I am thrilled that Phoenix Lechon Roasters is offering pandesal with ube and cheese for Fatherâ€™s Day weekend. I ordered these delicious rolls for my hubbyâ€™s birthday last month. It took us (ok, me. It was me) less than 24 hours to polish off half-a-dozen rolls.
I loved having pandesal for breakfast on my first trip to the Philippines. I was 13.
My dad booked us a room at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila in Makati City. It felt like a fancy resort. Staff members treated us like royalty. Breakfast options included a classic silog dish with rice, eggs and meat options, like plumb longanisa sausage links or tocino pork pieces.
But I wanted buttery pandesal rolls.
Filipino cookbooks and food personalities will tell you pandesal traces its roots back to the Spanish phrase â€œbread of salt.â€ The rolls Iâ€™ve had in the Philippines and back in the States tasted sweet and moist.
At the Hotel Intercontinental, they were served piping hot with small ramekins of butter. The bread didnâ€™t flake like biscuits. Instead, the rolls felt dense and doughy. I enjoyed every chewy bite.
Pandesal became part of my scavenger hunt when I moved away from California. Comfort food like these dense, buttery rolls could ease my longing for familiar faces and places: I missed eating at my parentsâ€™ kitchen table, skating inside my home rink in Anaheim and walking along the pier at Newport Beach.