Ten Gas Station Store Finds: Select Magallanes EditionAugust 6, 2015
The Shell Select store in Magallanes has proven to be more than your run-of-the-mill gas station store; behind its glass doors is a treasure trove of unique sundries you wouldn’t expect to find at a gas station. Shell Select offers a range of food, from the famed Polly’s chocolate cake to more unusual items like salted duck eggs. We picked out 10 of the most unique foods from Shell Select you may want to check out for yourself next time you’re running low on gas.
1. La Favorita Cheese Pie
This sparked my curiosity because its basic packaging made it look subpar but at the same time, drew my attention because it didn’t resemble any pie that I’ve ever seen. Upon first glance, you would think it would be some sort of savory cheese flatbread, but much to my surprise, it was a dessert that tasted more like an ensaymada, sans the mound of butter and sugar on top. However, unlike an ensaymada, its texture was a lot denser and crumbled rather easily when peeled from the paper plate it was on, like a sweet and salty blondie bar.
2. A2K Bangkok Deli’s Durian Chips
Being a fan of durian, these chips called out to me. However, they turned out to be disappointingly dull and lacked flavor; so much so that if it weren’t on the label, I wouldn’t have known they were supposed to taste like durian. Even when opened, the bag did not waft with the smell of the notorious fruit. However, it could be a good transition to actual durian for those who are reluctant to try it because of the smell.
3. A2K Bangkok Deli’s Crispy Salmon Skin
Right under the shelf with the candied tamarinds is this serious food find. It is crunchier than you think fish skin would be, tastes almost like chicharon, and has a spicy kick to it that, depending on your spice tolerance level, may be too strong or just right. It makes for great pika-pika or something moreish to bring along on a road trip.
4. Goldenduck Salted Duck Eggs
Needless to say, a pack of salted duck eggs is quite an unorthodox food item to have in a gas station store. These premium duck eggs tasted like the standard salted duck egg, with slightly salted whites and a grainy yolk. If you’re ever in the Magallanes area and in need of salted duck eggs to top your bibingka or ensalada, Shell Select has them in the refrigerated section right next to the Arizona iced tea.
5. Breadhouse Cheese Pimiento with Queso de Bola
This unconventional gas station food item is located in the freezer with the frozen garlic butter baguettes and several other kinds of spreads. The queso de bola worked well with the pimiento, making it a pretty good dip all in all, and an awesome alternative to the ever faithful Cheez Whiz.
6. Polly’s Caramel Chocolate Cake
Polly’s Chocolate Cake is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve probable ever had, especially coming from a gas station store. I’ve had it as birthday cakes several times and it’s always a crowd pleaser. Select sells them whole in boxes or in slices behind a special counter for Polly’s baked goods. If you’re getting a slice, make sure you grab the corner piece!
7. All-Natural Veggie Sticks (Cheese)
It was the (pseudo-?) healthy twist to the Filipino favorite, shing-a-ling that caught my attention; each veggie sticks pack came with carrot, squash, malunggay, and sugar beet veggie sticks. . . all generously powdered with bright orange cheese powder. The malunggay veggie sticks had a particularly distinct taste but because of the salty cheese powder, the rest of the veggie sticks tasted the same. A word of caution, these are ADDICTING— “I’ll just have one” really won’t cut it. Don’t worry though, the packet boasts of being all-natural and preservative-free, which you can keep in mind while you lick off the all-too-familiar cheesy orange fingertips of shame.
8. Mary Margaret’s Torta Española de Cebu
A perfect pair for coffee or tea, the tortas are subtly sweet and its texture is a cross between bibingka and mamon, as it was relatively dense but also fluffy at the same time. But it’s really the anise which takes centre stage on these merienda teacakes. Its fragrance has a bite of its own.
9. Brazo de Mercedes by Cielin’s Cakehouse
Lo and behold, along the middle shelves in the baked goods section had this Brazo de Mercedes by Cielin’s Cakehouse. The meringue’s caramelized outer layer gave it a subtle, chewy bite while the inside was soft and fluffy, yet still sturdy enough to last outside of the fridge. The custard filling was just the right amount of sweet, making the Brazo pretty good overall.
10. Castillejo Agrifarm Calamansi Marmalade
This Filipino twist to an English staple made me wonder why it isn’t more common. Since marmalade is typically made with citrus fruit, and calamansi is local in the Philippines, I was surprised it wasn’t already an option in breakfast spreads at least Nevertheless, even with just one little spoonful to taste, the marmalade was rich with the tanginess and distinct flavor of calamansi. I imagine it would go great on toast, glazed on a cheesecake of some sort, or swirled into some muffin batter before baking.