LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—The Strawberry Festival’s Cake Competition came back after two years of non-exhibition as it topped the celebration of the Strawberry Festival at the La Trinidad Strawberry Lane and Municipal Park on March 18, 2022.
The strawberry cake competition is one of the highlights of the Strawberry Festival aimed at promoting the utilization of strawberries in culinary arts, baking cakes and pastries.
“Since La Trinidad is well-known for strawberries, we encourage home bakers and commercialized bakers to incorporate strawberry as one of their trademarks so visitors will bring home strawberry-flavored products,” expressed Nida Organo, acting municipal agriculturist.
As such, strawberries have been a trademark of La Trinidad, Benguet’s capital town which showcased the accessible strawberry farm at the heart of the municipality.
“Historically, La Trinidad started strawberry production that is why it is one of its commodities that made La Trinidad well-known nationally. It became a tradition that in every strawberry festival, there is always a strawberry-inspired culinary competition,” Organo added.
The strawberry cake is among a significant component of the Strawberry Festival. On March 20, 2004, La Trinidad was awarded by the Guinness World of Record with the Largest Fruit Shortcake weighing 9.6 kilograms. Through this, the municipality continued to strengthen the crop production of strawberry, marketing, and post-harvest handling.
Of this year’s strawberry cake’s competition, 13 home bakers and local entrepreneurs from the strawberry capital showcased their baking skills in making mini strawberry cake replicas. The participants were required to make two cakes of identical strawberry look-alike. The cake’s base was 8 inches coated with all-natural strawberry flavor.
J’s Strawberry Cake of Jonalyn M. Mangeg from Barangay Puguis bagged the 1st Place followed by Kira B. Cotdi from Barangay Cruz in second. The semi-chiffon vanilla cake with strawberry cream cheese filling of Jeizel L. Salda from Barangay Tawang landed third.
“Believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your talents and skills and try to learn new things,” said Mangeg encouraging fellow youth.
Mangeg claimed that she did not expect to win because her focus when joining the competition was to gain experience.
Moreover, the winners received cash prizes along with a cash incentive. The top three will also receive a plaque of recognition during the closing ceremonies of the town’s festival on March 30, 2022.
Jefferson Agcaoili, one of the judges, chef in Valley Bread, lauded the home bakers. He stated that cakes should have a balanced taste of flavors not too overpowering and over-colored.
Further, cakes are still available on sale in the Strawberry Lane in the Municipal Park until March 30, 2022.
Organo encouraged small-scale or home bakers to improve their products, innovate food creativity and explore ways of adding all-natural strawberries in their food products.
“With such, we are calling local bakers to coordinate with the office (OMAg) which caters conducting livelihood training to local bakers and entrepreneurs in enhancing food products,” ended Organo.
By Melodie S. Sacla