La Torta de Argao: Traditional Pastry of Southern Cebu
La Torta de Argao, a sweet pastry famous in the southern part of Cebu, Philippines, has been a long-standing tradition in the town of Argao. The town’s previous Pitlagong Festival was replaced in 2011 by La Torta Festival, a feast mainly dedicated to its famous La Torta bread. This delicious delicacy is a must-try for anyone visiting the southern part of Cebu.
La Torta de Argao is made from simple ingredients such as all-purpose flour, tuba (local coconut wine), sugar, egg yolks, cooking oil, salt, and star anise. It is somewhat like a sponge cake in texture – spongy but not fluffy and a bit moist, yet almost like a muffin. The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, and each family has a unique twist to the original recipe.
The Origin of La Torta de Argao
La Torta de Argao’s exact origin is unknown, but it is believed to have been introduced during the Spanish colonial times. The people of Argao used tuba as a leavening agent because it was more readily available than yeast during that time. The bread was initially made only during special occasions like weddings and fiestas.
Today, La Torta de Argao is a cultural heritage of the town and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. It has become a symbol of Argao’s identity and a source of pride for its people. The town even holds an annual La Torta Festival to celebrate this famous bread.
La Torta de Argao is produced by several local bakers and sold in various Cebu City stores, including the Gaisano Metro Ayala. One of the most recognizable producers of La Torta de Argao is Chitang’s Torta, founded by the late Anecita “Chitang” Camello, a native of Barangay Canbanua and one of the first to commercialize the sector in the 1980s.
Another famous torta maker is Jessie’s Homemade Traditional Torta in Argao.
Ingredients Used in La Torta de Argao
The ingredients used in making La Torta de Argao are flour, tuba, sugar, egg yolks, cooking oil, salt, anise, and lard.
The flour used in making La Torta de Argao is all-purpose flour. This type of flour is commonly used in baking because of its versatility. It has a moderate protein content making it suitable for various baked goods.
Tuba is a sweet, fresh coconut sap or wine used instead of yeast in making Torta de Argao. It is a traditional ingredient used for centuries in…