Saturday, December 29, 2012


martillos (mar-til-yos; Zamboangueño [Chavacano] wafer) [n.] hammered wafer; a delicate round wafer that curled into a tube; The wafer is made of flour dough. It is flattened and pressed on wooden mold by hammering with a mallet. Thus it is called martillos from the Spanish martillo, which means  “hammer.” The wooden mold is carved with decorative design that makes the martillos look like the Capampangan pan de San Nicolas biscuit for having the embossed design on its surface. 

Some of the martillos I bought from a stall nearby the Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City

Martillos tastes much like an ice cone wafer and can be eaten as is or used to scoop ice cream or as wafer for taco or burrito. 

Most of the vendors selling martillos accross the Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City could hardly  tell how this tubular wafer was originally produced. They don't even know now that it is called martillos. They simply called it apa (wafer) and mistook it as another version of barquillos (wafer roll).

The modern process of making martillos no longer requires the tapping of mallet (wooden hammer), rather the flour dough is pressed with rolling pin into a thin sheet, then pressed on a wooden mold with the rolling pin for the embossed design, cut into disc then wrapped around on a wooden or metallic tube and deep fried in electric fryer till crisp and brown. This explains why martillos now are in uniform shape, size, and the way it is curled. It now looks closely similar to Italian pizzelle or cannoli shell, only that martillos is more than like a wafer and delicately crisp.  

Some of the martillos I bought from a stall nearby the Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City

It is so delicate that it would brittle easily and difficult to bring as pasalubong (bring home gift) without breaking few pieces of it along the way.

A pile of martillos on display along with the colored candles for sale to locals, tourists, visitors, and devotees of Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City
Some of the martillos I bought from a stall nearby the Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City
Having an embossed designed could be attributed to the shrine of Fort Pilar with an altar of embossed sculptures on the massive wall of the unique open space or alfresco church of Zamboanga City 

The roofless shrine of Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City where the Holy Mass is regularly celebrated.
My first visit to the altar of the shrine of Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City with embossed sculptures on its massive stone wall.


Follow my blog now via email:

CLICK HERE to get Philippine Food Illustrated delivered by email. No spam, promise.

or copy this address to get latest update:


SEE THIS OPEN & FREE food dictionary now:


Help Me Now

  • any amount with your Pay Pal or card.

Your contribution will help fund Edgie Polistico's research and development of Pinoy dictionaries. More discoveries, information, and knowledge will be shared to you and to others because of your generosity.

CLICK HERE on how else to help this project