LAOAG CITY — For over 160 years, Destileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc., a world-class producer of distilled spirits and alcoholic beverages in the country was inspired to come up with another baby, this time, setting its sight to Ilocos Norte’s garlic and dragon fruit as raw ingredients.

Known for its excellent brand of distilled spirits, whiskies, brandies, gins, rums, vodkas, tequilas, cocktails, herbal and sweet wines, and the original medicinal wines, the company launched early this month its latest edition of dragon fire wine and Imeldifique cooking wine. The source of raw materials such as garlic and dragon fruit came from this province.

“This is a significant project because the products [Dragon fire wine and Imeldifique wine) are produced by Destileria Limtuaco & Co., Inc., the oldest distillery in the country,” said Provincial Tourism Officer Ianree Raquel on Monday citing this is a remarkable event for the province of Ilocos Norte that enables a big company to produce products inspired from the province.

While eyeing the international market to promote these new products, the Ilocos Norte government hopes these products will boost local production and encourage more investments in this northern gateway of Luzon.

Meanwhile, small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) also continue to innovate export-ready and top quality products in the region.

Last Saturday, the three-day Ilocos Norte Food Expo (INFOTEX) culminated with the ultimate culinary showdown among students from different schools here.

The contested activities also include table setting, cake decorating, fruit and vegetable carving, local cuisine cook-off and dessert bake-off.

“INFOTEX has been greatly supported by Governor Imee Marcos. We would like to thank her for continuously being part of the activities of BRAIN (Bakers and Restaurant Association of Ilocos Norte) — for giving us the venue and for all the things that we need to make this (event) work,” said Pamela Aragoza, a well-known restaurateur and INFOTEX organizer.

Now in its third year, the INFOTEX continue to inspire SMEs in the province and showcased best of Ilocos Norte’s food products.

Believing that SMEs have an important role in the economic growth of the province, Marcos has actively shown support by providing them financial assistance as well as opportunities to promote their products and services. PNA