Thursday, October 8, 2009

Piaya: Bacolod's Edible Currency

Piaya, a round, flat, flaky, unleavened delicacy with brown sugar inside. The crispy almost flavorless outer crust is somewhat like hopia but flattened or puffed up, its inside is a sweet muscovado filling that completes the taste in every bite.

Through the years, piaya has evolved into many flavors and shapes like ube, mango, durian, mini sizes, and other surprising innovations. But I still go for the classic brown sugar recipe, regardless if its flat or puffy. However, due to travel constraints, the flat piayas are more advisable because they take up less space in the pasalubong box.

There are to famous competing piaya makers in Bacolod: Bongbong's and Merci. But there are other less famous but still respectable names in the piaya-making business as nobody makes piaya better than Negrenses themselves, using the country's Sugar Bowl's native produce -- sugar.

Because of the Filipinos' practice of bringing pasalubongs to their loved ones, piayas have become some sort of an edible currency. Round like the shape of money, what could be more pleasing to a friend or loved one than to offer him or her a bag or two of the scrumptious Negrense delicacy?

So never leave Bacolod without our edible currency, the piaya.

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