Torta is one of Cebu’s many pasalubong-worthy foodstuff. Best described as a porous sponge cake that resembles a large cupcake, it’s topped with sugar, cheese and/or raisins.
The version made by Argao is popular for its distinctive tangy undertone—a product of a not-so-secret ingredient, tuba. Tuba, or fermented coconut wine, is used in place of yeast to act as a leavening agent in the torta.
Aside from the tuba, the torta is made with flour, salt, sugar, egg yolks and pork lard.The mixture is then cooked in a hudnonan (clay furnace), adding more depth to its flavor.
The torta industry’s roots go as far back to the Spanish colonial era, being one of the first indigenous industries in Argao. The delicacy used to be served during only special occasions, but over time, its popularity grew until it became a stable source of income for Argaoanons.
Torta is best paired with sikwate, the native hot chocolate that is made with tablea, another delicacy of Argao.