Photo by Mildred Cruz of Biscocho from the Panaderia Pantoja branch in the province of Batangas.
What is Biscocho?
A hard pastry strongly associated with Iloilo province in the Visayas region, biscocho is basically bread that is baked to a toast, and then topped or coated with butter and sugar, sometimes garlic. At home, this is what you would do to stale bread.
This treat’s name comes from the Spanish bizcocho (biscuit), which is related to the Italian biscotti, meaning “twice baked.” The word is spelled biskotso in native Tagalog and Ilonggo orthography.
The bizchocho in other countries varies widely. In Spain, it’s a sponge cake. In Uruguay, bizcocho are cookies.
*** Panaderia Pantoja has branches not only in Metro Manila, but in the provinces of Batangas and Laguna as well, all on the island of Luzon. Aside from biscocho, they carry a wide selection of Pinoy biscuits and snacks such as banana chips, jacobina, barquillos, lengua mocha, broas, machacao, butter cookies, camachile, paborita, canlubang, pacencia, puto seco, and garlic sticks!
If you’re ever in the city of Iloilo or Bacolod, the place to get your fix is definitely one of the branches of Biscocho Haus, which was founded in 1975 by Dr. Carlos L. Guadarrama and his wife Therese J. Guadarrama. Their selection includes variants such as Biscocho de Caña (without butter and with less sugar), Biscocho Ginikas (plain or hotdog), Biscocho podpod and Biscocho Principe. And of course, the other iconic Ilonggo treat butterscotch is also available! If you’re lucky, you might chance upon their innovative Biscocho-crusted New York Cheesecake with Calamansi Curd (or Butterscotch Sauce).
Check back after the website upgrade for a recipe!