Mahogany Market is home to purveyors of the popular Batangas beef. We used to buy beef from Tagaytay a lot a long time ago when the Tagaytay meat market was still located along the Aguinaldo highway. They have since moved to Mahogany road (going towards Taal Vista Hotel, when you see a fork in the road with a Petron Gas Station in the middle, take the right lane) leaving behind the dry goods section of the market where you still can buy loads of handicrafts, fruits, sweets, and other delicacies to take home as pasalubong. Somehow we found it too out of the way to go to. This is the first time I've ever visited the place and I have a feeling it won't be my last.
There are carinderias or a series of small canteens, located just across the market. You can order Tawilis (freshwater sardines found only in the Taal Lake) here and some ambulant vendors hawk assorted pasalubong fare like panucha, espasol, kalamay Indang, fresh pinipig, etc. all over the place. But inasmuch as these carinderias are strategically located near a meat market, their specialty, of course, is Bulalo. Bulalo is basically a Filipino Osso Buco. It's a dish made by boiling beef shank for hours on end (quicker when done with a pressure cooker) until the meat becomes tender and the connective tissues of the beef almost gelatinous. Vegetables like potatoes, green beans and cabbage and sometimes corn are thrown in after to complete the dish. This classic Filipino dish is made more special because of the marrow. Buttery in taste and silky in texture, bone marrow from Bulalo is best eaten mixed in piping hot steamed rice soaked in Bulalo soup. (Watch out for heartburns!)
If you're a meatlover, don't forget to take this little detour to Mahogany Market when you're in Tagaytay. The place is just bursting with interesting things to, uh, sink your teeth in to.
Photo credits: Digital Format