After breakfast at the Ilocos Norte Hotel and Convention Center, our Lakbay Norte 2 media group proceeded to Pasuquin, a farming (rice, onions, garlic) and fishing town, to observe making of biscocho and salt. Joining us on the bus was local historian Rene Gluatco and our first stop was the Pasuquin Bakery. My idea of biscocho is the crunchy and sugar-sweet pastry made from stale leftover bread. Pasuquin biscocho is different, making use of freshly-baked bread specially made to be toasted. It is also soft and not sweet, being flavored with anise.
|The immensely popular biscocho|
The couple Sixto and Estefania Salmon, the assistants of the late Timot Josue who was trained in one of the Spanish style panaderias in Manila, were said to have been able to deduce, through careful observation and measurements, both the ingredients and the process of making this biscocho. After World War II, Sixto, who served as a baker to the American forces temporarily stationed at Victory Road, south of the town proper, established Pasuquin Bakery with his savings. His only child, Esperanza Alvarez, better known as Manang Pansing, currently manages the bakery. Nowadays, the immensely popular, freshly-baked soft biscocho of Pasuquin Bakery is a must buy. It is perfect with cheese, condensed milk or Spanish-style sardines.