Monday, May 4, 2015

Imang Salud Ensaimadas featured in "Panaderia: Philippine Bread, Biscuit and Bakery Traditions"

Imang Salud Ensaimadas is featured in the new book "Panaderia: Philippine Bread, Biscuit and Bakery Traditions," a comprehensive documentation of the stories behind the making of Philippine bread published by Anvil Publishing, Inc. Get your copies now!

"If pan de sal is our daily bread, ensaymada is the bread we indulge in."

Imang Salud Dayrit-Santos of San Fernando
For three generations, the women in the Dayrit-Santos family of San Fernando, Pampanga have been making ensaymada and other delicacies from their home kitchens. Their recipes came from Salud Dayrit-Santos (born 1883), fondly known as Imang Salud, an enterprising woman renowned in her hometown for her cooking and baking skills.

While already an accomplished home cook, Imang Salud studied with Rosario Hizon Ocampo alongside the town's other cooks. They gathered round Mrs. Ocampo's kitchen as she demonstrated international cuisine from her training in Paris, France. A spread of these dishes graced Mrs. Ocampo's table for the students to taste and to recreate at home.

While her contemporaries made the recipes just for their families, Imang Salud turned it into a home business which earned her a reputation as one of the best cooks of her time. She tweaked and improved the recipes based on her family's tastes and preferences. Her classic ensaymada was one of these recipes, fragrant with Bruun butter and brushed with the lard that many old-timers still long for. When Imang Salud died in 1970, her only daughter Felicidad "Pising" Dayrit Santos continued her mother's ensaymada-making.

Catalina "Aling" Magat-Santos, Imang Salud's daughter-in-law, took over when Pising passed away in 1995. Aling still makes ensaymada in their San Fernando home oven even at age ninety. Her daughter, Meliza Santos-Henares started selling Imang Salud's ensaymada in 2006 at the Legazpi Sunday Market. She makes the breads and other delicacies like plantanilla with latik in her house in Muntinlupa. As a child, Meliza accompanied her grandmother to the market and spent most of her time in the kitchen watching Imang Salud cook and bake.

Meliza eventually tried her hand making the bread herself. Although her mother still uses pork lard, Meliza replaced it with butter. In her hands, the ensaymada transforms into a tender pouf with a delicate crumb, almost cake-like but still the the heft of bread.

The process also utilizes the three-stage sponge-and-dough method. Aling remembers baking only once a day, starting a five in the morning, because the dough will not rise in the afternoon. By 2 p.m., the ensaymada is done and taken out of the kasarina, the tin molds. They refer to the layering as "nagwa-warde," which is similar in sound to hojardi of the Carreons.

Unlike other Pampanga-style ensaymada, Imang Salud's does not use a stick during rolling. But at six inches in diameter, it's as large as a typical Pampanga ensaymada. The bread survives until now as does the memory of the woman whose cooking nourished a household and a delighted town.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Imang Salud Ensaimadas on ANC Shoptalk (March 9, 2011)

Imang Salud ensaimadas and plantanillas were featured on ANC Shoptalk today, March 9, 2011. In the photo is Meliza Santos-Henares, granddaughter of Imang Salud, being intervied by Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo.

Incidentally, today is also the 88th birthday of Catalina Magat-Santos (Lola Aling), who continues to bake ensaimadas and other goodies in San Fernando, Pampanga. Happy birthday Lola Aling!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Imang Salud Ensaimadas in Town & Country Philippine Edition (November 2009)

Imang Salud ensaimadas were featured in the November 2009 issue of Town & Country Philippine Edition:

We bring some good news to the ensaimada connoisseur. Imang Salud ensaimadas are soft and rich, not too sugary, with real butter and topped with nothing less than Holland queso de bola. Its traditional "heirloom" Kapampangan recipe dates back to the 1930s, developed and modified by Salud Dayrit-Santos, one of San Fernando's renowned cooks of her time, and passed on from one generation to the next. Her granddaughter Meliza Henares introduced the recipe to Manila in 2005. This homemade ensaimada is delightfully huge--six inches in diameter, to be exact. Its rich, buttery flavor literally melts in your mouth and the sharpness of the imported queso de bola is balanced beautifully with the right amount of sugar. Once you take that first heavenly bite, you'll be craving for more. These delicious ensaimadas and other delicacies like plantanilla and tibuk-tibuk are available every Sunday at Imang Salud, Henares' stall at the Legazi Sunday Market in Makati. Plantanilla are rich and delicate crepe-like eggrolls filled with sweet latik, also made following an heirloom recipe of Lola Salud. Tibuk-tibuk, dayap-flavored maja blanca, is made of carabao's milk and coconut milk. If a relative abroad is homesick and craves traditional Filipino sweets, just let Henares know; she can prepare your pasalubong and pack them especially for travel. Henares accepts orders at 0920.947-8819 and 837.0842. (Mawi de Ocampo)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Imang Salud Ensaymadas in Food Magazine (November 2008)

Imang Salud ensaimadas and plantanillas (sweet egg crepes with latik filling) were recently featured in the November 2008 issue of Food Magazine as gift ideas for Christmas. The six-inch traditional Kapampangan ensaimadas are P165/box of 1, P320/box of 2, P480/box of 3 and P640/box of 4. While the plantanillas are P180/box of 12. They are available every Sunday at the Legazpi Sunday Market. Just look for the Imang Salud stall. Text (0920) 9478819 for orders or more information.