For Rica Dakudao Buenaflor, it was passion calling her.
Her move to Bicol in the early 2000s (where her husband Carlo is a proud local) is a watershed moment in her personal narrative: treading a path in the elevation of regional, heritage cuisine. From pioneering #BestOfBicol (a collective aiming to promote the best of the region) to heading the research and development team of Que Pasa, a Bicolano-Spanish restaurant in Naga City), the now Le Cordon Bleu Paris-schooled Chef looks back at many afternoons watching their local household preparing, among other dishes, the famous laing, Bicol’s passport to global culinary fame. The rest, as they say, is beautiful history.
Today, our eponymous brand of premium delicatessen crafted in Bicol for Filipinos around the world, Que Rica is a family of inspired, empowered individuals. From the community of women in Gainza, Camarines Sur where our bottled products are made to the Pili nut farmers in Irosin, Sorsogon, our products are crafted in small batches— little gifts that pack passion, community, and authenticity in delicious, novel ways.
Our best-selling laing longganisa marries the tradition of longganisa with the iconic Bicolano staple laing. Made through the use of a local gabi variety called balitaka (sourced through a Bicol-based farmer’s cooperative), ground pork, bird’s eye chili (labuyo) and coconut milk, the laing longganisa is a rich, savory choice that’s made for anyone looking for a flavorful adventure. Try it for breakfast with fried rice and eggs, pair it with your favorite bread as a sandwich, or enjoy it on its own with your favorite beer. Our libas-smoked bacon (libas, or common hog plum is used widely in the region to introduce sourness to sinigang, and may also be cooked with coconut milk) and chorizo hubad (a flavorful Spanish-style chorizo best with bread or rice) are also perfect for breakfast!
Partnering with the women of Gainza in Camarines Sur, we’ve come up with a way for our customers to enjoy Bicol cuisine anywhere and in turn providing livelihood to this town thirty minutes outside the city of Naga. Try our bottled vegetarian laing (keto-friendly and has no shrimp nor meat), sinantolan (minced cotton fruit cooked in coconut milk), and taba ng talangka (crab roe perfect for pasta) as sides.
Our exquisite Irosin, Sorsogon-sourced Pili nuts prove that resilience is a Bicolano trait we embody. Crafted by nature under severe weather conditions with the region’s mineral-rich volcanic soils and typhoon-battered terrains, Bicol’s Pili nuts are not only the most delicious but also the Earth’s healthiest nut! Our premium Pili nuts come in three exciting flavors: Pili nuts with truffle pecorino, with Himalayan salt, and if you’re into sweets, our PiliCoffee cluster bombs. If you’re into making healthy bowls, trail mixes, or cooking, our skinless Pili nuts work perfectly.
With each of our product packed by hand at the source, we ensure a genuine love for food, our customers, and community. Que Rica faces the future with a breathtaking vision not only for the brand but for the many lives— Bicolanos or otherwise—it encourages, empowers, transforms. Dios Mabalos!