[ A Kapampangan Culinary Tour ] Conclusion: La Moderna, Sisig, and Gosioco House
LA MODERNA BAKERY
The stop at La Panaderia Moderna in Guagua was one of those Iâ€™ve been looking forward to for quite some time since our Good Friday Food Trip to
Ignacio and Maria Lansang Narciso started La Moderna almost a century ago in Sta. Rita town. In 1947, their son Pablo Narciso (with his wife Narcisa Carlos) transferred the bakery from Sta. Rita to its present location in Guagua, the town just across the highway, where it prospered into a thriving commercial establishment.
La Moderna, now run by Corazon Narciso Lagman, produces authentic Kapampangan delicacies using traditional pugon (wood-fired oven) like yema-cashew empanaditas, turrones de casuy, mamon tostado (toasted sweet butter cake), masa prodrida (shortbread cookies), sanikulas, sylvannas, sansrival, and gorgorias.
As they were the only loot I thought of bringing back home to
The first time I read about these Gorgorias in the Pilgrimâ€™s blog here and here two years ago, I could not help but imagine its texture and taste. Some time during my childhood, Iâ€™ve had something similar already. I just couldnâ€™t remember how my lola back then would call this delicacy she herself cooks. And I wasnâ€™t disappointed â€“ La Modernaâ€™s gorgorias tasted like my lolaâ€™s! Here they are . . .
La Moderna Bakery
Telephone: (45) 9000242
From La Moderna Bakery, we drove to Sta. Rita, another town across the highway from Guagua and were taken to a â€œsecretâ€ place that was â€œnot-so-secretâ€ to me anymore. Donâ€™t ask me why . . . Tee hee! After a few stops to ask for the right direction, we arrived at the Mahogany Farm in Sta. Rita, Pampanga. This particular stop wasnâ€™t in the original itinerary so it came as an added treat to the rest of guys in the tour.
Mahogany Farm is a private sprawl owned by Wilma Panlilio located in the middle of nowhere and filled with tall Mahogany trees. The â€œunpublicizedâ€ and â€œby-invitation-onlyâ€ property is accessed via a rough road from the barrioâ€™s main thoroughfare. Visitors arrive at a heavy wooden gate and walk through a narrow brick walkway lined with, well . . . mahogany trees!
Amongst the tall trees are the ownersâ€™ main house and several themed guesthouses following local Filipino theme.
The group, starting to feel the tour taking its toll, rested in a tented facility and had an interesting tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte with no other than the gracious host and owner herself – Ms. Myrna Panlilio, while savoring ensaymadas as afternoon snacks.
SISIG AT GUIDO’S PARALAYA
We reached KongWiâ€™s (Willie Carpio) joint called Guido’s Paralaya as the bells of Sta. Rita Church tolled for the Angelus. Guido’s Paralaya is located behind the Carpiosâ€™ ancestral house in front of the church.
Here, we were treated to a delish cocktail spread of sisig — in hot and cold variations which KongWiâ€™s family has perfected over the years. As I always would, I opted for the hot sisig which made me crave for a chilled bottle of beer!
Hereâ€™s an interesting bit about the sisig . . .
The sisig of today that most Filipinos know of is actually a variation of a generic Kapampangan term sisig, which means something sour and eaten by itself. Examples are unripe or half-ripe and naturally sour fruits like tamarind, guavas, and mangoes â€“ normally dipped in vinegar and salt.
Sizzling or not, todayâ€™s sisig started off as an innovative concoction (from an older recipe) of eateries in Angeles City during the â€˜70s and consists of pigâ€™s ears and jowl â€“ boiled, broiled, minced and usually seasoned with vinegar (or calamansi), onions, chillies, salt and pepper.
The older recipe is very much like what we had for lunch at Everybodyâ€™s Cafe â€“ that is pork ears and jowl, boiled, chopped then marinated for long periods of time before serving.
Apart from sisig which costs Php120.00 per order, Paralaya serves other popular pica-pica treats that go along very well with favorite cold drinks!
