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Food Odyssey

Del Monte Roast Beef and Pineapple Apr 21, 2013

Del Monte Roast Beef and Pineapple

GPS waypoint: N8 22.878 E124 50.136

Del Monte Pineapple
Being in Cagayan de Oro (near Bukidnon), I hear a lot of hype about Bukidnon's Del Monte pineapples. I was told by several people that the sweetest pineapples they've had was Del Monte, but you can't buy them outside the plantation - either you go to the clubhouse (golf course) or go to whatever country to where it's being exported. The good ones are earmarked for export, and the rejects are the ones that find its way in Cagayan de Oro's public markets. I heard that a certain Dr. Acosta 'designed' the pineapples to be sweet, without the bite and even have a tender core. I heard several varieties produced by Del Monte catering to different markets. There is the small petite pineapples for the Swiss market, a separate one for Korea, etc. I usually get my pineapples in Cogon Market for P20/kilo. They are the sweetest I've tasted. If the Del Monte variety is sweeter than that, I have to taste it for myself.

Del Monte Roast Beef
I was also told that Del Monte's roast beef is legendary - that it's the benchmark used by all roast beef restaurants...that it's often imitated but never duplicated. This was told to me by someone affiliated to a culinary group (who apparently made attempts at topping the Del Monte brand, it never quite made it).

Seen Better Days
Upon arrival at the Golf Course, I kind of expected a "Camp John Hay" - infrastructure reminiscent of colonial America where service is what you might get in an upscale suburban American diner (nothing over the top but cordial). From what I've seen, it looked more of a John Hay that has seen better times. Perhaps it had that grandeur a generation ago. But the whole dining area, although well kept, seem like a throw-back to a bygone era - the dated design, dated tables and chairs, etc. It was also very busy that I wasn't sure when a waiter would come to me. It took a while, but a waiter did take my order. Of course I ordered a freshly chopped pineapple and a roast beef sandwich

The Acid Test
Given the level of rhetorics, the expectation is naturally high. Now, it's time to put the hype on a litmus test - on my palate.

Pineapple Taste Test
It didn't even look bright yellow...but dull yellow. That's ok. I've tried dull yellow pineapples at Cogon Market and they were indeed sweet. On first bite, I was bracing myself for blow-your-doors-off sweetest! It was sour! It wasn't even sweet. I thought maybe it was my taste buds. I drank water, even gargled it. Took another bite. Sour! This thing is a dud! I tried eating some more hoping there is a piece that would be sweet...nothing. Worse, after a while, a strong bite covered my entire mouth. I couldn't touch it anymore. This one is a definite bust for me

Roast Beef
My expectation wasn't as high anymore. The bread looked appetizing...like it was pan fried with their special oil. The roast beef was tender. The taste was natural beef. I mean it didn't taste like seasoned viand. There was a littel mayo and a slight trimming of lettuce. But there was no sauce or gravy. The whole experience was promising but texture was dry. Without the gravy to complement the roast beef, it felt like eating hamburger without the catsup. Close to my last few bites, the waiter showed up. I asked him why the sandwich didn't come with gravy. What he said caused my jaw to drop. He said, "ooops, sorry, I forgot!" So, there was supposed to gravy to begin with!!!

Ending Thoughts

Dropping the Ball?
Del Monte has too much riding on the reputation of their pineapples and roast beef to drop the ball on this one. I don't think their standard has dropped to give way to cost-cutting. I think they still uphold the quality of what they serve - at least on paper. But in actual practice, I suspect their quality control has dropped immeasurably for something like this to happen under their very noses. Perhaps they just accept what goes on in the assembly line without checking them often enough or thorough enough.

Faded Glory
Or, on a grimmer scenario, perhaps their roast beef used to be the best and their pineapples used to be the sweetest. Everything is just riding on the reputation of things past....much like their structure.

Durian Saves the Day
Oh well, you can't win 'em all. At least I enjoyed exploring Sumalsag Cave. Later, I'll just help myself to a whole durian fruit. That should more than make up for it.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover your resort for this website (beach resort, mountain resort, island resort, etc.), email me.

How to Get to Del Monte Golf Course from Cagayan de Oro

  1. go to Agora Market and board any bus going to Valencia and tell the bus conductor to drop you off San Miguel for the Del Monte Golf Course. P30, 50 minutes
  2. from San Miguel, hire a habal-habal (single motorcycle) to drop you off Del Monte Golf Course. P10/pax, 5 minutes

How to Get to Del Monte Golf Course from Dalirig (if you came from Sumalsag Cave)

  1. from the main Highway, hail any bus or jeep going to Cagayan de Oro and ask to be dropped off at Barangay San Miguel. P15, 20 minutes
  2. from San Miguel, hire a habal-habal (single motorcycle) to drop you off Del Monte Golf Course. P10/pax, 5 minutes
P4210364 P4210365 P4210367
P4210369 P4210374 P4210375
P4210376 P4210377 P4210378

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Apr 21, 2013 Del Monte

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