09 Sep2011

Sometimes, the “buy” versus “make” option is extremely attractive. These argellanas, a very upscale and tasty cousin of the more austere and seemingly more common Visayan “otap” are, in a word, fabulous. Shatteringly crisp layers of baked puff pastry, the flavor of butter shining through, and generously coated with sugar than remains both whole and melted into a caramelized sheen on the surface of the pastry. Wonderful.

A friend brought over this small plastic container of argellanas the other night, and it was devoured by four people at the table, after a HUGE meal with a giant leg of lamb and lots of veggies. It is from Pasteleria Mallorca, that home-based bakery in Quezon city that uses the most amazing heirloom family recipes. We once got some ensaimadas from them that were also very good, if I recall correctly. But we make ensaimadas at home, so of course I like ours better. :) But these argellanas? I wouldn’t bother to try… will just buy them instead. :)

I am traveling now as I write this post, so I don’t have access to the container, but the ingredients list was amusing, in that it had so many typographical errors and yet it was still used… but let me chalk that up to charming, rather than take it against the product… if I recall correctly, flour, sugar, butter, vegetable shortening, vinegar(?) and possibly one or two other ingredients. If you want to get some, visit Pasteleria Mallorca, 18 Scout Fuentebella St., Quezon City Telephone 373-2789 or 373-2790. Enjoy!



  1. lizzy4301 says:

    Looks yummy! I have to get one of those. Thanks for sharing marketman :-)

    Sep 9, 2011 | 5:27 am


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  3. Blackwidow says:

    The argellanas of Dulcinea is just as good.

    Sep 9, 2011 | 7:51 am

  4. Dragon says:

    Hi MM – can you differentiate the otap and argellana further other than the otap being austere and common?

    Sep 9, 2011 | 7:57 am

  5. Divine G. says:

    All I can say is I love argellanas and I miss it.

    Sep 9, 2011 | 8:22 am

  6. mayz says:

    my husband had been hankering for tarta madrid for at least a decade — finally, this year, we found pasteleria mallorca and cured his nostalgia on his birthday.

    their argellanas are apparently a very macho pick — i was told that buyers are predominantly male.

    odd. :)

    Sep 9, 2011 | 8:26 am

  7. Marketman says:

    mayz, odd indeed, but these are a “robust” pastry…big and substantial, crispy and light. Delicious. Dragon, I think the otap I am familiar with are mostly made with lard (traditionaly) but more likely vegetble shortening now. They are flatter (less layers or less butter to raise the layers) and a bit pallid, or lacking in color. They have a drier mouth feel, not buttery and melt-in-your mouth. Otap are good, but in my opinion, these argellanas are definitely better. :)

    Sep 9, 2011 | 10:10 am

  8. Lex says:

    Pastileria Mallorca is owned by the family of Chef Gene Gonzalez. Their mother took over the staff of La Cibeles, the famous Spanish pastry shop of yesteryears. For those who remember and loved the Tarta de Madrid, they can still order them there. They also make the bocaditos and the candied orange slices. Yum!!!!

    Sep 9, 2011 | 10:17 am

  9. chinachix says:

    Argellanas were a very special treat when I was growing up. I am always on the lookout for them whenever I go back to Manila. However, it’s been a challenge finding similar versions to the ones I grew up with (Can’t recall the brand), if at all. Good to know about Pastileria Mallorca. Definitely something on my pabili list the next time family visits here in TO.

    Sep 9, 2011 | 10:25 am

  10. GayeN says:

    I’ve only tasted argellanas once and I love them. Gotta go to Pasteleria Mallorca to satisfy my craving. Thanks for sharing!

    Sep 9, 2011 | 10:31 am

  11. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    This is similar to the sweet melissa crisp that i make.

    Sep 9, 2011 | 11:38 am

  12. ragamuffin girl says:

    they have yummy products! our family has always given away their goodies during the holidays:)

    Sep 9, 2011 | 11:43 am

  13. Maricel says:

    It’s been a long, long time since I have had these. Good to know where I can find them.

    Sep 9, 2011 | 12:33 pm

  14. Dogbone says:

    These argellanas are THE BEST!

    I first saw these at the Salcedo Market.
    Aside from the plastic container, you can also buy them in clear plastic bags, so it’s a little cheaper. Incredibly crisp, buttery, and just the right amount of sweetness.

    Of course, they’re cheaper at the bakery in QC. :P

    I grew up on agellanas and I always made do with the ones they sell in Mercury Drug (?) made in Bulacan I think.

    But when I saw these made by Mallorca, well, the rest is history…

    Thanks MM! Maybe you can do a review of their other products as well someday.

    Sep 9, 2011 | 3:22 pm

  15. gli says:

    this is not the one, right?

    Sep 9, 2011 | 4:14 pm

  16. Irene says:

    Their argellanas are delightful to munch on.

    And yes, their ensaymada is also good, specially if you time pick up with their baking schedule. If I remember correctly, around 2 pm for warm, fresh out of the oven goodness. They’ll tell you when you call.

    Sep 9, 2011 | 5:32 pm

  17. christine says:

    my absolute favorite sweet snack. i tend to be selfish with the bag, and could finish it in 1 sitting if i’m really gluttonous. it’s a good thing i live nearby, so i can pass by anytime i have a craving.

    mm, you should also try their palillos de milan — it’s to die for!!! =)

    fyi — they also sell mexican pita/nachos/dips (mega mexicana), and white bread at the same address. ;)

    Sep 9, 2011 | 8:41 pm

  18. barang says:

    On an unrelated matter, I have 2 tubs of lobster roe from my fishmonger! Any fun ideas I could do with it?

