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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Food Faves #35: Silvanas From House of Silvanas

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

click to enlarge Silvanas in three flavors: pandan, ube, and mango. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • Silvanas in three flavors: pandan, ube, and mango.

SFoodie's countdown of our favorite 50 things to eat and drink, 2012 edition


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Of the many fine things to come from houses -- prime rib, pancakes, Venus Xtravaganza -- the finest may be silvanas. Conjured out of butter and cashews, with a touch of food coloring added for good luck, these sandwich cookies are only found in a few places outside the Philippines. In fact, the Manila-based House of Silvanas has only one Bay Area location, a shoebox bakery located in a Daly City strip mall barely visible from the street.


Silvanas, which are stored in a freezer case, are the size of an oversized Oreo or a Parisian macaron. When you pick one up, it gives the illusion that it's more air than solid. Eat the first silvana as you're departing the store, and you seem to taste it in two waves: First the wafers, whose brittle, flaky texture is reminiscent of a Butterfinger, shiver and dissolve. Then the butter cream at the center of the cookie begins to melt. 

House of Silvanas, 2055 Gellert, #3, Daly City, (650) 878-8700, www.houseofsilvanas.com.

Most of the silvanas' flavor -- tangy mango, deep chocolate, grassy pandan leaf -- is locked in butter, and it slowly spreads throughout the mouth, leaving the fruit long after the bite is gone. As the silvanas warm up, the time lag disappears, and you realize that you've grown to like the syncopated effect. Which is why the few that make it back to the house will go back into the freezer. There, they emit pulses of some gravitational force that keeps you orbiting back to the kitchen, until they have all disappeared.

Other favorites in this series:

36: Linden Street Brewery's black lager

37: Aged oolongs from Red Blossom Tea Company

38: Broken Record's crawfish grits

39: Cebiche mixto from La Mar 

40: Nutella-hazelnut hand pie from Black Jet Baking Co.
41: Fifth Floor's burger
42: Perbacco's agnolotti dal plin
43: Iced coffee from Sightglass
44: Cypress Grove's Purple Haze Chevre
45: Lechon from Tastebuds Cuisine
46: Duck with beets from AQ
47: Tai nigiri at ICHI Sushi
48: Fish with explosive chiles from Spices! 
49: Baker & Banker Bakery's blueberry cream cheese muffin
50: Kufta tajine from Cafe Zitouna

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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