|Alternative names||torta, torta mamón, torta Visaya, torta Bisaya|
|Place of origin||Philippines|
|Main ingredients||cake flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, oil, butter, cream of tartar|
|Variations||mamón tostado, puto mamón, taisan, broas|
Mamón are traditional Filipino chiffon or sponge cakes, typically baked in distinctive cupcake-like molds. In the Visayas regions, mamón are also known as torta mamón or torta. Variants of mamón include the larger loaf-like version called taisan, the rolled version called pianono, and ladyfingers known as broas. Mamón also has two very different variants that use mostly the same ingredients, the cookie-like mamón tostado and the steamed puto mamón.
Mamón is a very light chiffon or sponge cake known for its soft and fluffy texture. It is traditionally baked in crenelated tin molds which gives it a characteristic cupcake-like shape. It is typically slathered in butter and sprinkled with white sugar and grated cheese. Mamón is commonly eaten for merienda.
In the Visayas regions, mamón is known as torta mamón, torta Visaya (or torta Bisaya), or simply torta. The name is derived from Spanish torta, "cake"; although in the northern Philippines, torta usually means "omelette". The Visayan versions are traditionally denser and greasier in texture. They were traditionally made with lard and use palm wine (tubâ) as the leavening agent.
The ladyfinger version of mamón is known as broas or broa. The name is derived from Spanish broa, a type of corn and rye bread from Galicia and Portugal. Broas can either be soft and spongy or crunchy and cookie-like. They are commonly eaten paired with coffee or hot chocolate (sikwate). They are also traditionally used to make icebox cakes in the Philippines, including crema de fruta and mango float.
Among Muslim Filipinos, broa (also spelled b'rua, bulwa, or baulo) is a derivative dish. They are eaten similarly and can also come in soft or crunchy versions, but they have a more irregular muffin-like shape. The soft version is like a smaller version of mamón, while the crunchy version is more properly mamón tostado. They are popularly eaten during special occasions and festivals, like Hari Raya.
Pianono or pionono is a rolled version of the mamón. It is typically sold as "cake rolls" in modern times due to its resemblance to the Swiss roll. Originally, its filling was composed only of sugar and butter or margarine, like all other kinds of mamón. It is also traditionally much smaller in diameter than Swiss rolls. But modern versions are larger can vary significantly in the fillings and are usually frosted.
Puto mamón is regarded as a type of puto (steamed cake). It combines egg yolks, salt and sugar. A mixture of milk and water and another of flour are alternately mixed into the yolks, then egg whites are beaten and folded in before the dough is poured into muffin cups and steamed for 15 to 20 minutes.
Taisan is a loaf-like version of mamón. Like mamón, it is typically slathered in butter and sprinkled with sugar and cheese. Taisan was first developed in Pampanga. It literally means "whetstone" in Kapampangan, and is named for its shape.
In popular culture
In Filipino idioms, pusong mamón (literally "mamón-hearted") means someone who is kind, gentle, or easily moved to sadness or pity. It is equivalent to the English idiom "softhearted". It is also used as a euphemism for gay men (bakla), and is used as such in the 1998 Filipino LGBT movie Pusong Mamon.
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