Issue of July 16, 2017

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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3,000 folks partake of biggest vegetable salad
by Ofelia C. Empian

PROUDLY BENGUET VEGGIE SALAD — Assorted vegetables grown in Benguet were mixed to produce the largest veggie salad that was served to more than 3,000 people at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post. Gracing the event organized by the League of Associations at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Areas Inc. which is vying for a possible entry to the Guinness World Records in the future, are La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso and Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan. — Ofelia Empian

Around 3,000 people partook of the biggest vegetable salad served to the public at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post as part of its 1st foundation day celebration in the capital town of Benguet.

Weighing about 1.3 tons and with a diameter of 20 x 22 feet, the vegetable salad was made of locally grown fresh organic vegetables, namely romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes with broccoli, cauliflower, and marble potatoes on the side.

“This event was organized to further promote Benguet’s vegetable industry,” said Nora Ganase, president of the League of Associations at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Areas Inc., which organized the event in coordination with the La Trinidad local government.

The group composed of stakeholders of the local vegetable industry such as farmers, buyers, disposers, packers and porters represents 16 organizations engaged in business at the La Trinidad vegetable trading area.

Ganase said the group also organized the event to boost promotion of the town’s trading post, which is considered as one of the tourism sites in the municipality.

La Trinidad-based culinary school, SKD Academy, prepared the vegetable salad that was served with strawberry, balsamic vinaigrette, and mango dressings.

“We served three different dressings because people have different tastes when it comes to salad,” said SKD Campus Director and part owner Jonathan Micua.

SKD stationed 60 Culinary students and three executive chefs who were instrumental in creating the giant vegetable salad.

Admittedly, Ganase said they went ahead with the foundation day event without consulting with the LGU.

There is no ordinance backing July 13 as the founding anniversary of the USAID-funded vegetable trading post, although it is the date of its completion back in 1984 as written in the LTVTP’s profile. 

“We meant well in pursuing the event to showcase our vegetable industry here,” she said, adding the activity was funded through solicitations from various agencies and individuals and voluntary contributions of stakeholders.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda lauded the group’s effort in staging the first celebration ever.

“We appreciate the league’s effort because it is for the promotion of La Trinidad as well,” he said.

Vice Mayor Joey Marrero said they would propose an ordinance institutionalizing the event.

The organizers are also aiming to enter the largest vegetable salad into the Guinness World Record in the nearest future just like the largest Strawberry Shortcake prepared by the municipality in 2004.

At the moment, the largest salad is 20,100 kg (44,312 lb 14 oz) and was achieved by Mouzenidis Travel (Russia), on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Sept. 4, 2016. It was a Greek salad consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, feta cheese, olive oil, oregano and salt.

“There is no pure green salad yet,” Ganase said.

Aside from the largest salad, other activities were conducted in the event such as skills competitions, vegetable landscaping, carving, quiz, musical solo contests joined by farmers and traders in the vegetable trading post area.

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