The Empanada de Kaliskis is considered to be a popular, unique pastry with a golden brown crust resembling fish scales, hence the
Mercy’s Empanada de Kaliskis is one of the few who still make this type of empanada here in the Philippines. The quaint shop of Mercy’s Empanada de Kaliskis can be found along the narrow streets of Malolos, Bulacan. You won’t find any big signages leading to their store, but you can simply ask the locals for directions. Just the mere mention of the word "empanada" will have the locals pointing you towards the store of Mercy's family.
You’ll know you have arrived when you see a storefront of glass sliding doors plastered with photos of Filipino comfort food—in the lower portion, a small picture of a platter of empanada and a picture with the words “The Original Empanada De Kaliskis of Malolos” printed in red vintage letters. Inside, the interiors are covered with multiple tarpaulins and neatly framed pages of newspapers and magazines that celebrate the delicious legacy that started since 1820.
Augustin Domingo and Justina Domingo are the pioneers of the famous empanada. During the Spanish era, the wives of the Spaniards were the ones who taught Augustin and Justina how to make this specific empanada with its distinct flaky, swirly crust. The Domingo sisters put their hearts into perfecting the art of making its crust until eventually, it became their means of livelihood and for the generations that came after them.
The delicacy was then called Empanada de Malolos because of its geographical origins. It was only until the heirloom recipe reached Mercilita Antonio (great-granddaughter of Augustin) that it was renamed to Mercy’s Empanada de Kaliskis. According to Aling Mercy, numerous people have attempted to buy the recipe from their family and kept trying to copy their style of cooking the empanada that she had no other choice but to change Empanada de Malolos to Mercy’s Empanada de Kaliskis—like a trademark of some sort. “Pagka-
For more than 60 years, Mercy Antonio kept the secret of Malolos, Bulacan’s delicious empanada. When she was just 7 years old, she would sit, watch, and mimic Augustin Domingo (great-grandmother of Mercy) make these empanadas for the town’s festivities. Mercy started helping out when she was tasked to deliver these pastries to the different government officials in the Malacañan Palace. By the time she was 18 years old, she knew the secret to
Being the remaining empanada-maker in the family, Aling Tessie did not limit her duties and responsibilities to making the empanada dough. This 67-year old woman was stern and enthusiastic in saying, “Ako pa rin
The most crucial part is the preparation of the empanada dough. In a more secluded area in their kitchen, Aling Tessie spends the rest of her mornings secretly making the dough. When she’s done shaping them into what resembles the swirls of a cinnamon bun, each dough is lightly oiled and placed on a flat piece of banana leaf. She puts a bit of pressure as she flattens it and brings out the old metal rolling pin that miraculously survived since 1820. She rolls the empanada dough outwards, maintaining its shape and showing the detailed lines that would make the flaky empanada crust once it’s fried to a golden-brown crisp.
It's no easy feat to perfectly fry the empanada under three to four minutes. Sometimes, it’s inevitable that the layers won’t show the pastry's beautiful "smile". In the 40
This delicate pastry slightly crumbles—or "explodes", as Aling Mercy and Tessie would describe it—when you bite into its crunchy flaky crust. You’ll welcome a taste of slight saltiness coming from the crust and a mixture of sweet and spicy flavors from the filling. According to Aling Mercy, their customers
In two years, Mercy’s Empanada de Kaliskis will be hitting its two-century milestone. It’s truly remarkable that even after 198 years, the family continues to treasure this tradition by sharing their history—one empanada de
Mercy's Empanada de Kaliskis is located at 3000, M Tengco Street, Bulacan.