When pasalubong items were not a common find, Cebu’s El Gusto Turrones put Cebu on the map. At a time when travel was a luxury and a need, the household names in pasalubong items was El Gusto’s Turrones.
If there are people born with a silver spoon on their mouth, I was born with a turrones in mine. Lol. No, really. The turrones has been in our family for as long as I can remember. Much of our summers were spent at the factory helping out rolling the delicious delicacy… until the adults realized we were eating more than what we were producing. They would gently shoo us off to play. What the adults didn’t know was that when they shooed us off, we’d go to drying area where the expensive pili nuts were being dried off and… we’d eat our hearts out. Hehehe. What adventures we had when we were financially unaware.
Cebu’s El Gusto Turrones is labeled from the makers of Conching Bollozos Turrones. Conching Bollozos was my maternal great grandmother’s sister, making her my great grand aunt. My great grand Lola’s name was Agueda Barrientos Bollozos. I love listening to the stories of how my great grand ancestors made their marks on society during their time. My grandmother, Pacita ‘Paz’ Bollozos Tupas Bigornia, took over El Gusto with her sister, Rosita Bollolzos Tupas Montinola until at some point, my grand aunt, Mamang, decided to set-up a separate turrones business, El Tesoro de Cebu. When my Lola Patchoy (Paz) died, she wanted to turn the business over to my father but as he was a doctor, my father insisted that his sister Conching handle the business. Anyway, fast forward to the present, it is now being handled by one of the younger brothers, Nino (Jesus Roberto).
We are also related to the Bollozos’ who make Cebu’s Best and La Salud. So you see, it really goes way back in time.
My generation only has wonderful memories of our afternoons spent at the turrones factory. We hope to bring back the glory days of the turrones and the distinct identity it gave to the pasalubong selection of Cebu.
Hmmmm… where to start? Interestingly enough, this has also sparked my interest in trying to discover my ancestral family tree. I still can’t quite figure it out yet. If anyone has information there that could help, let me know!