Known as the capital of Negros Occidental, Bacolod is locally recognized as the “City of Smiles.” In this lush and self-effacing city, local residents are well known for their outward hospitality and sweet welcoming smiles.
However, their sweet smiles are for naught, as Bacolod is recognized to be the sugar capital of the country. It is for this reason that the city plays host to innumerable cafés and coffee shops who serve only the finest cakes and pastries. It should be of no surprise if every local possesses a sweet tooth!
However, don’t limit your pasalubong and souvenir shopping to merely pastries. Bacolod also has an array of food delicacies that can only be sampled within the municipality. Their chicken inasal, for one, has remained unrivaled. If you want your family back home to have a sample taste of this city, bring back home a piece of Bacolod. Shop for these five delicacies that are truly reminiscent of this sweet and wonderful city.
Never miss buying a box of Napoleones to bring back home. These puff pastries are well-loved by the locals for its creamy custard and sweet white sugar glaze on top. Napoleones from Pendy’s and Roli’s are the locals’ top choices. These pastries are so popular in the city that you will find them anywhere in delicacy stores, such as Merczi or Bongbong’s. Finding these stores would not be hard either, as they have proliferated in the city from across the local city’s park, or perhaps in the corner of the soon to rise Amaia Steps Capitol Central.
Best served hot, these wafer-thin treats should be one of the delicacies in your pasalubong box. Piyaya is a flat pastry filled with muscovado sugar, which is a healthier alternative to the typical white refined sugar. Muscovado is the least refined sugar of all cane sugars, with the molasses still intact. For the best piyaya, take a trip to Bailon’s. It contains only a thin layer of muscovado, which balances out the snack perfectly.
A local counterpart to the American’s dessert staple is locally known as the guapple pie. Guapple is a Vietnamese variant of Guava, and has a texture that is reminiscent and very similar to an actual apple; hence the coined term guapple, a portmanteau of guava and apple. Alice Villanueva of El Ideal Bake Shop pioneered the very first guapple pie by using Guapple as a substitute for apples. The product was instantly well-received by the locals. Located just a few minutes away from the airport, pay El Ideal Bake Shop in Silay (a neighboring city of Bacolod) a visit, and grab a box of their famous guapple pie.
Although Virgie’s has been widely franchised all over the Philippines, the taste would be a lot different if it came straight from the manufacturers. Before you head home, get a box of their mango tarts or pastillas de manga, which is what made this delicacy shop so popular. If the tangy taste of mangoes is not to your liking, you can buy a box of their cheese tarts or boat tarts, a butter caramel variant laced with meringue on top.
When it comes to the best-tasting chicken barbecue in the country, Bacolod’s chicken inasal remains unmatched and for a good reason. Their own version of this chicken barbecue is so sumptuous because it’s marinated in a symphony of different spices like sinamak (Negros vinegar), ginger, onions, garlic, spices, and anato oil, then grilled over an open flame. For top-notch chicken inasal, go to Aida’s, as they specialize in packaging their food for plane flights as well.
Bacolod has been widely known for its great food, excellent and affordable restaurants, and warm people. Give your loved ones a taste of your food adventure in Bacolod by bringing home some of Bacolod’s best dishes the next time you visit.