It is said that of the three Dayrit sisters, Imang Salud was the most hardworking. That is why she became prosperous. She had many businesses, which of course included cooking and baking. She also owned a transportation business, having kalesas, karomatas, kutseros and horses that did rounds everyday. It was said that she woke up at 4 in the morning to groom the horses herself. This hardwork may have been attributed to the fact that she was widowed very early.
Imang Salud took cooking lessons from Paris-educated Rosario Hizon Ocampo, together with her niece Remedios Santos-Pamintuan (owner of Apo View Hotel in Davao City), as did many of the well-known cooks of her time in San Fernando. She learned international cuisine, and improved and improvised on these recipes, creating her own signature delicacies and dishes. Friends later started to order her signature pastries.
|Ladies from San Fernando, Pampanga take cooking classes at the home of Rosario Hizon Ocampo|
Her menu included Gallantina, Cannenones, Pastel, Stuffed Pavo, Arroz Valenciana, Chicken a la King (using homemade crispy heart-shaped crust), her famous Pansit Frito (a delicious tasty broth with fried pasta, meatballs, onion rings and curled spring onions), Shrimp and Green Pepper Salad, Shrimp Rellenado, Lengua Estofado, Steamed Apap with Asparagus and Homemade Mayonnaise and many more.
|Imang Salud with her friends Encarnacion |
Singian-Lazatin and Sally Hizon
Among her most popular pastries and desserts are the Ensaimada (made with Brun butter and topped with queso de bola), Plantanilla, Nogatines, Petit Fours, Empanaditas, Tocino del Cielo, Macapuno Log and dayap-flavored Mazapan de Pili. These recipes were passed on to her daughter Felicidad "Pising" Santos and later, to her daughter-in-law, Catalina "Aling" Magat-Santos, who still makes Ensaimadas in San Fernando. Today, Imang Salud's granddaughter Meliza Santos-Henares continues the culinary tradition of the family and is a third generation Ensaimada maker. These heirloom recipes of Imang Salud are now available in Manila every Sunday at the Legazpi Sunday Market.