Who’s to argue that the pan de sal is the quintissential Pinoy bread? Its popularity may have waxed and waned through the years but it has remained a mainstay on the Filipinos’ table for generations. Embedded deep into our culture, it has also become some sort of an economic barometer, shrinking in size and puffing in price with economic downturns. I remember years ago when every neighborhood bakery rode on the hot pan de sal craze, then slowly diminishing in popularity. It didn’t really go away, though, even moving from being a breakfast fare to an all-day treat. Which is why probably the people behind Balai Pandesal built its business around this Pinoy staple.
There were bread crumbs on the table. Crumbs on the tray liner. And more crumbs on the saucers. A nuisance? If the crumbs were from ordinary bread, they would be. But we were having Paris Delice breads for breakfast and notwithstanding the proliferation of French bakeries in the metro, it really doesn’t take a cultured palate to know these breads are different from all that came before them.