What’s your fave bread? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Reggie Aspiras

Most people eat bread with the usual spreads—butter, cheese, jam.

There’s “Adobo queen” Nancy Reyes Lumen who likes her “tasty” or loaf slices with softened butter and a sprinkling of sugar, and chef Florabel Co who prefers Laguna cheese on her bite-sized bonete.

Others have their personal pairings: radio DJ Aaron Atayde eats wheat bread with beef kaldereta; London-based Feng Shui master Marites Allen enjoys pan de sal with pancit canton whenever she’s in the Philippines; Bacolod businessman Julio Mapa suggests eating “clover bread” with pancit molo, while Angono artist Michael Blanco eats his monay with hot choco creamed with coconut milk.

How do other folk—celebrities and foodies, beauty queens, athletes, corporate leaders, artists, fashion designers, among others—like their bread? Our interviews show that pan de sal is a nostalgic favorite; it reminds people of their childhood and hometown. Some prefer Spanish bread with tea for merienda, while others have a craving for ensaymada and the quirky-sounding pan de regla.

Words to chew on, from our subjects:

“I love the sesame loaf from Le Coeur de France, and French bread from French Baker, with butter or cheese, of course.”—

Apples Aberin, model, Unilever head of PR for personal care

“Pan de regla is my favorite bread since I was young. I remember my mom regularly buying it for our breakfast and I usually get more than my share! I still buy pan de regla whenever I’m in Bicol. It is so tasty and brings back fun childhood memories.”—Venus Raj, Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up

“I like Pan de Manila’s wheat bread. It’s soft. I usually put Nutella on it, and dunk it in hot choco. Or, I toast it with butter and cheese.”—Shamcey Supsup, Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner-up

“Pan de sal talaga. Bata pa ko, pan de sal na almusal ko. Ako pinapabili ng nanay ko sa mga bakery sa Marikina.”—Rio dela Cruz, running coach and race organizer

Reggie Aspiras
Reggie Aspiras

“I eat Gardenia wheat bread with savory food like kaldereta or stews since I cannot eat rice. Bread saves me!”—Aaron Atayde, radio DJ, sports announcer, TV host

“I grew up eating pan de sal from Insular Bakery; it’s on Burgos Street in Makati.” —Mars Miranda, DJ

“I like the Spanish bread in Pi: Breakfast & Pies in Maginhawa, Quezon City. You have to try it!”

Jugs Jugueta, Itchyworms vocalist and “It’s Showtime” host “My favorite local bread is the freshly made clover bread from L’ Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City. You can eat it by itself, or put butter and let it melt in your mouth. It also goes perfectly well with their famous pancit molo.” —Julio Mapa, restaurateur

“The multigrain bread from Makati Shangri-La is tasty and healthy at the same time. I usually have it with feta cheese.”—Audie Gemora, singer, theater actor, producer

“I like the floss from Bread Talk best.”—Tina Marasigan, news anchor

“I love, love, love pugon pan de sal from Pan de Manila. I have it with almost anything, but I especially like it fresh from the oven with lots of butter, and dipped in a cup of good, strong coffee. It reminds me of lazy Sunday afternoon merienda with my folks when I was a kid.” —Michael Williams, theater actor and director

“Gusto ko ’yung Rosemary Focaccia ng Village Gourmet na minsan meron, minsan wala sa mga supermarket, plus multigrain bread ng French Baker; talo-talo na ’pag dumaan sa toaster at may Lurpak Salted butter. Sa local bread, putok o monay from Kawilihan Bakery on Anonas corner Chico Streets, Project 2-3, Quezon City. It’s a small neighborhood bakery that’s been around for decades. Better than Kambal Pan de Sal that sucks big time: it’s lousy bread and is killing small, corner-store businesses. —Lourd De Veyra, TV host, news anchor, author, musician

“Pan de sal ni Roda on Hoover Street in San Juan serves freshly baked pan de sal in the morning. It has a thin crust outside, but is pillow-soft inside. It is perfection! It’s better than any pugon-baked pan de sal out there. I love it with real butter, cheese and a nice strawberry jam. Makes my day when I have it with freshly brewed Guatemalan coffee.”—Shiela Francisco, theater actor and singer