DINNER IS SERVED!
From Guidoâ€™s Paralaya, we walked over to the nearby Gosioco House for the final leg of this â€˜Viajeâ€™ — a dinner which was hosted by the Gosiocos - Atching May Gosioco Cuenco and Antoine Gosioco, and The Pilgrim – Karen.
I was really looking forward to this moment ever since I decided to join the tour. I tried to hide my excitement as KongWi pointed out to me The Pilgrimâ€™s own ancestral house when we passed by it.
Why was I excited?
When I started blogging two years ago, it was The Pilgrim — the very first blogger in the Philippine blogosphere whom I was introduced to by my friend and former colleague Iska. The Pilgrim and I became instant friends and spent long hours chatting online about food, culture, and many more. In other words, she was my blog mentor whom I learned a lot of things from.
Since coming home for good a year ago and in spite of numerous long telephone conversations, text messages, and numerous trips to
Subicand Pampanga, I never had the chance to meet The Pilgrim. It was â€˜virtualâ€™ friendship in the truest sense of the word! When we finally met at the Gosioco House, I gave her a surprise token that I have been keeping for two years — a framed, tiny sketch of an exhibition booth I designed for her a few weeks of meeting her online. Read the post about how I designed the post HERE . . .
Anyway, Karen, aka The Pilgrim in the blogosphere, is an ethno-wiz (Development Studies graduate of Ateneo and who also taught Environmental Science in the same school) and calls herself â€œan entrepreneur and a policy researcher who has no formal cooking training.â€ It was from Karen whom I first learned about the â€˜Viaje.â€™ Karen was also one of the culinary resource persons for the first two runs which I initially was invited to and missed.
The gardens of the Gosioco ancestral house or Salaria as it is more popularly known in Sta. Rita, Pampanga, was already set for an al fresco dinner when we got there.
Salaria, one of the surviving ancestral homes in this town was built in 1849 by Domingo and Pascuala Gosioco. Salaria derives its name from the Spanish word â€œSerreriaâ€, which means a place for candle making. Salaria has become a landmark in the town of Sta. Rita and is famous for its authentic and original home furnishings.
Interior shots of the Gosioco House courtesy of Aileen Tan.
Prior to the dinner, Atching Antoine Gosioco and Atching May Gosioco Cuenco gave everyone a private guided tour of the residence which I personally missed since I was busy chatting with Karen and catching up with a lot of stuff including the newly-proclaimed governor of Pampanga, Among Ed Panlilio. And guess what, two weeks later I personally meet the charismatic priest-turned-governor at his campaign offices in San Fernando City — aptly called EdQuarters. Well, thatâ€™s another story for the books! Tee hee!
Above photo (from left): Karlo De Leon of Alquimista, Antoine Gosioco, Charley Bautista and Vinnie Braga; the author with the Pilgrim who was wearing a traditional ensemble of baro’t saya – all of which from the inner garment called naguas, the kimona top to the saya (long skirt), are from her lola (grandmother).
Now, back to the food . . . For dinner, we were treated to a feast of authentic Kapampangan dishes based heavily on heirloom recipes (which combines the Chinese and Spanish culinary influences of their ancestors) and were personally cooked by Atching May Gosioco and Karen. We feasted on some Gosioco family favourites like Pochero Gallina or Pocherong Manok (a stew of chicken, vegetables and plantain banana), Albondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce), and Tipe Kamangyang (sauteed stringbeans and its sprouts). And to top off the sumptuous meal was a concoction of refreshing buko (young coconut) juice drink with dayap (lime).
Salaria | Gosioco House
Sta. Rita, Pampanga
Telephone: +63-45-9000592 / +63-927-5398391
- VIAJENG CUSINANG MATUA
- VIAJENG CUSINANG MATUA
- VIAJENG CUSINANG MATUA
- THE FIFTH DUMAN FESTIVAL [Sta. Rita, Pampanga]
It has been five long months since my last post here. Prior to that, nothing much as well - even... [ read further . . . ]