    Sep 9, 2011 | 8:56 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    barang, sorry, I have never cooked with lobster roe… christine, will have to try the palilos soon… gli, a namesake, but not the home-based business in QC… Lex, a cousin of Chef Gene I think…

    Sep 10, 2011 | 9:05 am

  20. sister says:

    Lobster roe? Not tomalley for sure? How lucky can you get! Steam lightly for a couple of minutes and mix lightly with a bit of white wine vinegar, salt and smoked pimenton, chopped chives and a touch of olive oil and serve as an amuse bouche on Bremen crackers. Or use to top lobster salad.

    Sep 10, 2011 | 9:12 am

  21. sister says:

    On second thought you could use lobster roe in place of the fat of talangka for pancit luglug.

    Sep 10, 2011 | 9:18 am

  22. betty q. says:

    Barang…you are so lucky but not so lucky for the girl lobster! She should have been released!

    There is lobster oil made by using lobster carcass, your mirepoix, tomato paste, seasoning, oil….much like making bisque…roasting the shells in the oven with the rest of ingredients except the oil and then slowly or over low heat simmering everything and then straining the liquid and skimming the oil…That is what is known as lobster oil. Now, I think using lobster roe would make this lobster oil over the top. Instead of using oil, use clarified garlic butter and heat it slowly. The roe initially is black but will turn red when heated. Then use the roe infused butter to make Lobster pasta!

    You can make this using olive oil or half canola/half olive oil. …pour into small nice glass bottles and give away for Christmas.

    Sep 10, 2011 | 10:10 am

  23. sister says:

    Betty Q is right, female lobsters are supposed to be released but even I get one occasionally live with roe. Luckily lobsters are very prolific.
    I meant using the roe in place of the aligue of the talangka crab for luglug. Note the roe is very high in cholesterol.

    Sep 10, 2011 | 2:08 pm

  24. barang says:

    Thanks Sister and BettyQ. Yes it is roe not tomalley since it’s red not the green stuff. Come to think of it just like in crabs the red aligue must mean they’re fr female lobsterS, uh-oh. They’re cooked and frozen. Thanks much for all your delightful ideas. That’s right, should be yummy and colorful atop crackers, pasta or pinoy pasta (luglog) and lobster for subtle addition to pasta! I am excited to experiement this weekend.

    If you’re interested email me. Got from Yankee Lobster by the Boston Pier. They had a swimming pool of over 2000 waiting to be enjoyed. They said they are prolific during spring, but now it took them over 2 wks for my order! Tenx again!

    Sep 10, 2011 | 4:13 pm

  25. rina says:

    loooove mallorca goodies…my alisbayan luggage will always have a couple of tubs of argellanas and palillos de milan.

    MM, just saw that you had some recent ala David Chang experiments. Have you seen his new quarterly magazine called Lucky Peach? Issue#1 is the ramen issue and includes articles by Bourdain, Ruth Reichl and Juan Mari Arzak. Consistent with Chang, the publication takes a very different path from your usual glossy food magazines. More focus on the writing, photos are pared down and there are no paid ads at all. You may find it during your upcoming trip to Vancouver (got my copy from Chapters in Calgary) if you don’t have it already.

    Sep 10, 2011 | 4:17 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    rina, thanks for the tip, will have to keep an eye out for it.

    Sep 10, 2011 | 6:05 pm

  27. sister says:

    Barang, thanks for the store location, will have to check it out next time I am in Boston.

    Sep 10, 2011 | 6:54 pm

  28. Gej says:

    Rina – Talking about David Chang, I saw him featured in Alice Water’s book In the Green Kitchen. Is he a part too of this prestigious line of creative and successful chefs and restaurateurs who once worked with Alice Waters in Chez Panisse?

    Waiting to see pictures and read stories about the Market Manila Vancouver Eyeball, MM and Betty Q!

    Sep 11, 2011 | 7:37 am

  29. Lex says:

    MM, I know for sure Pastileria Mallorca is owned by the family of Gene Gonzalez and not by cousins. The address is the house of Gene Gonzalez’ parents. His brother Toto still lives there.

    Sep 12, 2011 | 10:19 am

  30. Mylene Espina says:

    oh, argellanas – food of my childhood….My grandmother (we fondly called Mama Pacing) loved it and she would buy it all the time but only from Dulcinea (the store near the old Rizal Theatre in Ayala Ave.). She would also buy taisan (which was so delicious and soft – perfect especially when I had the mumps) and yema balls. hmmm now I need to get an argellanas fix…

    Sep 12, 2011 | 4:36 pm

  31. Betchay says:

    Yes, I love argellanas too!

    Sep 16, 2011 | 10:01 pm

  32. irene says:

    glamourized otap!
    we got some from Puregold supermarket recently. they’re by Cafe Ysabel.

    Oct 3, 2011 | 9:08 pm

  33. fernando perez says:

    we used to buy them at la cibeles – a spanish pastry shop in mabini, manila. i miss them so much. glad to there’s a place to buy them now. thanks a lot for sharing.

    Nov 19, 2012 | 1:22 pm


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