06 Aug2008

pastel1

I have written about Osang’s in Baclayon before, previous post here. Several more posts on this blog have featured their broas, which I consider to be the best that I have ever tasted. But of course, you might say I am biased since I first tasted these delicious broas over four decades ago! Over the last 40 years, I have probably eaten THOUSANDS of Osang’s broas! And as far as I can tell from this recent trip, besides the addition of an electric mixer, they are made and baked in exactly the same way they were baked 40 years ago. And while I can wax poetic about the broas, I haven’t really eaten many of Osang’s other offerings, the extensive line-up which includes pastel (photo above) and some plain cookies. Yup, that’s about it, a focused product line of less than half a dozen!

pastel4

Osang’s is a home based business that is located behind or on the side of the Baclayon church in Bohol. I think they have been in the same spot for the last 40 years, though they may have moved once in that period. They used to hand mix all of their batters, the slow mixing motion a key to the consistency of their baked goods… but today they have a commercial looking mixer that they use on (and this is one of their secrets) very small batches of dough, using a maximum of only 6 eggs at a time! They can make up to 30 batches or so of dough on a given morning and only bake up until lunchtime, after which the goods are wrapped then picked up by those who previously placed orders. They don’t cook that much if there are no big orders, so visiting them unannounced can lead to a huge disappointment if they have nothing to sell you.

pastel3

You’ll know you’ve found the right place when you see a house nearly buried out front with old pieces of hardwoods which are used to stoke their wood fired oven. No gas here. No electricity. No charcoal even… just slowly burning old pieces of tree trunks that they buy from folks who gather them all over the island of bohol! Yikes! One part of me was screaming, “no, don’t burn these” but another part of me was thinking… “now this is really truly a gem of an artisanal, old-fashioned baker.”

pastel7

Their famous broas are packed by the 100’s in paper bags, followed by thin plastic (they used to be in cans, and we even used to bring our own large cans for them to fill up) and stored 60 packs at a time in these tin trunks. The day we arrived unnanounced, they had about a dozen packages left and we bought all of them. I hadn’t tasted their pastel, a pastry filled with yema or custard and it was wonderful as well. Not too sweet, yet just enough custard for the dough and so I asked if I could buy some. They were finishing off a large order and claimed they might not have too many extras… but being nicely persistent, not to mention letting them know that our family had been enamored customers since nineteen kopong-kopong, yielded 100 pieces of the freshly baked pastel! Also scooped up the last 3 packages of plain cookies (a little too plain for me)…

pastel6

I was extremely happy to score the pastries, but the real reason I wanted to drop by was to get a closer look at their baking set-up, which is coming up in the next post. Meanwhile, here is a look at their wonderfully simple way of recording customer orders… a blackboard with chalk! Forget computers. And don’t talk to them about taking them national and/or arranging a public offering of their shares. They do what they do the old-fashioned way… and it is going to stay that way for as long as possible. I absolutely love Osang’s.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Beautiful!!! I would love to try dipping the pastels in dark 65% chocolate!

    Aug 6, 2008 | 7:55 am

     
  2. dee says:

    Hi MM! Do you think they would take orders from Manila? With shipping costs of course. Thanks! :) My brother loves broas, and Im off next month to see him in LA.

    Aug 6, 2008 | 8:18 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    They don’t ship, as far as I know. Unless you know someone in Bohol who will physically pick them up and send then on a plane or boat.

    Aug 6, 2008 | 8:36 am

     
  4. thelma says:

    i love freshly baked pastries! mm, would you happen to have a recipe of the broas?

    Aug 6, 2008 | 8:42 am

     
  5. Apicio says:

    The edges of the filled cookies in the top picture look as though they been crimped around with the tines of a fork. Now that would be a excruciatingly boring task to be in charge of.

