Like mangoes and Danggit, Torta is one of the delicacies that the Queen City of the South is proud of. It comes in a wide variety of cooking styles, sizes, tastes, and presentations, but the torta that comes from Argao is considered the original and most delicious type.
Argao’s version is said to be composed of “tuba” or fermented coconut wine. This secret ingredient gives their torta that really tasty flavor, which has become famous among local and international visitors. This cupcake-like pastry is usually large and topped with sugar bits, grated cheese, or raisins. It is best eaten as a snack paired with a hot cup of hot choco or “sikwati”.
Aside from using tuba instead of the common yeast, the torta from Argao is also cooked in a clay furnace, giving it a non-artificial flavor that you can’t taste in other places that produce and sell such a delicacy. Locals from Argao claim that their special tuba-made torta is then mixed with salt, sugar, egg yolks, and oil before it is carefully arranged on pans that have paper wrappers and are greased with oil and butter. After which, the mixture is put inside the hot clay furnace, where the torta is baked for about 18-25 minutes.
If you want to try baking this delicacy in your own home, here’s a list of ingredients we got from http://www.pinoyrecipe.net/:
- 10 egg yolks
- 1 cup coconut juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 star anise
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup or 1 stick of butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1/8 cup fresh milk
- 1 small can (168ml) sweetened condensed milk
If you want to taste the original Argao torta, on the other hand, why not visit the municipality yourself? Getting there can be easily done by starting your trip in Cebu South Bus Terminal. Ride any south-bound bus, and simply tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at Argao proper. From there, you can then ask around or ride a motorcycle to bring you to the ever-famous Chitang’s Torta Bakery, where the best-tasting Agao torta is sold. The torta, browas, tostados, polvoron, and other pastries offered by Chitang’s can also be bought in Robinson’s Cybergate, Ayala Center Cebu, and besides Rustan’s Supermarket. More info can be read in their official FB page.