November 26, 2011

Panutsa Factory

If you've been to bus stations for traveling to the provinces, which I figured most of us have as buses are the most common mode of transport here in the Philippines, most likely you've bought some snacks and local sweets. Ever wondered how these flat peanut filled panutsa (or panocha, or bandi) are made?

We had the chance to visit a "panutsa factory" in the heritage town of Taal one humid afternoon. The first thing vendors do when you step off the bus in front of the Taal Basilica is sell you either familia candles or panutsa. Its a cottage industry here, quite in a literal sense.

Panutsa Factory
flattening panutsa

In a small dimly lit shack, several women are flattening hot caramelized unrefined sugar and peanuts on blackened ply boards using ring molds.  The syrup is cooked in batches using a large wok over a wood fired stove.

Panutsa Factory
panutsa operations

I was surprised to know that this small operation is not so small at all. On a usual day, they use about 3-4 sacks of unrefined sugar, 5 sacks of peanuts, and produce more than 2,000 pieces of panutsa. Cost of labor and materials can be as much as Php 30,000 (700USD) per day.

Panutsa Factory
packaging

When the syrup solidifies they are scraped off the boards and wrapped in plastic. The entire process per batch just takes minutes.

These disks of peanuts and brown sugar are simply too irresistible to people with sweet tooth most do not really care about the conditions these were manufactured in.

Mang J
Mang J, one of the hands in the panutsa factory
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Photos by Allan Barredo unless stated otherwise. No photos or any part of this post may be downloaded and reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the owner. But feel free to share the link using any of the sharing buttons below.
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8 comments:

  1. ang gganda tlga ng mga kuha nyu...

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  2. hala.. ganyan pala.. sana kumuha sila ng assistance from a bank to get the place to be clean.. pagkain kasi tinitinda nila

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  3. @palakanton, thanks!

    @Mommy Dharlz, you should see a patis factory :D, mas malala

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  4. I think this is my first time here... :)
    Accessed your blog via Dong Ho's Eskapo...

    My gulay! Great, great pictures! No wonder you're a finalist in Nuffnang's Asia-Pacific Blog Awards...

    Goodluck!

    Will be a frequent visitor...

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  5. Do they earn a lot from it?

    BTW, super great photos :)

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  6. i wish i'd get a taste of that "panotsa", never heard of it but it really looks kind of tasty. yes, i've seen how an ube jam was cooked when i traveled to bohol many times. only it was violet not brown, heheheh but the mixing tools look the same.

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  7. I guess they do. Thanks for the visit.

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  8. @adrenalearn, tasty and very sweet :D

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