It was given to my mum as Christmas present together with other homemade local products. She thinks I am a bit obsessed with it because I wouldn’t stop talking or giggling about it. I was giggling because the name was so unexpected and I kept talking about it because of the image the name projected which was both humorous and slightly off-putting. The label read Oya and a search on Google led to a Facebook page Oya bakes filled with photos of the numerous bazaars she has attended to sell her products – selling for PhilP100 a piece – that came from a “tiny kitchen and made with local ingredients and love”. She has a wide array of preservative-free jams such as pineapple vanilla, piña colada, guava vanilla, and a banana-rum jam called Drunk Monkey. Oya also sells jars of savory products such as bagoong (fermented fish or krill), chili garlic oil, and boneless tuyo (dried, salted fish) in oil.
What had me in a fit of giggles was the new jam – Butt Monkey. I had to re-read the label twice – it truly said Butt Monkey, a spread composed of banana, lemon juice, butter, brown sugar, and love. Interesting spread! The analogy that came to mind is kopi luwak (or Indonesian civet) which is truly fantastic coffee once you have come to grips with its origin. Both the name, image, and true origin of kopi luwak are far more jaw-dropping than Butt Monkey given the circumstances, so I ventured to try the jam. Butt Monkey is as humorous as it is tasty. Spreading it on toasted bread, the butterscotch jam had this sweet – but not cloying – strong banana taste that did a wonderful dance with the citrusy lemon juice. The balance between sweet and citrusy didn’t leave a heavy feel on the palate that other jams are wont to leave after a few bites. In fact, everything was light yet filling. I still giggled after the last bite.