Feature: Ju.D's Fruitcake

Saturday, December 09, 2017

     You know that Christmas is just around the corner if you see well-loved desserts are on display on store shelves or in reunions and gatherings. Fiesta ham, queso de bola, 'bibingka and puto bumbong' are a few but the stars of this season.

     For the so-called "Titos and Titas of Manila", there's a holiday dessert that screams Christmas- fruitcake! Fruitcake is a cake that is made from dried fruits and nuts and spirits. It's a classic and well-loved cake by many and there's one name that you can trust when it comes to authentic fruitcakes. Meet Ju.D's Fruitcake after the jump!

Feature: Ju.D's Fruitcake

Ju.D's Fruitcake

     It was in 1975 when Ju.D Lao started selling fruitcakes. A two-pound loaf was only P50 at the time. The Philippine population was at 35 million and the average salary was just a bit more than a hundred pesos a day. Ju.D’s business has endured the scarcity of imported ingredients, devaluation of the peso, and all sorts of calamities. She recalls baking at midnight during the period of rotating brownouts. 

Feature: Ju.D's Fruitcake

     Through it all, she has maintained the quality of her products. “We have been consistent and have never changed any ingredient, we always see to it that what we offer is the best,” she guarantees.

     Her classic recipe was inspired by a trip to Switzerland where she was introduced to fruitcake that she enjoyed. “It was the first time that I tasted fruitcake that was so good, I wanted very badly to bring that experience to the people back home,” she reveals, admitting that she was once among those who took no delight in eating fruitcake.

Feature: Ju.D's Fruitcake

     After months of hard work in the kitchen, she was able to come up with a recipe that attracted the attention of family and friends. Being a Fine Arts graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, she also took care of her own branding and packaging design. 

     “I’ve never attended cooking classes, but I love to read cook books. I do a lot of experimentations on recipes that catch my fancy. And since I’m from a big family, I am never never short of guinea pigs or should I say, brave and curious souls,” explains Ju.D who has authored two Vegetarian cookbooks for the TzuChi Foundation which are available in the different TzuChi chapters all over the world. 

Feature: Ju.D's Fruitcake
Ju.D Classic Fruitcake (Original Recipe)
2-lb loaf, sealed in plastic bag, inside red gift box P1,200

     Her workforce of 10 has been composed of neighbour’s maids, out of school youth, parents from public schools who are financially strapped but cannot take on regular jobs. “We only produce a lot of fruitcakes during Christmas season and we cannot afford to hire regular employees so this arrangement has been a win-win situation for all of us,” she reasons. “I remember a few years back, we had a group of young ladies from the El Shaddai Choir who came to help us, and from time to time they’ll burst into a song while working. That was a very lovely and memorable Christmas for us,” she muses.

Ju.D's Creations

     1980- fruitcake cookies which she calls “Chewy Chewkies” that tastes like fruitcake but without the brandy. 

Feature: Ju.D's Fruitcake
8 x 150g mini loaves, individually wrapped, inside a stone-grey box
2 Classic, 2 Ju.D Blue (Blue Mountain Coffee Fruitcake), 2 Coffee Prune Cake, 2 Golden Fruitcake (with Apricots and Red Cranberries) P950.00

     1990- Ju.D experimented some more and worked on different flavors for fruitcakes giving birth to Ju.D Gold- with apricots and red cranberries, Ju.D Blue- Blue Mountain Coffee fruitcakes, and Ju.D Coffee Prune Cake. Her box of mini fruitcakes contains a sampling of the different flavors. 

For orders and inquiries, you may call (02) 633-1188 or (02) 633-0260. 
Products may be picked up from #50 Greenmeadows Avenue, Quezon City or shipped via courier.

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