Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Valerio's Tropical Bakeshop, $6.50
When you've grown up associating bright colors with bland sweetness (think cupcake sprinkles or grocery store frosting) the riotous colors at Valerio's Tropical Bakeshop are unexpectedly flavorful. The golden yellow that makes rolls and pies shine like small suns comes from shreds of cheese, pats of butter, or salted egg yolks. Shades of green are contributed by leaves including bamboo (used as wrappers) and pandanus (most often used as an extract), both of which impart an exotic aroma. The root vegetable ube is an intense shade of purple that makes ube-based treats like ube halaya pudding ($6.50) a visible and indispensable feature of special occasion buffets.
Putsinta ($1.99/4) are Valerio's mash-up of two Filipino favorites: soft, fluffy puto rice-flour rolls and and chewy kutchinta rice cakes. Here the purple marbling comes from festive food coloring, rather than actual ube.
Maruya ($1.25) are fritters of ripe mashed banana, fried until golden and dusted with sugar.
The addition of lye water gives the sticky rice in suman sa lihia cakes ($1.50) a creamy color and extra-chewy texture; enfolding the rice in bamboo leaves before steaming adds aroma and a tidy, environmentally-friendly wrapper that makes suman a cinch for picnics (like the cemetery-side meals enjoyed during the Undas holiday).
Valerio's rainbow-colored offerings also include pan de sal, biko, ensaymada, buko pie, egg pie, cassava cake, and sapin-sapin.
Valerio's Tropical Bakeshop
1368 Southcenter Mall Ste 150