On one of my many trips to London's Chinatown, in one of the alleys lined with red lanterns, I found gold! Vegan food gold, that is - which is worth MORE than real gold, I'm tellin' ya!
A jar of inconspicuous, thick brown mass was sitting quietly on a shelf in an Oriental supermarket until I picked it up, read the ingredients, and did not believe my eyes. All-vegan. Delicious. New. Exciting. I had to have it!
I bought a jar of "Matamis Na Bao", took it home and heard the angels sing as I opened the jar. This is a thick, sweet, syrupy stuff made from fresh coconut juice and sugar. It smells - and tastes divine.
"Matamis Na Bao" is a traditional spread from The Philippines, usually eaten on toast and used to make other desserts. Other varieties of this coconut jam are enjoyed throughout the region - in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Before I became vegan, I was a vegetarian for many years. I used to devour jars of "Dulce de Leche", the Argentinian condensed, caramelised milk spread made by slowly simmering milk and sugar for hours.
"Matamis Na Bao" is a fantastic vegan alternative to "Dulce de Leche". It has the same thick, creamy and milky taste, but with a hint of fresh coconut.
Try it as it is, straight from the jar. If refrigerated, it will thicken even more and be quite hard to get out of the jar.
"Matamis Na Bao" is absolutely amazing on ice-cream or on toast, but it really shines when used as glazing on vegan muffins. Make sure the muffins have cooled down, and that Matamis is at a room temperature. Use a knife, and spread thinly and evenly on top of each muffin.
I guarantee you and your friends will enjoy this. It'll send your muffins to another galaxy. I'm not bluffing!
Have you tried Matamis before? Any other tips on how to use it? Let me know by leaving a comment below.