup. I was surprised that their tablea comes in hexagonal shape like honeycombs which can be mistaken as a ready-to-eat sweet treat, since it looks good enough to toss it into my mouth.
Whatever the shape or form, nothing beats a homemade tableya composed of naturally-grown cacao beans.
Lakatan Muffins – Delicately sweet because of the lakatan bananas, lakatan muffins give you more than a mouthfeel your palate can experience because each bite is an explosion of flavor, texture, and wholesome goodness. The soft, pillowy, and sweet smelling muffin is complemented with imbedded raisins inside with the very obvious cacao nibs generously sprinkled on top. One muffin is enough to whet your appetite for anything filling and satisfying and I have to say that this is one of my personal favorites. It is best served with a hot beverage of your choice.
Cheddar Loaf – Another fan favorite among foodies like me, this cheesy, golden orange loaf tastes wonderful either fresh from the oven or cooled and sliced. Each loaf contained simple and common ingredients. After having a bite, I was transported back home in a time when baking Betty Crocker-inspired cakes on a weekend was our normal. CanDi’s cheddar loaf were served in a thick, hearty slices with a flavorful toppings of cacao nibs. Cheddar loaves are just perfect in their nice and cheesy fine texture. I demand that cheddar loaves should be used as an everyday treat!
Ube Maja – As their latest offering of mouthwatering desserts, the ube maja of CanDI should not be ignored. As the last food item I spooned a dollop to taste, this ube maja blanca is a delicious spin of our classic coconut pudding. Loaded with purple yam flavor and topped with a generous helping of grated cheddar cheese, it’s a fantastic snack or dessert you’ll love for its luscious pudding consistency. This version is made extra delicious using mashed purple yam. Try it!
Lakatan Loaf - I love the classic banana-nut combination, but I also like my banana loaf with more add-ons like raisins, crushed cashews, or mini kisses. There are other foodies who swear by strips of crystallized ginger or candied orange peel. Banana loaves are homey and it is almost impossible to stop eating. The aroma of banana is irresistible and it is the kind of thing that begs to be cut into big slices while the loaf is still hot with its aroma wafting the entire room! A banana loaf is a lovely thing on its own, plain or with toppings of your own choice like a handful of cacao nibs or mini kisses, it levels up from being a plain tummy filler to a yummy snack treat!
Goodies You Can’t Get Enough Of
Aside from their offerings in their farm, they also sell goodies from their outlet in the city. CanDi Goodies is an extension of CanDI Farm with the goal of bringing you closer to the farm experience of 'Farm to Table' products. They offer loaves, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, tablea and a whole lot more! It's a good choice to share with family and friends alike.
They also cater to client’s orders such as tableya cakes, tableya cupcakes, tableya brownies, and revel bars!
Feel free to visit CanDi Farm's FB page for more info:
DM for orders and inquiries about CanDi Goodies here: