Pastit, pronounced as pus-tit, is the baked version of pumpkin turnover while buchi buchi is the fried version of pumpkin turnover. These take-and-go treats are popular on Guam throughout the year. Many mom and pop stores sell them as well as the gas stations sprinkled throughout the island.
The crust of the buchi buchi is different from the crust of the pastit, though both use the same filling. The pastit recipe in the cookbook is excellent; it has the perfect ratio of flour to fat to hold up well in your hand and is not oily.
from a fan: “Thank You Paula Quinene for sharing your recipe! It smells like it's Thanksgiving Day in my home…I told you..fresh from the oven, into my tummy! Gof Mungi!”
from a fan: " I wanted to make pastit. Thanks to you, they turned out just right and my kids and friends loved them."
from a fan: "Hafa Adai, Paula! l bought A Taste of Guam book thru amazon online order,and l was making pumpkin pastit. lt turned out great and delicious!! My family and l love it."
Fan photos by K.Q., P.U., and M.L.
Return to A Taste of Guam How to make buchi buchi
Ties to the world:
Similarities – name, filling
Catalan – pastis
Spanish – pastel
One of the most interesting things I have found about the Chamorro heritage comes from pastit, buchi buchi, and empanada. In Chamorro, pastit is the baked version of pumpkin turnover. Pie translates to pastis in Catalan, and pastel in Spanish. In many Latin American countries, turnovers are referred to as empanadas. In her book, "Latin American Street Food," Sandra Gutierrez defines empanar as "to encase in bread." Suffice it to say, how is it that on Guam we say pastit instead of empanada de calamasa? Buchi buchi on Guam refers to the fried version of the pumpkin turnover, yet in the Phillipines, buchi -- one word only -- is a dessert shaped into a ball, filled, fried, and coated in sesame seeds. Empanada on Guam is specifically the achote-flavored, masa harina-crust turnover filled with achote-flavored chicken and rice. This divergence reflects the influence of Spain, Mexico and the Philippines on Guam's food during the island's early history.