I’ve never been to the wet market (here in the Philippines anyway, because I’ve been to Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo). Even when I started cooking, I would buy everything I needed from the supermarket. I have this impression that wet markets are dark, dirty, smelly, and crowded. Anyway, I was invited to join Honestbee on a shopping trip to Farmers Market in Cubao yesterday. Farmers Market is like a 10-minute drive from my house — and that’s already with traffic. It was so near and I had never been there! So I went.
Surprise surprise… Farmers Market is none of the things I had imagined. It was brightly lit, well-ventilated, spacious, and clean! When you use the Honestbee app to shop at Farmers Market, the shopper bees would go to stalls with the Honestbee sign — it means the stall is their “suki”, an accredited partner whose merchandise had passed Honestbee’s stringent standards of quality. Another advantage of shopping at a “suki” stall is the 20% discount they give Honestbee. If you go to Farmers Market and buy from the same stall, you would get the same things at a higher price.
We went around with Arceli, a shopper bee for Farmers Market. Arceli has been doing this for a year. She was previously a housewife who was a keen and efficient wet market shopper. She was referred to Honestbee where she was hired as a shopper bee for Farmers Market.
I buy cabbages a lot so I asked Arceli for tips on how to spot a good cabbage. She told me to look for one without “holes” on the surface leaves. It should also be a nice green color, not pale.
For garlic, the bulb should be “whole”, meaning the outer skin is intact with no holes. It should also be a nice white color.
Carrots should be a vibrant orange hue and smooth.
Since we were at an Honestbee accredited vegetable stall, I could pretty much just pick anything up and be assured of good quality.
After shopping for vegetables, we moved on to meat. We went to Loleng, a meat stall known for their ready-to-cook beef tapa.
Arceli told us that we are always assured of fresh meat at this stall. You can tell by the color — the meat should be reddish, not dark or discolored.
They also have a “suki” for chicken. When buying chicken, make sure that the meat has no dark spots.
Then we moved on to seafood. Honestbee’s “suki” stall has live fish. They were jumping too — I had to keep my distance. When buying fish, Arceli advised us to look under the gills. The gills should be red, that’s how you know the fish is fresh. The eyes should also be clear.
When buying shrimp, the head should be intact and fully attached to the body, not bent or broken.
As for fruits, one indication of quality is the color. For example, when buying apples, it’s best to pick the redder ones. They should also be crisp, you can tell by flicking it with your finger. When buying oranges and lemons, the fruit should be firm and smooth.
If you are located within 10km of Farmers Market, you can use the Honestbee app to shop there. Alternatively, you can also shop at Alabang Wet Market, Pasig City Mega Market, Carbon Public Market (Cebu), and Taboan Public Market (Cebu) via Honestbee. Delivery is free for purchases P2,500 and up. Service fee is just P99. It’s well worth it because the parking fee alone costs P60 for the first 2 hours. Then there’s the gas and the effort. I can personally attest that the shopper bees are really good at picking out the freshest produce. I usually order fruits from S&R via Honestbee and we always get nice sweet ones that are ready to eat!
You may download the Honestbee app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. For more information, visit https://www.honestbee.ph/.
Like this post? Subscribe to this blog by clicking HERE.
Let’s stay connected: