03 Jan2007


The lotto game’s tag line in the U.S. when i lived there was a “A Dollar and a Dream.” I have altered it more than just a bit for this post. While I wallow in dozens of back posts that have yet to be written, many of them on outrageously calorie and cholesterol rich dishes, I decided to start off on a simple note. One peso doesn’t seem to buy much of anything these days, in fact, the coin itself is worth more MELTED than in circulation. So it is always a challenge to find something worthwhile to purchase with a single coin. A few days ago, in a new, small hole in the wall bakery on a side street in Nasugbu (it didn’t even have a name yet), I found the ultimate value for one peso…

In the past, I have seen a fairly wide spectrum of sweets or breads for take-out pan2eating from places near and far. Perhaps the priciest sweet morsel I have ever purchased is a large chocolate macaroon at La Maison du Chocolat on Madison Avenue in New York, flown in earlier in the day from Paris, and a whopping USD5 or so for a 2.5 to 3.0 inch diameter dessert. It was heavenly, but at PHP270, pricey by any measure. Locally, the most pricey dessert I have had in recent memory is one of the flourless chocolate or pumpkin cupcakes of “Cupcakes by Sonja” which was roughly PHP100 for a small (1/2 cup) cake; delicious but likewise pricey. Going down the scale a bit, a mall-quality “commercial ensaimada” might run you about PHP45-50, and leave your mouth dry, with months old dry queso de bola dust sprinkled on top. So suffice it to say, there might not be a good cost to satisfaction linkage at all…

So when I stumbled across this tiny storefront in Nasugbu and the smell of freshly baked bread wafted onto the street, I couldn’t resist and checked out these tiny pan de sals. pan3Barely an inch and a half across and fresh out of the oven, you could pop the entire serving into your mouth. And gosh was it bloody good. Soft, hot, breadlike and surprise, surprise – NOT SWEET, it had a light brushing of Star Margarine on the top that provided a little dollop of fat and saltiness. Truly, a sigh of delight for a single peso. No palaman necessary. Of course I decided to buy 120 pieces and see if overdoing it would take away from the discovery. Between me and 5 crew, we finished the 120 pieces before the bread even got cold. And all agreed this was a terrific value. Would I trade a chocolate macaroon for 270 of these babies? Darn right I would, any day of the year! The same would probably ring true for the undersized and overpriced cupcakes or a commercial ensaimada! Of course, part of the attraction is that the pan de sals were straight out of the oven…but there is just something inexplicably satisfying about a little pan de sal for just one peso.

As if that wasn’t enough of a discovery that morning, I looked into the glass display case of the bakery and they also had these great looking “mamons,” which are like little cake-like confections, denser and with a touch of sugar, with slight crispy edges, pan4kind of like the little corn muffins I had served a week earlier at a snazzy Holiday meal. The price of these treats? Yup, you got it, one peso each! We bought about 50 of those and they were inhaled like a Vicks stick at the height of nasal congestion. The next morning, I returned to town to buy every single pan de sal they had cooking at 8 a.m. – I placed the order before going in to the market proper. When I got out, they had my 120 pan de sals ready and a long line of customers who were slightly annoyed that all of the little morsels of joy were “out of stock”… Heehee. The store had no name yet, it was on the sidestreet near the seafood section of the Nasugbu market.



  1. lee says:

    I love mamon paired with pepsi or other cheap soda (rc, pop, jaz) for an afternoon snack. Local bakeries are treasure troves of other baked goodies like bañadas, double body, dalunggan ni kingkong (kingkong’s ear?), kamunsil, bread with red, purple, and imitation pineapple filling, pancho (buns with candied coconut filling), orange hued biscochos and others. I love pandesal dunked in coffee. Perfect.

    Jan 3, 2007 | 2:51 pm


  2. Notice: Undefined variable: oddcomment in /home/marketman/marketmanila.com/wp-content/themes/marketmanila-v2/comments.php on line 33
  3. yan-i says:

    Hi MM! I just wish you had taken a picture of that bakery, as I’m not very familiar in Nasugbu, I would want to buy there as well to have a taste of what you’ve almost describe as glory in taste. :)

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:12 pm

  4. MRJP says:

    I miss that type of pandesal :( I tried cooking pandesal but I failed to make it as good as that. The next morning, the pandesal buns that I made turned into stone-hard buns!

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:14 pm

  5. ihid says:

    On one of my field work at a hinterland barangay, the barangay officials offered us an OTAP. It was very good that it poses a threat to Cebu’s Shamrock. Just a hint of sugar, cripiness just right and melts in your mouth. Sad to say that I did not get where it was baked. They were supplied by a motorcyle riding suki.
    Also, whenever I go to the market, I always get a pack of Dalagang Bukid. Its always a bestseller in family gatherings.

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:30 pm

  6. Mila says:

    Those “mamons” look like the corn muffins at Kenny Rogers, and taste better than the latter I bet.
    I like the tiny pan de sals when I can find them, there used to be one near my parents place, but it wasn’t that cheap, more like P1.50 for fresh pan de sal. Didn’t someone post a recipe for pan de sal a year or so ago?

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:32 pm

  7. miriam says:

    a bit out of this blog topic but i have a question…would you have any idea where i can buy canned pumpkin? I saw them before at Cash and Carry but now they don’t have it anymore.

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:36 pm

  8. awi says:

    love ’em tiny mamons! the official name for those little dollops of delight is ‘kabayan’ (sometimes ‘kababayan’).

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:39 pm

  9. awi says:

    miriam– you watched rachael ray last night no? ;-)

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:39 pm

  10. elit says:

    awi is right, we call those mamons here as “kababayans” din, we liked to eat that a lot. When I didn’t know the name of that mamon yet, I used to call it “mexican hat” :) kakagutom naman yung pan de sal story mo, what a novelty to eat nowadays of freshly baked pandesal with a slight brushing pa of star margarine…yummy!

    Jan 3, 2007 | 3:54 pm

  11. wysgal says:

    Your photos look great! Reading this post, I’m reminded of NVM Gonzales’s short story “The Bread of Salt,” which (if I recall correctly) celebrated the pan de sal as the quintessential Filipino bread. I personally love my pan de sal with dirty ice cream. =)

    Jan 3, 2007 | 4:03 pm

  12. len says:

    I remember we had 2 dozen pan de sal delivered HOT every morning and the whole thing cost under 2 pesos. But then, the exchange rate was like P4 to a $1. OK, that was in the 60’s. MM, you were not born yet. heeheeheh.

    Jan 3, 2007 | 4:20 pm

  13. relly says:

    I’ll name the store…MM bakeshop… he he

    Jan 3, 2007 | 4:20 pm

  14. Katrina says:

    For a while, in college, I lived with a friend from school. One night, we had a study group over and were at it all night. At about 4am, my friend made us all take a break so we could walk over to the neighborhood panaderia to buy some freshly baked pan de sal. Since I’m NEVER awake so early, I’d never had pan de sal that fresh before. After hours of nonstop studying, the taste of that hot bread slathered with lots of melted butter is one of the best food memories I have. I actually looked forward to all-nighters after that.

    Re: kabayan/kababayan. I hope I’m not being overly insulting here, but the first time I tasted Sonja’s vanilla cupcake, it honetly reminded me of those! I enjoy kabayan, but wouldn’t pay a 5000% mark-up for it, albeit with yummy frosting! ;-)

    Jan 3, 2007 | 4:38 pm

  15. Katrina says:

    Wysgal, I’ve heard about eating ice cream with pan de sal (or other sorts of non-sweet bread) several times, but was always put off by it. I think it’s about time I tried it. Now, if only I could find some good pan de sal and dirty ice cream around here…

    Jan 3, 2007 | 4:41 pm

  16. Jean says:

    Yup, those muffin bread are called kababayan. We used to own a bakery, kababayan is always popular among our customers. And yes, hohoho, hot pan de sal is the best! And so is ensaymada fresh from the oven, with melted mantekilya… Kakagutom naman!

    Jan 3, 2007 | 5:28 pm

  17. joey says:

    Fresh hot pan de sal is one of the best bread, if not food, experiences to be had. I used to be part of the rowing crew in school and we used to have these freshly baked at a little bakery near the Manila Boat Club…yum!

    I also like that bread called “putok” :) And pan de coco! When I was still in school, my friends and I, when in the beach, used to buy one putok in the market and just munch from it the whole day…both to save money and avoid bilbil…hahaha!

    Jan 3, 2007 | 5:30 pm

  18. Cai says:

    Those tiny mamons are yummy! I also like those bread with red paste fillings in the middle, the tindera told me its called “panderegla.” What a gross name for something so yummy! I also can’t forget this custard cake that I bought in a small bakery in Buting. Sarap sobra! The cake was really moist and the custard or leche flan on top was not cloyingly sweet, tama lang. Where can I buy find custard cakes like that kaya? The bakery closed down already..

