Homegrown ice cream champions Davao chocolate

By : Rudolph Ian Alama Mindanao Today/07:49:38pm 08/28/2021


The ice cream is basically made up of fresh milk, refined sugar and pure unsweetened cocoa powder from Cacao Culture. (Photo courtesy of PIA-11)

DAVAO CITY – A new homegrown ice cream brand aims to champion Davao sourced chocolates as it starts to retail through fairs, bazaars and online orders.

“Right now, our orders are mostly from friends but hopefully people would learn more about our ice cream,” says Beverly Durante, who co-founded Masaya Ice Cream.

The upstart ice cream brand which uses chocolates from Davao-sourced cacao was put up by Beverly, 29, and Eikinela Gervacio,30.

“When we're discussing what we would name our ice cream, we first thought of how one would feel or experience every time one would consume ice cream. Masaya is a name we both agreed upon because it’s straight to the point, simple, easy to remember (especially for us Filipinos), and it has the word “Masa” in it which is mostly our target market,” Beverly says.

Masaya Ice Cream stands out because of the very few ingredients added into it. “It is how ice cream used to be and how it is supposed to be,” Beverly said.

“We made to not include stabilizers or other additives that a non-normal technical consumer would not understand,” Beverly adds.

The ice cream is basically made up of fresh milk, refined sugar and pure unsweetened cocoa powder from Cacao Culture.

Cacao Culture is a Davao City-based social enterprise that seeks to help cacao farmers in the community by developing and promoting Philippine cacao and chocolate products.

The cacao used in Masaya ice cream is from Davao, the chocolate capital of the Philippines famed for the volume of cacao production and also for the quality of its cacao beans.

“Davao tsokolate is rich in flavor and it can stand alone, meaning you don’t need unnecessary flavorings to enhance the chocolate note,” Beverly describes the chocolate used Masaya ice cream.

She says it took them one year to fully develop one solid flavor which is the “tsokolate” flavor.

Their partnership with Cacao Culture was crucial in making the brand a reality.

“Davao tsokolate gives the edge to the ice cream brand Masaya because the cacao powder itself is our main source of flavor- raw and rich as it is from powder form to ice cream,” Beverly said.

She said the brand aims to champion Davao chocolate towards its consumers.

“Though we had so many challenges at first but it's also very rewarding to be able to finally share our ice cream to our fellow Dabawenyos. Our ice cream represents Filipino pride, uniquely Davao, uniquely Filipino,” Beverly adds.

Economist Ever Abasolo was one of the consumers hooked to the ice cream when he bought one at the Best of Mindanao Bazaar held at the SM Lanang Premiere.

“Ang sarap niya (It's very delicious) particularly the cocoa, the taste of the dark chocolate is so raw and addicting. Yeah, that’s the word addicting,” Abasolo said.

“I was never really into ice cream but when I bought Masaya for my son, I was able to try it, it's so good, ang sarap ng tsokolate,” said another consumer, Mona Lorraine Tombo, a junior analyst for a government financial institution.

She had recommended it to friends who also ordered the ice cream.

Chocolate capital

In May of this year, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Republic Act 115471, which declared Davao City as the Chocolate Capital of the Philippines.

The law recognizes Davao City’s contribution to overall cocoa production in the country.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shows that Davao Region consisting of Davao City, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental and Davao de Oro accounts for 78.76 percent of the annual cocoa production of the entire country.

In 2019, Davao City accounted for 38 percent of the regional share of cacao production.

Aside from quantity of production, Davao chocolates are also known for their quality chocolate beans as some processors in Davao City won international awards.

Masaya Ice Cream featuring Davao Tsokolate can be ordered online thru Masaya Ice Cream FB page. (PIA-11 | RG Alama)

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