Barquillos (wafer rolls): then and now

When I was a kid, there was only plain barquillos — the kind they still make in Negros, sugar capital of the Philippines, in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod, especially. The barquillos of my childhood were about six inches long and half an inch in diameter. Although most enjoyed their barquillos as an accompaniment to ice cream, my brother and I didn’t associate barquillos with ice cream. Rather, they were a snack and we munched on them much like the children of today munch on those MSG-laden chips with dubious ingredients.

And when I say “plain” barquillos, I don’t mean flat-tasting. I mean, they didn’t come in various flavors and colors the way they do today. They didn’t have any filling either. Although I must admit that colored and flavored barquillos look more attractive (especially to children), I have an aversion for those that taste too much of artificial flavors. I’ve tried pandan-flavored barquillos and strawberry-flavored, and they were awful.

About two weeks ago, Speedy saw these boxes of barquillos in the supermarket.

Called Wafu, the maker is Oishi, the same company that sells the strip fries that really annoyed me in a bad way (the canister was only half-full). But despite my disenchantment with the strip fries, my love for barquillos won the day. I mean, leche flan (creme caramel) filled barquillos — who could resist that?

Of course, I knew that it wouldn’t be a real leche flan filling. No one in his right mind would use a wet filling in rolled wafers and expect the wafers to stay crisp. Still, I was intrigued. So, we bought two boxes on trial — one with the leche flan filling and another with cheese filling.

The verdict?

Okay, the filling wasn’t that generous but the leche flan filling was tasty. Milky. Nothing objectionably artificial in taste. A week later, Speedy bought another two boxes.

And the one with the cheese filling? Gee, we had a hard time finishing the contents of the box. We don’t like being wasteful but, my goodness, the cheese filling tasted — and smelled — so bad that I wouldn’t have felt guilty at all if we had just thrown the whole box into the trash can. It was more than awful — it was terrible in a huge, huge way.

Win some. Lose some.

  • Myra de Leon

    hahaha…ms. connie when i haven’t opened the whole blog yet, i thought you made barquillos with leche flan filling talaga… i remember when during college someone was selling barquillos in our school from their province, i made polvoron as filling for the barquillos when i got bored eating the plain ones…

  • u8mypinkcookies

    i still like champola and nissin wafer sticks (choco) :D

    • Beth

      A few days ago I also got curious and bought a box of Wafu cheese filling— a little too salty for my taste.But I didn’ t see the other flavor.Will look for the leche flan filling next time I’m at the supermarket.

      • curiousGirl

        wow, kakaingget. craving for barquillos tuloy, ung may polvoron sa loob.. yum!

        • Connie

          Whoa, I like that too!

        • lemon

          Haha.That’s another way of looking at it.

  • Connie

    Myra, naku, that’s too labor intensive for me!

    u8mypinkcookies, I don’t think we’ve tried Nissin. My daughters went through a very short Champola phase but it’s mostly Stick-O for us. But only the original choco flavor.

    Beth, I was told that there’s also a chocolate flavor. Haven’t seen it in the supermarket though.

  • lemon

    Those strawberry/pandan-flavored ones are really awful.

    One of my brothers-in-law has an incurable addiction to barquillos.Once, he insisted that he and my Ate go to this food fair in the Fort. All they knew about the event was that there will be barquillos sold.They were busy trying out the barquillos when they started hearing spanish-speaking ladies from nearby.After a while, a lot of bejeweled ladies strutted along, with one or two controversial artistas among them.That’s when they realized that the affair had a lot of elite Negrense/Manilenos in attendance.And my brother-in-law and sister were underdressed to say the least. To this day, tawa pa din kami ng tawa when we remember.All for the love of barquillos.

    • Connie

      Food fair tapos kuntodo de alajas? Baka hindi underdressed sis mo and brother-in-law. Rather, overdressed yung mga matrona hehehe

  • kariz

    Ms. Connie, I hate artifically flavored things too, especially when it tastes so obviously fake, but I must admit that BongBOng’s ube barquillos kept me munching for over two tv shows haha!
    They’re not as hard or tough as most barquillos, BongBong’s Ube Barquillos is more wafer-like. I don’t know if I was craving for Good Shepherd’s Ube Jam but the barquillos reminded me of it, which is a good sign.

    And yes, I ate up the whole pack without even knowing what happened.

    I grew up snacking on barquillos as well. The local ones, no brand. They were just widely available over here at Bulacan. I prefer the darker colored ones, knowing they’re more ‘toasted’ than the light colored ones. They have a hint of that bittersweetness that’s found in caramel.

    • Connie

      Over two TV show? Half-hour shows or two movies? LOL

      • kariz

        Worse- an episode of Friends followed by one from The Simpsons. From a DVD. Ergo- no commercials. I guess I munched too much to fast haha!!

        • Connie

          LOL You are not alone. I’ve been known to do that too hahahaha