    Katrina, try Arce ube / quezo ice cream with pandesal! =)

    Jan 3, 2007 | 6:34 pm

  19. edel says:

    wow, the muffin/kababayan looks yummy!
    i remember eating ‘bonete’ also, somewhere in batangas city and ‘pinagong’ (hard version) in quezon

    Jan 3, 2007 | 7:54 pm

  20. Maria Clara says:

    Pan de sal fresh out of the oven is truly a gastronomical delight! With cheese pimiento or combination of guava jelly, queso de bola and good butter and good unsweetened black coffee is a real treat. Great way to start a day with hot pan de sal. The mamon like pastry I love to dunk them in my coffee. Wish the unnamed bakery will thrive well!

    Jan 4, 2007 | 1:29 am

  21. tulip says:

    My mom is from Batangas and they call that muffin kabayan. Most of bakeries in Metro Manila are in fact owned by Batangueno folks. Batanguenos are not only known for their balisong, they are the finest bakers too. There is a particular town in Batangas, where there is a bakery in every block and they are all doing business really good-with patrons from nearby provinces. In Batangas City, a bakery is almost 24 hours open to meet the demands. I remember being in Laguna, craved for a nice pan de sal and had to drive to Batangas and wake up the baker at wee hours just so I can satisfy my craving. The baker or owner is also kind enough to give some biscocho(like breadcrumbs) for free every time I visit, that I use for cooking.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 1:36 am

  22. Knittymommy says:

    Hot pan de sal. Hay naku, that’s one of the breads I miss the most. All you can get here in our area is the baliwag style pandesal that you get in the Pinoy store. They’re good, but not always at their freshest, mind you.

    I have however found a close alternative in a local bakery. They are dinner rolls but are close in taste and texture. Hmmm… I must post about that soon.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 2:17 am

  23. pinky says:

    I am having pancit canton for lunch at my workdesk as I type this blog; on the side I have this Sara Lee Heart Healthy Wheat Dinner Rolls left over from the New Year feast instead of the hot pandesal featured here. Waaahhh, that’s not fair!!!!

    When we were little, my mom used to buy two kinds of pandesals, one featured here and the other one had a crusty outer layer – a small crusty french bread almost reminds me of the. texture (not the taste). I thought we had a name for those but I already forget. Those were really good piping hot with a generous pat of Anchor or Clorverbloom butter in their soft center.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 5:41 am

  24. fried-neurons says:

    Pan de sal has got to be on my top 10 list of “things I miss about the Philippines”. Few things are as good as pan de sal fresh from the oven, still warm and soft. My favorite thing to pair with pan de sal is just plain ol’ butter. The bread’s heat melts the butter and the whole thing turns into a rich little treat. Another thing that I love with pan de sal is canned corned beef – but it MUST be the “local” variety, like Purefoods or something. American, Australian, and Argentinian canned corned beef are all too bland.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 6:56 am

  25. Lei says:

    Oooh, one of those posts that awaken those senses ingrained in your brain, nothing like eating freshly baked pandesal from the oven. We also refer to those mamons as kababayan, does anyone have an idea why they named it as such?

    Fried-neurons, btw have you noticed that the local corned beef nowadays seem to be LOADED with preservatives that sometimes you can no longer taste the beef but the preservative rather? I hope they(purefoods, argentina, cdo etc) make some adjustments since aside from the fact that it is NOT healthy anymore, the taste of the beef is already masked by those preservatives. I forgot the name of the exact additive they are using, will check it up my brother in law.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 7:21 am

  26. shane from dallas says:

    Back in the days our Yaya thought highly of canned Sardines-Ligo or 555 Brand. She thinks it is so versatile in soups (miswah), torta, omelette, so on so forth. I remember truly enjoying a piping hot pan de sal filled with sardines sauteed in garlic and onions. She makes them especially when the weather is uncooperative. Fried-neurons, i miss corned beef with pan de sal too!

    Jan 4, 2007 | 9:20 am

  27. Mitch says:

    Miss na miss ko na ang pandesal. I still remember the old lady who delivers it to our house every morning-still warm. I put butter then dunk the pandesal in hot coffee then drink the coffee afterwards with bits floating – yikes!
    And I was not even seven years old then- coffee drinker na. The kababayan, we get from the sari-sari store or from the bakery. I love it a bit brown with the tips crunchy. MM, all the best to you and your family.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 12:14 pm

  28. khristine says:

    Hi, MM!

    If you are ever in Iloilo, you might want to swing by Panaderia ni Pa-a which has been around since 1898. They’ve maintained their 100+-year old pandesal recipe, which is very very different from the pandesal which is commonly sold in other bakeries.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 1:23 pm

  29. Dennis says:

    Oven baked Pan de Sal wrapped in “papel de japon” with the 2 corners twisted to sorta seal the package and keep the heat within…wow..and then left hanging near the top of our steel gates, high enough to keep the pets from feasting on them, yet low enough for my 4’8″ yaya to reach. Paired with Hunt’s Pork & Beans, or simply dunked in hot coffee (same here Mitch), undoubtedly my all time best breakfast combination. I wonder if Pan De Sal is still delivered to homes these days just like during my time? Does anyone know?

