Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pandesal Project

pandesal photo credit:

I just had an idea.

This morning as I was cooling down from my morning jog, I saw the friendly neighborhood pandesal-on-wheels.  Unfortunately I didn't have any cash on me, so I decided to bring some tomorrow.  Anyway--

I thought about how pandesal gives me nice, cared-for feelings, and maybe I'm not the only one.  Maybe even hardened criminals would smile upon the sight of pandesal and coffee.  Maybe a successful, exclusive village-living entrepreneur would ask one of his/her servants to go to the bakery for some pandesal instead of ciabatta.  Pandesal is so pleasant it can do no wrong, and even when it hardens due to being left out it's easy to dunk it in hot coffee.

Earlier today I tweeted, "I've just realized that pandesal is inherently good and brings warm fuzzy feelings, perhaps even to the worst of people. Pandesal is love."  and "Like chocolate--nothing but warm happy memories. But there are those who avoid chocolate. But pandesal? Why run away from a good old friend?"

The idea came to me as a prickling of the spine, a twitch at the corner of my mouth.  The Pandesal Project.  Project Pandesal. [pan de sal = Spanish (Portuguese?)"bread of salt", pandesal = Filipino]

I remember my Batibot days.  One segment was about baking pandesal.  I really liked the old man who baked and shared the bread with his grandson (I think, or was it his son?).  Sharing pandesal is such a warm, tender moment.  Our version of milk and cookies, haha.

While I am not a foodie nor a baker, I do study culture, and I like food and how it is part of culture.  There's a whole discipline on the anthropology of food!  Anyway back to the idea.

The Pandesal Project would look into the different aspects of pandesal, such as:

  • the history of pandesal--how it came to the country, how it spread
  • making it--the ingredients, the processes
  • types/varieties--I'm assuming some provinces' pandesals would differ in taste, or ingredients, or size (also: economics)
  • what's inside--I like mine with butter. Let's catalogue all the yummy stuff that go in the pandesal!
  • economics--remember the uproar when pandesal prices went up? of course!
  • places--favorite places to get your pandesal.
  • packaging--old-skool pandesal comes in brown wrapper. Some bigger bakeries have theirs in brown wrappers too, but with the business logos, of course.  
  • partners--coffee, soda, hot chocolate...

It's a nice little long-term side project I can work on with friends, family, blogbuddies, even strangers (who hopefully become friends).  I think I can just go and collect information (recipes, etc.) and ask people to share their experiences every now and then.  Maybe even create a dedicated blog for it.  What do you think? :)


ige said...

it's a good idea lauren. but do you have time for this when soon you'll be busy with your thesis? anyway..........mornings are not as complete without pandesal. it goes well with almost everything. from spaghetti to our native palabok. also with mechado, even adobo for those who wants to avoid rice or any viand with sauce. you can put anything on it from butter to jam to all types of spreads (chicken tuna ham etc.) you can eat it without anything anytime of the day. it's good nourishment for the stomach as well as for everything else.

lauren said...

thanks for sharing ige :)

don't worry, it won't take up much of my time. it's a long-term side project, no deadline, no requirements, like my film photography! it's a good break from thesis i think. it's something i can leave anytime and pick up from where i left off, anytime ;)

lauren said...

edit: instead of ige: Thanks for sharing Tita Aggie! :)

witsandnuts said...

Interesting. Reminded me of my secondary blog (which is not really about the real pandesal hehehe), i.e.