We recently tried a Spanish juice brand called Don Simon. When Mark told his colleague from Spain about it, he was surprised and asked, “Is it in the Philippines now?” Thanks to Espa-Fil Market, Don Simon juices, sparkling wines, and other drinks are now available in the country.
Don Simon is a household name in Spain that boasts of 120 years of expertise in creating juices and wines. So when we were reviewing their drinks, we thought of writing it from the lens of someone who grew up with the brand.
Meet Josu. He is Mark’s colleague who stayed in the Philippines for a few months this year. He hails from Bilbao, an industrial city in Northern Spain, and the largest city in the Basque country. We asked him a couple of questions about his hometown, his Philippine experience, and of course, Don Simon.
If we can spend one day in Bilbao, Spain, where will you take us and what activities can we try out?
First of all, I would bring you to the Guggenheim Museum, the principal attraction of the city. The ticket is quite cheap and the expositions and the building itself are impressive. Then, I would bring you to the old town of the city, where the cathedral and the iconic streets are located. There, I would look for a traditional Basque restaurant where we can have a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, I would take you to one big park with great sights of the city to relax with the landscape. Finally, to end the day, I would show you another iconic building for the city, the San Mames football stadium.
When you were staying in the Philippines, what similarities did you notice between Spanish and Filipino cultures?
At first what I noticed was that Filipinos use Spanish expressions and words in their own language, which helped me to communicate better with them. Also, I realized that some dishes or the cuisine had similarities with Spanish ones, for example, the Paella. Furthermore, I noticed that family is a core value in Filipino society just like in Spain.
What Filipino foods did you try? Did you like them?
I tried a little bit of everything. The most remarkable ones were the chicken feet, chicken intestines, and the mangoes. But, overall, the food was really good and I liked it. [At first] it was a little bit spicy for me. But after some time, I got used to it. However, I think Filipinos eat too much rice.
What Spanish foods would you like us to try? And why?
I would recommend “tortilla de patata” or Spanish omelet and “alubias” also known as beans. For me, they are cheap meals, relatively easy to cook, and they both are really tasty.
We are currently partnering with Don Simon drinks. Would you like to share some fond memories about their products?
I had great experiences while drinking Don Simon juices, I find them very good. In Spain, it is known because they also sell wine among their other products and young people drink it a lot.
What Don Simon products would you like us to try?
I suggest you try their juices at first, and if you like them, then you can try their wine.
Do you have a specific Don Simon juice flavor that you like?
The orange one (naranja)
Our dreams of travel are dampened by this pandemic. Perhaps, the best we could have for now is to experience a bit of Spain in a cold glass of Don Simón juices. We tried their Sparkling Grape Juice and Apple Juice.
Sparkling White Grape Juice
This non-alcoholic drink has a real-grape taste that’s different from most of the ones that are available locally. You get a sweet and tangy taste when it hits your tastebuds and then realize that this is what pure grape juice tastes like (for our artificial-grape flavor trained tongues, that is). It’s carbonated so it adds a lot of fun to the drinking. Our little boy liked it!
Don Simon’s Apple Juice (Manzana) was refreshing with its real fruit taste that’s tangy–something we find lacking in some juices since real apples do have that–and not too sweet.
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