Dedicated Since 1981
To be the Philippines’ Biggest Prawn Crackers Suppliers: A Grandfather’s Dream
Where to sell uncooked prawn crackers?
Such a question rarely figured in anyone’s thoughts back in the pre-war era but not for Chua Wan Po, the founder of Besuto uncooked prawn crackers.
Chua Wan Po or the Patriarch Po hails from Jinjiang province of mainland China. His foray into the Asian chips food business took a different route. It began from his love of chemistry.
In early 1940s, the trend was to put up stores to provide for a growing population. Times were uncertain. The world was going to war and for many, a practical consideration to earn a quick buck was to sell food at the black market. Po, however, had another plan brewing in his mind.
A UNIQUE BUSINESS IDEA in the early 1940’S
He went into another type of business which would be more lucrative over time and would prove to be the secret formula for his family enterprise. He knew that his endeavor had to be unique and the only way to do that was to provide the flavor for food.
Tapping the Asian taste buds for condiments and strong scents, he saw a great opportunity from a nearby pharmacy.
Ahead of his time, Po approached a certain Spanish fellow who owned a drugstore in Legarda, Manila. Po started by asking how to mix seasoning. Take garlic, for instance. After grinding the garlic what else can he mix with it so that it will have a variant flavor or one that will tone down the strong taste and aroma of garlic.
He persisted in getting the Spaniard to tell him more about the ingredients and mixture. He experimented until he got the right flavors palatable to the Filipino’s taste bud.
how to make krupuk
Po was in his 20’s, married and already had 2 children. His wife helped him mix the ingredients in his laboratory. He used available devices such as the good, old pasta maker, makeshift oven and heaters such as light bulbs to get the right temperature during storage.
Cracking the Code of Asian Chips
Later he bought machines such as kneeders and laminators from Japan. He also acquired new ingredients from India. Thus began the winning formula for essential oils, seasoning, additives and juice concentrates.
All these experiments gave birth to Hi-Q Commercial in Divisoria. The year was 1942.
He Sold fish crackers
Fast forward 50 years later, Po was already 70 years old, he applied his additives and spices on snack food.
He got men on bikes who went door-to-door on the streets to peddle cooked potato fries, fish crackers or cuttle fish with seasoning. He knew everyone loves a good merienda.
Then he tried another specialty. He sold the cooked prawn crackers in movie theaters. But the oil in the foil later made the crackers stale and rancid. Storage and its short life span were a challenge.
That’s when Po thought of making the translucent bite-sized pellets that we now know as Besuto uncooked prawn crackers.
MOST RECOGNIZED PRAWN CRACKERS SUPPLIERS
Besuto uncooked prawn crackers gained wider recognition in the 1980s when they lined the shelves of huge supermarkets.
And when advertisements on Besuto prawn crackers came out on primetime TV. The late celebrities, German Moreno and Isabel Granada, endorsed them on their show, That’s Entertainment.
Teenagers who were glued to the TV associated Besuto Prawn Crackers to being fun, young and delightful.
Besuto prawn crackers became an instant household name and the most popular prawn crackers suppliers in the Philippines during that time.
For many, the uncooked prawn crackers are also known as the prawn crackers ready to fry. People associated them with family gatherings as they would cook prawn crackers in the kitchens and combine them with the dishes served during family meals.
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1801 State Center Building, Juan Luna Street, Binondo, Manila 1006 The Philippines
Telephone: +632 82423028