Moderna Bakery (now Casa Moderna) opened its doors to the Naguenos more than 65 years ago. Its main bakery sits along Bagumbayan (with other branches in the centro and around the city) – bright, clean and smells deliciously of bread.
Known for their pancit (which has chicharon or lechon kawali on it) and for their panbonete, we decided this place is a must-see for the eating tour around Naga. Their panbonete is a soft bread, about the size of a dinner roll and the shape of a bonnet (thus, panbonete). The first bite gives off a salty, buttery taste but ends with a touch of sweetness. I love it. I ate five pieces. I could have eaten more.
What makes the panbonete special is the way it is baked – not in your usual oven, but in a brick oven – a pugon!
Aileen Apolo blogs about Casa Moderna:
“Casa Moderna is the only bakery in Bicol (as far as I know) that uses the same traditional pugon (oven) it used when it opened over 60 years ago. The oven is higher than one story and is made of bricks.When I was small I got the chance to watch how pambonete is made at Casa Moderna. Ingredients are put together in a mixing bangka (not bowl!) and the panadero mixes the ingredients by hand (more by arm actually). The dough is then laid on a baking table (everything’s huge there) and shaped into small bonnets. Then the panadero puts it in the gigantic oven.” http://aileenapolo.blogspot.com/2011/02/pambonete.html
This family-owned bakery in Naga seems to carry with it many memories for classmates, colleagues and families. Looking forward to bringing J here for panbonete when he can eat!