The Pepper Team’s Favorite Posts for 2013

The past twelve months has been a really crazy time for Pepper.ph. Since the relaunch, we’ve had a ton of memorable experiences we were lucky enough to share with you guys (plus a few we’d rather everyone just forget). It’s been a true roller coaster ride, filled with exciting highs and embarrassing lows, but you couldn’t pay us enough to get off.

Out of the literally hundreds of articles we’ve published this year, it’s inevitable that a few would become our favorites, not because they were the most popular, but because of that special something, from a comment’s section that went collectively insane to a post that simply had pretty pretty pictures, that made it truly stand out in our eyes. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the Pepper.ph team’s favorite posts for the year 2013.

1. Unraveling the Not-So-Dirty Secret of Dirty Ice Cream


2. 7 Ways to Not Get Fat During the Holidays


According to statistics (that don’t exist and I’ve just dreamt up right now), the average adult will be invited to approximately 24 Christmas parties during the entire holiday season, of which he or she will definitely attend 16. Aside from the gifts, the fake smiles, and the drunk flirting that goes on at these events, another thing that is always present is food—mountains of it. With all the lechon, bagnet, kare-kare, hamon, and pancit on seductive display, it’s almost impossible to not succumb.

Gaining a pound or ten during the holidays is not only expected, but inevitable. Of course, you could just continue to eat sensibly and exercise regularly even though it’s Christmas, but who’d do that? That’s insane. For a much more logical approach, check out my 7 ways to not get fat during the holidays.

 3. 7  Basic Table Props for Food Photographers 

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4. 7 Times You’ll Think You’re Sad (But You’re Really Just Hungry)


Look at babies. They’d bump their head, they cry. You take away their favorite teddy bear, they cry. You don’t let them stick their finger in the shiny industrial electric fan, they cry. They see the blood-drenched ghost of a dead revolutionary floating behind you at night (that you never see because the spirit disappears the moment you turn around), and, you guessed right, they cry. But no matter what the reason is for their unhappiness, a big warm bottle of milk always shuts them up. They weren’t really sad, just hungry. And chances are, so are you.

5. The Art of Confit 


6. An Obsessive Guide to Making Perfect Choux Pastry aka Cream Puffs

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7. 7 Childhood Snacks We Miss (That They Should Bring Back) 


This morning, after I finished yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn and to always say no to drugs (a daily habit), I realized how much things have changed since I was little. We now all live in a completely different post-Ang TV world: cabs are more expensive, Michael V is a comedian instead of a rapper, computers no longer sound like they’re opening the gates to hell every time you use the internet, and it’s apparently okay for straight guys to have crushes on other men as long as those other men are all Ryan Gosling.

Even worse, so many of the wonderful snacks and drinks we used to stuff our faces with are no longer available.  Instead of all the weird stuff they ply kids with nowadays, don’t you wish they would just bring back a few of these seven classics?

8. 5 Slightly Disturbing Restaurant Logos in the Philippines 


In the ruthlessly competitive food industry, only the most brand-savvy companies are recognized worldwide. Think McDonald’s and Starbucks. However, it is simply impossible for all logos to become iconic. For every Golden Arches, there are thousands of bland, uninspired Kowloon Houses.

But then, there are special cases. Some restaurants use logos that beg of its owners/graphic designers the question, “What have you been smoking?” Behold, the following are examples of funny logos that elicit laughter from incredibly observant and shallow people like me.

9. 10 Geeky Eats We Wish Were Real 


It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with. You’re in front of the television, watching spaceships shoot lasers at flying saucers, or curled up under your comforter, reading about dragons, and demons, and whatnot. Then the protagonist starts eating something you’ve never heard of.  Your mouth starts to water.  You try to ignore it, but then your stomach growls. “Damn it,” you say to yourself, “Now, I’m hungry.”

We all envied Dany when she chowed down on that raw horse heart in Game of Thrones(We all did, right? It wasn’t just me?). There’s just something about the otherworldly stuff, the dishes you’d never get to try in real life, that’s so darn appetizing. In celebration (or lamentation) of that fact, here are ten geeky edibles we all wish were available at the nearest Shopwise.

10. Tray’s Anatomy: Chicken Mcdo vs. Kfc vs. Chickenjoy 


An astute observation from the comments section (when it inexplicably went insane for reasons unknown months after the post was published):

Habang ang iba may problema sa pinsala ni yolanda, may mga makikitid na utak na nakikipagaway pa dahil lang sa manok. ba yan.

11. 7 Laws of Coffee Shop Camping 

As a law student, I quickly learned that studying at coffee shops provided numerous advantages. To the dismay and irritation of most normal coffee shop customers, we students congregate in such places because they really are more productive when we do so. However, since your local Starbucks is a public setting, we do have to make an effort to get along with the other people there. Before you go strutting off to your local coffee shop with all your work in tow, here are some rules to make the experience more pleasant for both students and professionals alike (and friends who just want to hang out).

12. 7 Reasons Why Bagnet is Better than a Boyfriend 


Bagnet takes more effort to cook and prepare than lechon kawali. It requires longer and multiple dunks in hot oil in order to achieve the uniform crunch that makes it truly authentic. The result is crisp porky heaven that’s so good, I’m willing to go against Internet groupthink and declare it better than (gasp!) bacon. Heck, I think it’s even better than your boyfriend. Why? Read on to find out.

13. 7 Stages of Caffeine Addiction


Caffeine is both the highest-selling and most widely-used drug in the world.  You’re probably hooked on it, along with your mom, your dad, and every other person who has ever needed to wake up early, or stay up late. When ingested, this highly addictive stimulant wakes you up, keeps you focused, and improves your athletic performance—until its effects wear off, that is. Without a regular hit, users turn surly, uncoordinated, and so delicate that thinking too hard makes their brains hurt. But fortunately, you can easily cure that by drinking more caffeine.

Whether you prefer to take your poison through a simple cup of joe or in a bottle of suspiciously fizzy, neon-colored energy drink, all true caffeine junkies go through the same stages in their relationship with the stuff. If you’re hopelessly hooked like me, this list will be intimately familiar. And if you aren’t, you could either take this as a warning or an invitation. Your call.

14. Fake Twix Recipe

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15. 6 Snack Ideas That Should Already Exist (But Don’t) 


16. The 5 Coffee Campers You See Everyday 

The Power Mom

Spending hours glued to my seat with just a law book (yes, on a bookstand) for company can get pretty tedious. It’s not at all quaint, despite what Taylor Swift would have you believe. Even if you’re hardly moving, camping at your local Starbucks for extended periods can get draining. It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a few a people who (oddly) seem to thrive amidst the freezing temperatures, overpriced beverages, and the rude wildlife hogging the power outlets at your neighborhood coffee house. Here’s a handy guide to help you spot (and survive) these caffeine-fueled creatures.

17. The Secret History Behind Pan de Regla and Other Panaderia Eats


Like a lot of things in our culture, the art of baking bread was introduced by Caucasian invaders (who probably weren’t used to eating all that rice). The Spanish government put up the first bakery in the country around 1631, sourcing wheat flour from China and substituting our native tuba wine for sour dough. When the Americans came in, they brought with them baking powder, yeast, baking sheets, and automatic slicers. But a quick glance at any local bakery will tell you that we’ve turned this bread business into something that’s very much our own.

18. Jollibee Poutine: Everything Jollibee in One Dish 

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19. Yabu Rosu Katsu Food Hack 



What were your favorite articles from Pepper for 2013? Share your picks below!

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