Piaya is a very popular Filipino delicacy that you can find in the sugar capital of the Philippines -- Negros Occidental. It is an unleavened flatbread filled with muscovado sugar. This type of sugar looks like brown sugar but it is just partially refined, hence it has a strong molasses content and flavor. This is what gives piaya its authentic sweet taste.
Piaya is made with these very basic ingredients -- flour, salt, butter or vegetable shortening, water, sesame seeds, and muscovado sugar. The dough used to be kneaded by hand however, with the tremendous growth of piaya’s popularity, big players of this pasalubong business have invested in machineries to keep up with the thousands of market demand each day.
The cooking of piaya is still done manually. Muscovado-filled doughs are placed in batches on very hot skillet. Cooking only takes minutes and it depends on the desired crispness.
Piaya is a popular pasalubong from Bacolod City. At the NAIA domestic airport, you can tell where travelers flew from just by looking at the boxes they carry – the white and green box of Bongbong’s Finest Delicacies and the yellow and red box of Merzci Pasalubong. These two are the most popular piaya brands in the city. However, you will also find other brands with their own distinct taste, crunch, thickness, and packaging.
Virgie’s Homemade Products, Ceres Pasalubong, Margie’s Cakes and Pastries, Quan Pasalubong, and Bailon have their own version of this unique tasting piaya pasalubong delicacy.
Piaya is popularly bought as pasalubong. Most of our piaya orders are actually brought to other countries, particularly in the US. This is because this product is not yet readily available in Filipino stores outside the Philippines. And even outside of Bacolod, there are only a few stores selling this pasalubong treat. In Manila, you may find them at selected stores as we have written in our previous blog, Where to Buy Bongbong’s Piaya in Manila.
This Bacolod delicacy is also enjoyed by the locals in the city. They crave for this delicacy as dessert or snacks paired with coffee. It is best eaten while still hot, straight from the griddle!
If you have plans of travelling to Bacolod, make sure to drop by piaya pasalubong centers at the beginning of your trip so you can get the chance to taste the different versions of Bacolod piaya. And then let us know in the comments below which one suits your taste the most :)