The Pastechi House, a main street icon since it opened in December 2005, has branched out this year to the Island of Curacao, with the opening of a beautiful outlet on Columbusstraat, in Punda, Willemstad, at the heart of the historic district.
Owner Justo Lopez, a local entrepreneur likes to share his fondest childhood memories at the time when pastechis were home-made, rolled out in every kitchen as an afternoon snack, nicely finished with elegant fork markings and lovingly fried for the kids to enjoy.
Lopez reports he wanted to bring that genuine Aruban tradition into the 21st century, making it less time-consuming and more widely available.
Which lead him to open the Pastechi House factory.
It was a long process to determine the best type of flour to use and the style of dough consistency in order to meet island-wide approval. From thickness of crust to degree of crispiness, Lopez tested it all in small groups and developed the master recipe, with a taste of yesteryears.
Classic pastechi, he explains, are never too sweet, never too oily, theyâ€™re lightly browned and very flavorful without overpowering the taste-buds of snackers of all ages.
Naturally, he could not order equipment out of a catalogue. He had to design it, modifying Canadian machinery and creating customized molds.
In his immaculately clean, state of the art factory in Eagle, pastechis are made from especially imported Italian flour. A crew of eight bakers prepares up to 5,000 pastries each day, which are immediately packed and instantly deep frozen, ready to be shipped to their next destination. The factory also makes croquets and empanadas, and is efficiently overseen by Justy Lopez, Justoâ€™s lovely daughter.
Most of Arubaâ€™s hotels serve Pastechi House junior and full size crescent pastries, with 12 different fillings from the classic Cheese and Ham, to chicken, Certified Angus beef and chop soy.
During Christmas, the factory ships out pastechi with ayaka fillings, and in Curacao as a special order, the new Renaissance Resort buys them filled just like Indian samosa, for a novel, fusion effect. Ask for them by name: Spicy oriental pastechi.
In Aruba, the main street Pastechi House is a cute outlet. It also serves soft drinks, smoothies and ice cream. In Curacao the outlet also offers internet cafÃ© services, and the nicest bathrooms in Punda — accessories courtesy of Banjolux Aruba.
The Aruba main street branch Lopez explains, was a pilot project. With Curacao now under his belt, Lopez is thinking about invading Holland.
Arubaâ€™s humble pastechi will travel he predicts, it is an established, well-liked brand which will hopefully take over the world, one store at the time.
While protecting the integrity of the basic recipe Pastechi can become many different things, for example, pizza-flavored with real pepperoni filling, Creole, with minced conc filling, or with cod fish filling â€“ a favorite in Curacao, tuna fish fillings are a hit everywhere.
Within the next few weeks, Wendyâ€™s, the old fashioned hamburger-serving international chain of fast food restaurants, will be serving pastechi in Aruba. Having inspected the manufacturing process, Wendyâ€™s corporate delegates were very pleased with the level of hygiene and the professional degree of excellence observed in the production line and gave the green light to commence selling the pastries here.
Look forward for them at all of Wendyâ€™s outlets on the island, in the fall.
Pictured here, Justy receives best pastechi in Aruba award from Island Temptations magazine, the outlet in Curacao, and the Pastechi House factory.