Baclayon is known locally as the pastry capital of Bohol. This pastry making activity dates back to the Spanish times. It is said that because of the volume of egg whites that were used for the construction of the church, the Spaniards taught the locals how to make cookies and other pastries while utilizing the egg yolks.
The skill in pastry making had been handed down from generation to generation. Most families k now the intricate procedure of pastry making yet only a few went into the process of producing more, packaging them, then marketing them locally and abroad.
The well known products are the now famous “Lady Fingers” or broas, the peanut bars, baked polvoron, and cookies of various sizes and shape. Most of these products are sold in local markets (50%), in Cebu and Manila (10% each), and a 30% bulk is well received in Mindanao. From these outlets, the products eventually reached foreign markets as “pasalubongs” or gifts.
What helped to make these pastries known throughout the world were trade fairs set up by the local and provincial government in a unified effort to establish markets and help the people to grow economically. Various ways and means are now being implemented to enhance the product physically and aesthetically for global marketing.
There are two (2) locally known bulk producers in Baclayon: Israel Pastries and Tessie’s Sweets and Pastrie. The former is owned by Mario Israel and the later by Teresita Pagdato; both residing in the Poblacion area.
One producer is located just across the street at the back of the Baclayon Church. On display are broas, peanut bars, cookies, polvoron and other sweet concoctions. The products are packed in plastic while those in bulk, especially the broas are in large paper bags. Those in paper bags are for immediate consumption for its crispiness will not last long.
For added information, the broas are not only for direct consumption but are also used to line or add bulk to refrigerator cakes. How this is done is by filling the bottom of a pan with broas, then alternating with cream mixed with fruits until the pan is full.
Here’s one recipe that you surely will enjoy. My mom, who hails from Bohol, taught me how to prepare it when I was still a kid. For sure, this recipe will not last long in the refrigerator!
1 bar Anchor butter
1 can condensed milk
1 can magnolia cream
1 can fruit cocktail
Lady Fingers (broas)
Beat the butter until it is light and creamy. Add the eggyolks, one at a time. Add the milk and cream. At this juncture, you can either fold in the fruit cocktail or put it on the pan alternately with the cream and broas.
Put a thin layer of the butter mixture at the bottom of your container or pan then fill up with the broas. Cover the broas with another layer of butter mixture, with or decorated with the fruits. Do this alternately until the pan is full. Refrigerate.
Note: Please use real butter, not margarine or any substitute. It is by far better and healthier!