“Hands down, the hot pan de sal from Pan de Manila with tons and tons of butter is the best. I grew up eating it after our weekly Sunday lunches at the Sampaguita Gardens, my family’s ancestral home. My family loves food and we love to chat, and even if we’ve stuffed our mouths full with laing, adobo and fried chicken, we still manage to find space for pan de sal in our bellies. I eat it with Lipa Buko Juice, which is also available in Pan de Manila.”—Toff de Venecia, theater actor, director and producer

“My favorite bread is the Spanish bread from Tinapayan bakery in Kamuning.”—Amy Perez, TV host

“I love the banana loaf from Our Kitchen Deli, located on Examiner Street in Barangay West Triangle, Quezon City. I stock two to three loaves for snack, and I eat it with hot chocolate that I make from tablea sourced from Bauan, Batangas, which is also good for champorado.”—Eddie Baddeo, fashion designer

“Lartizan croissant reminds me of the freshness and texture of Paris pastries. I love eating it with cream cheese, lots of veggies and salami Milano, paired with fresh kiwi or strawberry shake.” —Lourd Ramos, hairstylist, salon expert

“My favorite bread is the raisin bread from Baguio Country Club. I heat it for breakfast and eat it with a cup of tea. Eating it evokes special memories from childhood. It’s also nice to know that the quality hasn’t changed since.” —Jaymie Pizzaro, blogger at www.thebullrunner.com, race organizer

“I usually buy Gardenia wheat bread from the grocery.” —Kyla, singer

“I love soft and sweet tasty bread with a spread of softened Anchor Butter and a sprinkling of sugar. I’m not particular about the brand. I just squeeze them to check the softest one. It reminds me of my grade school days when it was a treat to have such a sandwich: I would start eating it from the sides, leading inward to the softest best part where the butter-sugar is thickest. Bata pa lang ako, butter killer na!” —Nancy Reyes Lumen, author, “The Adobo Book: Traditional & Jazzed-Up Recipes”

“My family used to reside in Sumilang, Pasig, and whenever we went to church or the city market, the Dimas-Alang Panaderia would be a pit stop. We would drop by for a pack of the brown bread made with molasses, bonete, biscocho or kababayan. Of the many breads and pastries it carries, it has always been the pan de sal that I favor. It is pillowy and soft to the bite. It has a toasty beige color and an aroma only a pugon imparts. To this day, the pan de sal from this 95-year-old bakery tops my list not only because it’s hands-down delicious but because it also brings back lots of good memories.”—Angelo Fuentes Comsti, author, “From Our Table to Yours: A Collection of Filipino Heirloom Recipes & Family Memories”

“My favorite bread is Spanish bread, and in my opinion, there is only one place to get it and that’s from Sonya’s garden in Tagaytay. I like eating it with a cup of coffee.” —Hylton Le Roux, chef, host of “Market To Master” TV show

“I like the bread from Kate’s Bakeshop in Rustan’s which is fluffy and soft but full and not sweet. I have their wheat pan de sal for breakfast with Kraft cheddar cheese. Their Kouign-Amann bread is also good with Vietnamese coffee for merienda.”—Jill Viado, manager of Cafe Laguna in Cebu

“I like this bread from Quezon that locals call baraha because of its rectangular shape and layering. It’s wonderful to dip in coffee or chocolate, with jam and butter, or peanut butter. It is available in most bakeries in Dolores, Quezon. It’s also very good for crumble mixes. I normally use it for my pies, tarts and other scrumptious desserts.”—Juan “Jay” A. Herrera, chef and manager of Kinabuhayan Café Bed and Breakfast in Quezon

“I’ll run over to Wildflour for bread because it’s right round the corner from my place. Whenever I’m having people over, I get a baguette and serve it with my own hummus, black olive tapenade and pesto. Easiest starter ever.”—Johanna Garcia, founder, Real Girl, Toy Kitchen (www.realgirltoykitchen.com)

