'Turontastic’: Filipino snack making waves in San Francisco

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2019 09:05 AM | Updated as of Apr 19 2019 09:43 AM

Turontastic’s Ube Mochi turon. Photo courtesy of Turontastic Facebook page

MANILA – A well-loved Filipino snack with a new twist is beginning to make waves in California, as it debuted in a food market. 

Filipinos in San Francisco could get a taste of home in the Choc-nut, Ube Mochi, and Halo-halo flavors of turon.

Filipino entrepreneur Julius Calvin Santos said he created these flavors based on his childhood favorites.

“Ube- Mochi, for instance is a product of my love for Ube and Tikoy. Then there’s Halo-halo, Choc-nut, Buco Pandan, Mango and 10 other flavors,” he told ABS-CBN News.

“When it was time to launch Turontastic in San Francisco’s Off the Grid Food Market, we hand-picked 3 of our best-selling flavors and offered it there.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Calvin (@turontastic) on

Before it got its debut at a food hub, Turontastic had its humble beginning at a birthday potluck in 2015, when Santos brought a dozen chocolate-dipped turons.

“One of the Caucasian guests got one piece and asked what it was since they looked like Cannolis. I told him that it was a Chocolate-dipped Turon or Filipino crunchy crepe. He was so delighted after trying it and exclaimed: ‘Bro, your Turon is fantastic…it’s Turon-tastic,’” Santos said.

“I saw the potential in it after the dozen Turons were gone in seconds.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Calvin (@turontastic) on

In 2016, it got its big break when Santos partnered with Fil-Am café Coffee Adventure and later on went to be featured in various food festivals.

“It’s a product of persistence, public demand and luck. I am personally a very conservative entrepreneur, it was the demand that lead me to Off the Grid. Aside from getting rave reviews among San Franciscans, Turontastic enjoyed back-to-back ‘sold out’ in major food events such as the Ube Festival and Lumpiapalooza,” Santos said.

Santos and his business partner Karen Togle-Recinto then went to apply for a spot at the Off the Grid Food Market where they launched Turontastic last April 12.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Calvin (@turontastic) on

Aside from the Filipino snack, Turontastic also offers all-time favorite Pinoy dessert Halo-halo with Ube snow, Pancit Batil-Patung with sprinkled chives and topped with chicharon, a calamansi-infused ice tea that will “remind you of Manila Sunset,” and Barako coffee.