Young scion brings back ‘taisan’–now creamier and more compact | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

LUIS Mercado: “The sugarand- butter coating is the key tomaking a good ‘taisan.’” VANGIE BAGA-REYES
LUIS Mercado: “The sugarand- butter coating is the key tomaking a good ‘taisan.’” VANGIE BAGA-REYES
LUIS Mercado: “The sugarand- butter coating is the key to making a good ‘taisan.’” VANGIE BAGA-REYES


After a successful venture in the mamon business—now with 12 outlets all over the city after only a year on the market—Luis Mercado of Red Spatula launches, or better yet, reintroduces, another Pinoy traditional favorite: Taisan.


The situation is that, sadly, taisan has been gradually disappearing from the bread and pastry scene. It used to be a fixture on the shelves of neighborhood bakeries and big commercial bakeshops. It’s said to have originated in Pampanga, prepared like butter cake—baked in loaf pan and coated liberally with butter and sugar.


Unlike mamon that can be consumed completely in one sitting, the rectangular-shaped taisan is often shared with two or more people because of its ample size, ranging from seven to nine serving slices. It’s ideally paired with coffee or tea or with vanilla ice cream—like Mercado does with his taisan—if eaten as dessert.


“Taisan is almost a forgotten product because it’s quite tedious to make,” says Mercado, who incidentally first came up with the most number of mamon flavors on the market (butter, cheese, rocky road, chocolate, dulce de leche and ube). “Taisan is labor-intensive, it can’t done by a machine.”


Taisan-making basically requires bare hands to brush the butter and sugar on both sides and on top of the cake. It won’t work with any of the electric machines, says Mercado, otherwise things will be messy.


The sugar-and-butter coating is the key to making a good taisan.


Original recipe


Mercado is reintroducing taisan through an original recipe passed on to him by his grandmother Amalia Mercado, founder of Red Ribbon bakeshop.


“TAISAN,” ideally paired with coffee, tea or vanilla ice cream
“TAISAN,” ideally paired with coffee, tea or vanilla ice cream

He still remembers the smooth, dense and buttery flavor of the taisan of his childhood. And it’s the same taste and mouth-feel that he wants to share again via his Red Spatula taisan. But this time, it’s more compact and easy to finish.


“I’ve made mine a bit smaller than it was before, because people nowadays don’t like leftovers,” says the 26-year-old Mercado. “If they can enjoy it in just one sitting, the better.”


With the new size, more or less 3½ x 1½ inch, people can still bring it home as pasalubong or share with their family.


They’re baked fresh with no preservatives and delivered to all the stores every day. Taisan costs P70 apiece or P65 each for a two-order purchase, packaged in a paper bag with heating instructions.


“Only few establishments now carry taisan,” Mercado adds. “We try to continue to infuse our taisan with butter to make it extra creamy and tasty. Others use lots of water or margarine to replace butter.”


Mercado is happy to note that his taisan is fast picking up, with orders coming in. For the holiday season, Red Spatula accepts corporate or bulk orders (120 pieces or more). Only three days’ notice is needed, with a five-percent discount for bulk orders made before Dec. 4. Orders can be made through any store, through; or tel. 2771676.


Red Spatula outlets are as follows: Greenbelt 1, Glorietta 3, SM North Edsa, Trinoma, Lucky Chinatown, SM San Lazaro, SM Megamall, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Magnolia, Rustan’s Magallanes, SM BF Parañaque and SM Southmall.


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