There are many versions today of the Silay lumpia but there is only one original...and that is Emma Lacson's lumpia ubod. All others are poor imitations. Tita Emma's lumpia use fresh ubod (young coconut trunk meat), no decorative lettuce (yuck) and the thinnest homemade egg wrapper ever. The secret sauce is included in the filling (which is distinctive of most Silay lumpia) and they used to put in a green onion stalk but did away with it when they learned that people just threw it before eating. I should know...I grew up surrounded by food and yes, I was one of those who threw away the green onion. There was no big commercial food establishment in Silay when I was growing up, except maybe for El Ideal. So that when people wanted to eat a particular food, we would call a particular family known for making the best version in the city and make an order. These food made from family recipes have been handed down from generation to generation and were not available commercially. In fact, when one makes an order, it comes out as a request and a favor at the same time. Of course, that was then. Today, Tita Emma's lumpia ubod is available daily and the family "hobby" has now grown into a successful food business but still small and manageable. The one taking care of business is her youngest daughter Nora, or Baby to family and friends. They have been featured in magazines and other bloggers have written about them, but as I told Baby when I came over to take pictures, I want to put on record and for people to know that they make the best that Silay can offer. Other old favorites aside from the lumpia, are the empanada...often copied but never equalled; the paño-paño are mini tarts, so called because the banana filling is placed in a crust that is shaped and folded like a napkin; the senorita is made of several crispy crusts layered with caramel in between; and last but not the least, the very popular pili squares which is a relatively new addition (although it is an old family favorite but due to low supply of pili nuts before, orders were very limited) having been available commercially for only about 20 years or so, compared to the others which have been Silay favorites for probably the last 100 years. The crispy empanada is great for afternoon snacks or tea while the rest are yummy desserts. I should warn you though that once you start eating the paño-paño and the pili squares, it is hard to stop...so one should just take a few of the tarts and 2 or 3 pieces of the squares and then keep them in a place as far away from you as possible...at least well until the next meal.
|Lumpia Ubod (Fresh Spring Rolls)|
|Pili Squares (small)|
My memories of the Lacson house is not all about food...the patriarch of the house, Tito Rudy was my first dentist...see that door and stairs where the tricycle is parked? That is where the most embarassing dental experience I have ever had in my entire childhood happened...but that is another story to tell for next time ;)
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The house is located at the corner of Rizal and Ledesma St (formerly Mckinley) right besides Bank of the Philippine Island-Silay Branch. Contact number is (02) 495-5047. You can reserve orders from 6 AM to 6 PM. Happy eating!!!