    Happy New Year to you and your family, MM. And thanks for yet another wonderful post.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 1:40 pm

  30. Tiffany says:

    Yum! I love pandesal with just butter or nothing at all.
    Happy New Year Mr. M. Thank you for entertaining, educating and making us fat with just reading your blog!

    Jan 4, 2007 | 1:45 pm

  31. foodie says:

    hot pandesal dunked in hot tsokolate!

    Jan 4, 2007 | 4:21 pm

  32. trishlovesbread says:

    Thanks for featuring one of my all-time faves, the pandesal! I’ve experimented with several good recipes but haven’t found perfection…will anyone care to share a tried and tested version? :-)

    Jan 4, 2007 | 4:41 pm

  33. Marketman says:

    trish et al, I have a “shortcut” pan de sal version that I featured a year ago. It turned out pretty well…just make sure you don’t add too much flour or it will get too hard. Also, make sure you have new or fresh yeast. You can see the recipe here. Other readers seemed to try it and for the most part got good results…

    Jan 4, 2007 | 4:46 pm

  34. awi says:

    Cai, i love the bread with the red stuff in the center (which is actually more bread that’s flavored with something). Haha, yes, it’s called ‘pan de regla’, but most of the time it’s known as ‘kalihim’ ;-)

    Minsan I’m disappointed with the quality of the kalihim I buy in neighborhood bakeries, so I make sure to visit Blue Kitchen at Power Plant whenever I have a kalihim craving. PHP 60 for 10 pieces — 5 red and 5 purple, haha ;-)

    Jan 4, 2007 | 4:52 pm

  35. Jayjay says:

    khristine, are you from Iloilo? Is the panaderia sa buho still around? It’s this war-era bakery that makes old-fashioned pan de sal that they sell out of a hole in wall, literally.

    Jan 4, 2007 | 4:56 pm

  36. Cai says:

    Awi, thanks for the tip! I’ll go to Rockwell next week to buy me some “kalihim!” =)

    Jan 4, 2007 | 8:48 pm

  37. DivineG. says:

    My friend Tina and I used to sell to our officemates hot pan de sal with itlog na maalat as palaman. It was a hit. That was years agao. For me, I like to eat hot pan de sal dipped in very cold milk mixed with sugar, it’s something salty with something sweet. Those were the days….

    Jan 5, 2007 | 8:38 am

  38. shane from dallas says:

    jayjay, omgosh! you know about the panaderia sa buho.. it is still around if you are referring to a square whole (literally) on the wall! My Uncle passed in 2005 in Iloilo. I remember being shuffled around to get snacks for the visitors who stayed for the “daguro”. My cousins drove me to that place at 2 in the morning! memories…

    Jan 5, 2007 | 8:45 am

  39. Jayjay says:

    wow. i’m actually from iloilo–though manila-based for about eight years now–but i couldn’t find the buho even if you paid me! went there maybe twice and all i remember now is that it’s somewhere in the center of the city.

    Jan 5, 2007 | 2:01 pm

  40. Nel says:

    Another former bakery owner here =) Yes, those mamons are kababayans! But, what I used to pilfer hot out of the oven are the spanish bread… hot, melted margarine-sugar mix oozing with every bite — YUM!

    Jan 6, 2007 | 1:55 am

  41. Ted says:

    Im just so lucky that there is a Filipino baker here in my neighborhood that bakes this “hot pandesal” on weekends, and at 10cents a pop (a little bigger than the baliwag’s i remember from back then), hot from the oven, it doesn’t need anything, they are so gooooood, Just like the McD’s commercial, I get fry breath before i get them home ;-)

    Jan 6, 2007 | 8:26 am

  42. Mitch says:

    Khristine, where is panaderia ni Pa-a in Iloilo? Would love to hear from you soon. My husband is from there but he has not heard of pandesal ni Pa-a. Dennis, I don’t think they still deliver pandesal these days. Most households have Gardenia white bread for breakfast, I think.

    Jan 6, 2007 | 5:37 pm

  43. Jayjay says:

    mitch, paa is right in front of jaro plaza. :)

    Jan 8, 2007 | 9:22 am

  44. Mitch says:

    Thanks Jayjay! Will try it on our next visit.

    Jan 9, 2007 | 7:56 am

  45. chick says:

    we buy pandesal from Pan de Manila!

    i like kababayan and red bread (pan de regla) too.. yumm! too bad minsan nalang namin nabibili from the nearby bakery..

    Aug 16, 2007 | 2:40 pm


Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2021