Waking up early in the morning for the Silay Tour of the Philippine Blog Awards Visayas, it was a bullet run for me not to be late. I did not eat breakfast for me to save time and be early at the Capitol meet-up of the tour group. The excitement of the trip made me less hungry but as the tour progressed, I could hear hungry stomachs churning. After some entertaining pleasantries along the way with some not so usual sceneries, it was full speed ahead towards Silay City. The Manila Bloggers checked in at a hotel within downtown Silay City met the rest of the tour entourage in a food icon and heritage of Silay, El Ideal.
Though a bit hungry, the cat-like curiosity got the better of me. Instead of heading out to the counter and order food, I went to the displays instead and scrutinized every products displayed. As I checked on the food items, it dawned on me that they are all Silaynon products with Fresh Start’s own products, Hawaiian-Philippine Company’s muscovado and kakanin made locally. El Ideal is Silay’s oldest existing bakeshop and has been ingrained to the Silaynon’s senses and identity.
As I checked more of the products, the more that I am undecided really. Some like tostadong mamon are a classic really with some other bread items. Sir Gil Severino, a former teacher and a fellow Negros Blogger, shared some of his biscocho. El Ideal’s version of biscocho is superb! There’s much to crunchiness really and a balance of sweetness too, not your typical biscocho I can say perfect for your morning native coffee or honey-sweetened chrysanthemum tea. Even my curiosity has to eventually give in to hunger too since my mouth has not touched any food that morning. I went to the counter and checked the selections.
I immediately noticed this pie which I immediately recognized as guapple pie. Yes dear readers, its guapple pie, not the usual apple pie. For those who are not much familiar with what a guapple is, your guapple is a specie of guava that grows big and has an apple-like consistency when eaten, hence the name guapple or guava-apple. Though the name seem to imply a deliberate cross between a guava and an apple, it is in no way and apple but as culinary skills prove, better than an apple for your pie. I figured out that eating a whole pie can take time and so I opted for a fresh lumpia instead.
Fresh lumpia in Silay is one of the best in this part of the country. Close-by, a house owned by an old haciendera is known for its unique recipe of fresh lumpia that many far and wide knock at the doors just to be admitted to the kitchen and see how it is made. Our tour guide said that the best time to order fresh lumpia is in the morning when it is freshly made and plentiful. As I was enjoying my small breakfast snack, I heard the tour guide calling us and I hurriedly finished it. If you are passing by Silay City, going by El Ideal is a must for you haven’t been to Silay if you haven’t gone to El Ideal.
More photos on El Ideal in the Photo Blog.