Negros, the Sugar Capital of the Philippines, being abundant with sugar and all its kind, is the home of a pasalubong favorite in Bacolod, the Piaya. A muscovado-filled flat unleavened bread with sesame seeds that has a light and flakey texture with a sweet gooey taste coming from the muscovado – unrefined cane sugar.
Piaya is actually made with just 7 basic ingredients: FLOUR, SALT, BUTTER, WATER, SESAME SEEDS, GLUCOSE SYRUP and MUSCOVADO SUGAR.
The dough is made by combining the flour, some salt, butter and water; kneaded on a flat surface, sprinkled with sesame seeds and then divided into equal portions. Usually it is chilled for just a few minutes.
Meanwhile, the filling is then prepared by mixing the muscovado sugar and glucose syrup until it forms into the right consistency.
The dough will then be filled with this mixture, sealed and formed into balls and then rolled and flattened until the desired thickness or thinness is achieved.
These finger-tasting treats are cooked in batches on a hot skillet, flipped and turned-over each side in just about the right time until it’s crisp with brown spots.
Traditionally, every step is done by hand but because of the high demand for these delicacy, Piaya makers like Merzci has paved to machinery innovations that can produce around 35,000 Piayas a day! Although the pasalubong company embraced this innovation, it still has retained its people because what the machines usually do are just the tedious parts of the process, the cooking is still done by hand which still retains the traditional goodness and flavor of the Piaya.
Over the years, Piaya has evolved into many shapes and flavors like Ube and Mango which are equally delicious as well. And at the same time, the Piaya can already be enjoyed hot and fresh straight from the skillet! Head over to a Merzci bakeshop around Bacolod and grab a bite of this steaming hot goodness!
Piaya has also become some sort of edible currency because of the Filipinos’ practice of bringing pasalubong to their loved ones. What could be more pleasing to your family and friends than to offer him a pack or two of this delectable delicacy? Be sure you get them at Merzci Pasalubong because…TANAN MANAMIT!