January 10, 2016

#SupportLokalPH: Zin Manila

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

Zin Manila

Gourmet Finishing Salt

(Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/zinmanila/)

I first heard about this brand through Instagram's @trylocalph. See, all my life I've only known two types of salt: rock salt and iodized salt--that is, until now. With the globalization of the food industry, the local market is able to receive a great variety of exotic ingredients, and salt is of no exception. I've seen groceries selling Mediterranean salt, Himalayan salt, sea salt, pink salt, etc. right next to the regular table salt. Since then, I've been curious about how each type  of salt affects the flavor of food.

Zin Manila is mainly an online shop, which means that there is some waiting time involved between sending and confirming the order, also between confirming the payment and the actual delivery of the product. There is an option to pick up the product, but that doesn't really help make the purchase more convenient.
Zin Manila at last year's St. James Bazaar.
Thankfully, Zin Manila is actively participating in bazaars. I got mine last year in one of the big Christmas bazaars in the Metro. In fact, they currently have bazaar schedules for this month of January; I'll place the information at the end of this entry. 

Right: Himalayan Salt & Black Pepper (240 PhP)
Left: Rosemary & Lemon Salt (260 PhP)

I chose to purchase a bottle of the Himalayan Salt & Black Pepper blend, and a bottle of Rosemary & Lemon (zest) + Sea Salt blend. There are more varieties to choose from (I was most tempted to purchase the Coffee Salt blend), but I decided that these two are the most versatile blends that can be used both as seasoning and as condiment.

Back view. The bottle is an adjustable grinder, to set the coarseness of the grind.

The salt-and-pepper blend is what I use the most for cooking, as it is more convenient to use.  Before, I used to separately shake iodized salt and then grind peppercorns over my meals. But since both salt and pepper are mixed into one bottle, only a few turns of the grinder is needed to perfectly season the food. Also, I've noticed that Himalayan salt has a mild salty taste, compared to iodized salt. This way, over-seasoning the food can be prevented.

I've only used the rosemary and lemon salt blend only once, I think when I was cooking vegetables... or is it soup? Or pasta sauce? I cannot recall any more, but I do remember tasting the salt blend that came out of the grinder, which tasted a bit bitter. Perhaps it is because of the lemon zest, but that was the time that I realized that this blend may be best for marinating meat or fish prior to cooking. I've yet to prepare a meal using this salt blend.

January 2016 bazaars that Zin Manila will be participating are as follows:
  • Robinsons Magnoila: January 8-10, 15-17
  • SM Aura: January 8-10
  • The Organic Market @ Burgos Park, BGC: January 17, 24, 31

Please check out these places and purchase a bottle of Zin Gourmet Finishing Salt. This way, the waiting time can be skipped, and the delivery fee can be saved as well. Sulit!

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