    Aug 6, 2008 | 8:46 am

     
  6. sister says:

    Mom apprenticed me to the original Osang for one day about forty years ago, when two women sat on the floor and pushed an antidiluvial wooden beater across a wooden bowl 2 feet wide to froth the hundred eggs for the day’s broas.I’m sad to hear they finally have a mixer! I remember the ovens and the covers of Jacobs crackers used for baking pans. The broas after baking were taken off and dried on racks over low dying embers.. It’s still the world’s best broas as far as I’m concerned!

    Aug 6, 2008 | 8:50 am

     
  7. chad says:

    I sure would like to have one of those pastels! Marketman more than forty years old??? What a load of bull. Just been on youtube yesterday and I swear you look like around late twenties. Thirties, given. I thought youd look more Caucasian MM but you seem more to be the type of real Pinoy kababayan look who really likes his adobo.

    Aug 6, 2008 | 9:53 am

     
  8. lyna says:

    I do hope they are not sucked into commercialism and start doing shortcuts on their procedures or substitute their ingredients. I can just imagine the smell of their place!

    Aug 6, 2008 | 10:46 am

     
  9. MarketFan says:

    Since you mentioned the chalkboard, isn’t it that part of the charm of Parisian bakeries and cafes is their signs written in that typical French script? I just wish that Osang and other similar local shops also have those nice, wrought-iron or other handmade signs so common in Europe instead of those garish, commercial signages in plastic or just painted with no thought of the font or characters used (2nd photo above).

    Aug 6, 2008 | 11:55 am

     
  10. Cumin says:

    MarketFan, true the plastic signage isn’t very charming. But doesn’t ‘D’Original’ give you the giggles? I love these old style bakeries, they bring me back to childhood.

    Aug 6, 2008 | 6:08 pm

     
  11. kate says:

    wow, thanks so much for sharing this! I’m on my way to Bohol in a couple of weeks and i am excited to try this out. Hope they have stock when i drop by :)

    Aug 6, 2008 | 11:30 pm

     
  12. Pdic says:

    Osang means-to masticate/chew, right?? First picture reminds me of the empanadas made by Lacson in Silay City, I believe it’s never advertised only spreads through word of mouth.

    Aug 7, 2008 | 4:54 am

     
  13. toping says:

    Pdic:

    You’re thinking about “usap”, the Visayan word for chew.

    Aug 7, 2008 | 11:13 am

     
  14. Cecile J says:

    May the environmentalists keep planting trees so that Osang’s will not run out of firewood before I get to taste their “original” goodies!!!

    Aug 7, 2008 | 1:16 pm

     
  15. james says:

    baclayon broas are the best in the world. come and taste osangs and sampaguitas broas. best also for ref cake

    Aug 18, 2008 | 12:09 am

     
  16. nats says:

    pupunta kasi kami ng bohol i was wondering kung my iba pang mabibilan ng broas na osang kasi accdg sa blog nyo nauubusan my iba pa bang pwdeng ipangpasalubong from bohol bukod peanut kisses thanks

    Oct 7, 2008 | 6:58 am

     
  17. james says:

    aside from osang’s, there is a store named sampaguitas that sells broas and other delicacies from baclayon. it is owned by the aunt of cesar montano, sister of buboy’s father. both stores sell broas, pastel, nut bar, etc. that tastes great.

    Nov 14, 2008 | 1:25 pm

     
  18. jocelyn oppus says:

    the broas in baclayon where i grow up is the best..not only those but other goodies too like peanut cookies, pastel, cookies and of course the special “torta” during pista and pasko ..it so happen that my barkada and best friend owned “sampaguita pastries”

    Jan 8, 2010 | 3:00 pm

     
  19. Acer_M says:

    thanks for this post! was in bohol last week and i really insisted our tour guide to drop us at osang’s to buy some pastries. when we got there, they only had egg pastel, ube pastel and broas. i wanted to taste their torta but it was unavailable. their egg pastel is really good with a hint of lemon on the custard filling and so their ube pastel. the ube filling tasted like the one that my grandmother used to make. the ube has a smoky flavor like it was cooked in a big kawan above flaming woods.

    Feb 23, 2010 | 4:06 pm

     
 

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