Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quan Delicacies by Pueblo

At the 26th Negros Trade Fair, I got really surprised knowing that Pueblo had a spot there.   Pueblo  is the place in  Dian,  Makati,  where we get our "Puto" for every church activities where we have lunch or snacks after.   It is where I had  found my "Puto,"  the only  puto made from rice that I liked.  There are several shops claiming theirs is the best, but i still preferred the ones from Pueblo.   Since then it as the only puto my kids had tried.    My daughter, Danielle  was only 3 years old then,  now  she's 13, though I thought Pueblo might not be there anymore where we would buy our puto and  homemade jams, since we moved to Cavite to settle for 3 and a half years, now we've been back in Manila for more than 3 years already and then Pueblo came to mind.

Puto or known as steamed rice muffin in an online English Dictionary, has two types actually.  The other one is made with rice flour (can also be ground rice) or and the one with regular cake or all-purpose flour.  Hhmm,  there is a big difference in the texture of both cakes, the first one is more grainy but tastier and flavorful and very versatile when essences or toppings are added.   On the other hand, when flour is used the cake may seem fluffier and softer, though some may find it a boring, just like any bread or commercial simple or muffins.

To date, I ever have tried making it, though I cook and bake a lot.  I never even tempted to study any recipe of it.

Going back to that Saturday treat at the 26th Negros fair, I was introduced to Mr. Zeno Martinez,  he then boasted off whilst asking if I have tried Puto Pao.   I said to myself, DUH!?, the famous Puto Pao of the South (means Laguna) is not an unfamiliar thing for me.   When I had a first taste of it when I was in college, when a course mate offered me to buy some to help out her Tita, I then searched Manila where I can have my fill when I desire for it.   Thank God for   SM Hypermart's  Weekend  Market Treats and for Market!  Market's!  Regional  Market Spot.

Till Zeno uttered the "Do you know that!" catch phrase of the moment.    "Do you know that the original Puto Pao came from Negros, No, not from Laguna,"  as his convincing words.   As he was leading me to the area where Pueblo was situated.   All I said was, "REALLY?!" or was it "REALLY NOW?!"    And he introduced me to Agnes Cuenca, the owner of Quan Delicacies and Pueblo.  She told me that it was when bakers at that time, 80's era, had trouble looking for sufficient flours for their baking needs.   Siopao was very  salable and many Negrenses find delight in it, so she thought of using rice flour instead of the usual all-purpose flour and it turned out to be this delectable Puto-pao.   I love how the pork filling was cooked.   The meat was soft with the sauce that's clinging to the meat without getting runny on the whole bun.   See how compact the whole puto and filling is?   It's like having the goodness of both the all-time faves,  Chinese style and the Holy Grail of all native delicacies, Puto.   I have yet to check out Pueblo in Makati if they have this there.

This is their Guava Jam.  This thick amalgam of citrus and sugar, brings back seasons of  playful childhood rummaging in the kitchen after hours of afternoon playing out at the streets.   Now I'm dreaming of bukayo, cocojam, home-made pineapple jam and "meryenda" (snack) hot bun, with an iced  pitcher of  Cool Aide.   Ahhh, where have those days gone?

One can also munch on classic cakes and pastries while choosing from an array of homespun foods that can fill your tounge alongside your tummy.

This is also a unique find.  We are all fond of  Pastillas de Leche, okay, this is not the one we would always have for "pasalubong" when coming from provinces such as Nueva Ecija, Pampanga or Laguna even, yes,  the rolled sugary based, condensed and powdered milk candy that every Grade six both from public and private schools have to make as a project.

Quan has their own version of it.   It is a tart, 1 x 1 sq in. in dimension, a milk based confection on the middle with soft and powdery shell that is not at all too sweet.   I think it may also some sort of ground nuts on it.  But one thing's for sure, a box of it may not be enough for one-sittig consumption.

And now, here is a jewel!  Have you ever sampled specialty vinegars?  At home I have bottles of Italian red wine vinegar for vinaigrette.   Going to Tagaytay, we would always chance upon bottles white vinegars along the highway, they are made from young coconut saps.  So, there is white, red, brown vinegars, how about black vinegar?  May sound really interesting but wait till you get a taste.   It's tremendous acidity goes through your nostrils and mildly causes sourness on your taste palate and line your esophagus like a mild wine.   So why black?   They've added Negros' very own black berries.  Yes our country has it.   That I got to check also for myself when I get to visit my uncle's hacienda in the mountains of Dumaguete.

The cute bottles add intricacy to the details of marketing that gourmet vinegar.   It may come in regular Black Vinegar or in Black Chilli.

Before I forget, the top picture is a box full of  Quanolitas.   It more like an energy bar that's more healthy with rolled oats, dates and nuts.   I actually bought some for my diabetic daughter, for I've heard that dried dates are very good for that condition.   This is for those times where she would suffer hypoglycemia, and this is also good for other digestive problems.   One bar gives enough energy for an in-between snack that's light but energy packed.
They carry a lot more other products.   To get a complete list of their products, he details below are provided.

Pueblo/ Quan contact person: Agnes Cuenca
Telephone: 6334-4341733


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