Pinoy bread favorites from the humble panaderia

A couple of boulangeries have recently opened in Manila (hello, Paul and Eric Kayser) and there’s even an honest-to-goodness New York-type of bagel place (you must try L.E.S. Bagels!). They’re typically located in the more upscale parts of the metropolis or posh shopping malls, but for homegrown types of bread, you only need to go to a panaderia or local bakery.

A panaderia in Kapitolyo, Pasig

This panaderia in Kapitolyo, Pasig sells delicious putok, which they take out of the oven at around noon (And like many other panaderia, they still put your bread purchases in a brown paper bag)

As someone who dearly loves bread, I grew up looking forward to merienda or after-school snack when my dad would buy something sweet or carb-y or both from the bakery three blocks away from the corner of our street in our old neighborhood in Manila. I loved it when we could go with him and I could inhale the wonderful aroma brought on by the mixture of flour, water, eggs, yeast, and shortening.

Behind the glass case of that corner street bakery would be trays of warm pan de coco, monay, putok, Spanish bread, those local sugared-dusted doughnuts, and ensaymada. The pan de sal would typically be at the back, freshly baked and waiting to be picked up and encased in a brown paper bag for you to bring home. There are many other types of bread in the baking scene now, probably considered more sublime, complex or even more mind-blowing (yes, I don’t doubt bread can be any of those things), but these ones from the humble neighborhood panaderia are likely the ones that have shaped many Pinoys love for bread and nourished many other kids during breakfast or merienda. It did that for me. And all I need now is a glass of Tang and my dad calling us to the table to have some bread. Continue reading

A Baguio breakfast

The Kamote Bread of Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio City

One of the best things to have on a cold morning is warm, freshly-baked bread. And whenever P and I would go up to the mountain city of Baguio, I would drag him to Cafe by the Ruins every morning to have breakfast in spite of his mock “But we already ate here yesterday” objections. Cafe by the Ruins makes its own Kamote Bread (sweet potato bread), which you can order with some of the cafe’s delicious spreads, pates and fruit jams.

Ruins Herb Tea

I also like to order the Ruins Herb Tea to go along with the bread and the other breakfast items we end up ordering: the longganisang hubad (local sausage without the casing) crispy tapa, the daing na bangus (butterflied milkfish marinated in vinegar and lots of garlic), and the mushroom omelet, which you can have with the cafe’s signature mountain rice. All breakfast sets are served with a small bowl of fresh fruits–something which is in abundance in Baguio.

A daing na bangus and mountain rice breakfast

Cafe by the Ruins is located at 23 Chuntug St., Baguio City