This is where I buy all my nuts for eating and baking.
You can say I’m nuts for nuts. They make up a large part of my eating plan, I use them in baking, and they’re an all-around terrific source of protein and nutrients. Procuring a good nut supply in Manila however, poses quite a challenge. The nut supplies in supermarkets are faded versions of their former glories and I’m suspicious of retailers who package their nuts in plastic bags and then store them on the floor.
FruittiNutti is a prayer answered for all nut freaks like myself. Opened just last May, the store’s tagline is “Your Healthy Food Choice,” and my, what choices there are! Walnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, cashews, and almonds in all forms – whole, sliced, slivers, and almond meal for making macarons.
Elaine Gatchalian is the self-described “health nut” responsible for this wonder store. Her family has been importing dried fruits and nuts for almost 20 years, supplying food companies and commissaries. “It was but a natural progression that we venture into retail,” Elaine explains, “since we’d get asked if we could sell on a smaller scale. This is our chance to provide our retail customers with that.”
FruittiNutti’s interiors are as fun and whimsical as its name. A small space utilized to the hilt, it’s done in very on-trend colors of aqua, chartreuse and coral. Affirmative words, possible life mantras – Wellness, Vitality, Energy, Life – are written in flowing script on the walls and a single LCD TV displays videos extolling the benefits of natural foods. Simple shelves are stocked with bottles and rudimentary labels. The products speak for themselves, as it should be in a store such as this, where choices present possibilities that are naturally good for the body and soul.
The store’s signature mixes are especially tempting. These are nut and fruit combinations created by Elaine that balance color, texture, and flavor. The Cherry Berry Munch mixes cherries and cranberries with almonds; while blueberries, almonds and cranberries compose and color the Red, White, and Blue Munch. Both mixes are unsalted and raw (unroasted). The fast-selling Original Trail Mix is the sole selection that’s lightly roasted and lightly salted, its medley of almonds (sliced and slivered), pistachios, walnuts, and two kinds of raisins makes for a mix that’s many a taste sensation. I like eating this out of hand or sprinkling over my morning cereal.
FruittiNutti also has some products that are worth exploring and experimenting with. The aqua-hulled sesame seed isn’t the usual generic kind. It remains white even when exposed to heat and is terrific for making benne wafers (sesame seed cookies), incorporating into a biscotti or bread dough, or garnishing homemade burger buns. I’m also fascinated with the dehydrated potato products of which there are potato granules, flakes (instant mashed potatoes!), flour (gluten free), dices, slices, and shreds. The only other ingredient needed to utilize these is one’s imagination.
As I scan the chiller looking for my favorite nut, Brazil nuts, Elaine assures me that those are coming soon as well as other products including a dairy-free, gluten-free creamer, and a whipping cream made from almonds and cashews; definitely something worth waiting for.
And don’t forget, nuts are best stored in the refrigerator or, for longer storage, in the freezer.
Unit 7, 8 Jade Bldg.,
Santolan Rd., Greenhills,
San Juan City
Coming from Ortigas going towards Gilmore, turn left at the Santolan-Ortigas intersection. Drive down a few hundred meters until you see a red building on the left.
Open daily, 9am-7pm.