“I like Doughboy’s pan de sal putok. I usually get them in the afternoon, around 3 p.m., from their branch in Sandawa, Quimpo Boulevard, in Matina, Davao. It’s great with butter and kesong puti. There is also a small bakery along Buhangin Road named Ybas. Their ‘piso’ pan de sal is also a must have. You won’t miss it, there is a pretty long line in the mornings.”—Benji Nazareno, baker, Sugarmunch Bakery of Davao

“My favorites: herb bread of Regina Rica from Tanay; bread of Chef Chris Locher of “My Kitchen”; Kouign-Amann of Eric Kayser.”—Penk Ching, pastry chef, Pastry Bin

“My top three bread from Bulacan includes pan de sal de Baliuag, available at Fernando’s Bakery in Baliuag and Girlie’s Bakeshop in Malolos crossing. Second is Gurgurya with calumata tea of Tita Mila Enriquez, available by order from Rheeza Hernandez. It’s shell-like in shape and is about an inch thick, coated with vanilla and syrup. It reminds me of my Bulacan heritage. Third is ensaymadang Malolos. The original one has mantika ng baboy, and is known as the ‘queen of all tinapay’ in Bulacan. It’s available in Barasoain Bakeshop in front of Barasoain Church and at Eurobake in Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan.”—Jaime Salvador Corpuz, book author, heritage and tourism consultant and president of Bulacan Heritage Conservation Society

“My favorite local breads are bonete (small bite size pan de sal) of Balai Pan Sal; Spanish bread of Monsees; ube bread of Tinapayan. I like eating them as is. There’s no need to add anything! Alone, they’re a standout—soft, tasty and satisfying. I consider them special because the breads evoke childhood memories, as their bakers intend them to.”—Reggie Aspiras, chef, Inquirer food columnist

“I love bread so I get to offer my personal favorites at my restaurant Sisa’s Secret along SLEX. These are Spanish bread and pan de coco. We bake them fresh every day so they come out really soft. My husband is also from Laguna so we always have bonete at home. I pair them with my 3-Cheese Pimiento dip or grilled Laguna cheese. The sweet-salty combination is perfect comfort food.”—Florabel Co, chef of Corazon, Crisostomo, Felix, Elias, Florabel, Johnny Chow, Market on the 5th, Sisa’s Secret restaurants

“I like the bread in Mamou; eating there is itself a treat. The steaks are so good, and the bread is tasty. I usually have it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sometimes with steak drippings.”—Rony Fortich, Hong Kong Disneyland music director

“Pan de sal, of course. I have it with either sandwich spread, white cheese, strawberry jam or salted butter. It’s usually from Pan de Manila. I eat it either with herbal tea or barako coffee.”—Mon Isberto, Smart Communications public affairs head

“Paborito ko ’yung monay na nabibili sa bakery sa tabi ng tulay sa Angono, with matching hot choco na may gata at konting peanut butter; or pan de sal with liver spread, fried egg or Cheez Wiz, with matching kapeng barako.”—Michael Blanco, painter

“I can live on bread alone. I like it plain with no butter or palaman. Pan de sal particularly hits the spot. When we were young, my parents often took us to Casa Marcos restaurant, where I would immediately munch on fresh-from-the-oven breads. I’m glad that they reopened a few years back, and the pan de sal now come in two variants—original and wheat. I also like the wheat pan de sal from The Bread Bag Pan de sal Bar, located along Julia Vargas road in Ortigas.” —Criscy Camacho, Mary Kay Philippines, Inc. marketing director

“My favorite bread is the multigrain whole-wheat bread from French Baker. I like it because it is a healthy bread. I usually eat it with crunchy peanut butter or with spicy Spanish sardines, since I don’t eat meat.” —Jaime T. Licauco, founder and president of Inner Mind Development Institute, author, Inquirer Wellness columnist

“I’m based in London, but whenever I in Manila, my staff would buy me Gardenia bread and pan de sal, which goes well with pancit canton. Great for lunch or dinner (heavy carb!).”—Marites Allen, Feng Shui master

My favorite local bread is ensaymada with queso de bola, dipped in thick, hot tsokolate. It is available at Food Garage by Chef Sau de Rosario. It’s made special with crunchy bits of meted sugar and oozing cheese and butter. It also reminds me of my early years of home baking before we opened Cravings.—Badjie Trinidad, CEO, The Cravings Group

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