Kitchen & Pantry

Barquillos (wafer rolls): then and now

When I was a kid, there was only plain barquillos — the kind they still make in Negros, sugar capital of the Philippines, in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, especially. The barquillos of my childhood were about six inches long and half an inch in diameter. Although most enjoyed their barquillos as an accompaniment to ice cream, my brother and I didn’t associate barquillos with ice cream. Rather, they were a snack and we munched on them much like the children of today munch on those MSG-laden chips with dubious ingredients.

And when I say “plain” barquillos, I don’t mean flat-tasting. I mean, they didn’t come in various flavors and colors the way they do today. They didn’t have any filling either. Although I must admit that colored and flavored barquillos look more attractive (especially to children), I have an aversion for those that taste too much of artificial flavors. I’ve tried pandan-flavored barquillos and strawberry-flavored, and they were awful.

About two weeks ago, Speedy saw these boxes of barquillos in the supermarket.

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Called Wafu, the maker is Oishi, the same company that sells the strip fries that really annoyed me in a bad way (the canister was only half-full). But despite my disenchantment with the strip fries, my love for barquillos won the day. I mean, leche flan (creme caramel) filled barquillos — who could resist that?

Of course, I knew that it wouldn’t be a real leche flan filling. No one in his right mind would use a wet filling in rolled wafers and expect the wafers to stay crisp. Still, I was intrigued. So, we bought two boxes on trial — one with the leche flan filling and another with cheese filling.

The verdict?

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Okay, the filling wasn’t that generous but the leche flan filling was tasty. Milky. Nothing objectionably artificial in taste. A week later, Speedy bought another two boxes.

And the one with the cheese filling? Gee, we had a hard time finishing the contents of the box. We don’t like being wasteful but, my goodness, the cheese filling tasted — and smelled — so bad that I wouldn’t have felt guilty at all if we had just thrown the whole box into the trash can. It was more than awful — it was terrible in a huge, huge way.

Win some. Lose some.

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