Good day everyone! T. Em here for another blog… For today, I will be sharing about a “bread icon” in the Philippines, but before that try to understand this, Every country has a nationally beloved bread. Example: French- croissants, San Francisco- sourdough, and Italy- focaccia. For Philippines – pandesal. It is a type of bread that Filipinos love and pair with a lot of things and can be eaten not just for breakfast but also for snack. I give you the “Pandesal” (Filipino Bread Roll)
For some Asian countries, “bread” is a staple food, just next to “rice” the same goes in the PH (PH = Philippines) but when we talk about breakfast food we cannot put aside the fact that many Filipinos love bread and one of the favourite is the “Pandesal”. Originally, the name “pandesal” means “salt bread” in Spanish where it originated but contrary to the Spanish name the bread itself tastes a little sweet. “Pandesal” is made of a mixture of flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, salt, milk and breadcrumbs, although different bakeries have their own recipes and secrets on how to make this awesome bread, these ingredients are constant. The size of the bread is a bit small, actually it’s“bite size” bread, it used to be a lot bigger back in the days. (Oh well… things change). It costs about P2.00 each, commonly available in “small bakeries” around neighbourhoods or sometimes it is being sold by a person riding a bicycle around the area, honking a bicycle horn while shouting the name of the bread in a very strange but attention grabbing way. It is best consumed when newly baked (some bakeries offer “hot pandesal” all day). Sellers usually put the bread in a brown paper bag when you buy it. Originally there is only 1 variant of “Pandesal” but a few years back a new variant became popular, it is made of “Malunggay leaves”. The availability of pandesal before is a little bit troublesome, when I was younger, I need to wake up really early in the morning to purchase “hot pandesal” because they sell out really quick but nowadays a lot of bakeries offer “hot pandesal” all day, every day.
Pandesal is usually the “main attraction” of breakfast food for majority of Filipinos and we enjoy eating the bread with different combinations, there are a number of famous Filipino combinations with pandesal but the most famous is with coffee. It doesn’t matter what kind of coffee you drink, it is like an “unwritten rule” in the PH that you eat pandesal with coffee, the interesting thing about it is that we dunk the bread in the coffee and eat it (like Oreo’s in a glass of milk) especially in rural areas, it also tastes good with hot chocolate (same as Oreo’s in a glass of milk), I haven’t tried it with tea and milk though… It is enjoyed and done by young and old people alike. Filipinos stuff the bread with different types of preserved jams like strawberry, mango, coconut, mangosteen, guava, etc. It is also good with bread spreads like cheese, butter, chocolate, mayonnaise, etc. and of course with the usual stuff hotdogs, eggs, ham, burger patties, bacon, even condensed milk! Do it however you like it and stuff it with anything you can stuff it with. With my family, sometimes we coat the “pandesal” in raw battered eggs then fry them. (I highly suggest this one)
For some, it is just bread but this small bread is a part of the Filipino breakfast culture and I hope that it will continue to stay that way for more years to come. Of course, reading it and tasting it are 2 different stories, I urge you to experience it yourself so, I invite you to check the link and details on how you can have the chance to study English and try this awesome bread… until then, this is T. Em, until the next blog.