Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it break the fasting during sleep, it also nourishes you in the morning. I grew up having a mandatory breakfast upon waking up and not to skip it for anything else. My usual breakfast treat is garlic fried rice and a piece of fried meat or fish. On the side is an egg, either scrambled or the diced salted egg. Of course, there’s a hot cup of chocolate or coffee.
I have seen people in the provinces usually take breakfast twice. The Philippines is an agricultural country. So, most farmers wake up at the wee hours in the morning, a few hours before sunrise. They eat small bread rolls we call pan de sal either taken plain or with filling.
Pan de sal is an Spanish term for bread with salt because these bread rolls are flavored with it. It can be eaten plain especially while it’s warm. Others prefer their pan de sal dipped in hot coffee which has been a running joke for some time. (Filipinos are so clean that they even rinse their bread in coffee before eating!)
But some Filipinos prefer their pan de sal with filling. This could be anything from cheese (kesong puti [feta cheese] or cheddar), spreads (peanut butter, jelly, marmalade, or mayonnaise-based sandwich spreads), egg (usually scrambled), meats (corned beef, luncheon meat, hotdog, etc.) or fish (sardines).
5 pieces of plain bread rolls is equal to 1 cup of rice so that’s good enough to start your morning.
A cup of coffee goes well with pan de sal. Kapeng Barako is a coffee variety of the Liberica species. It is found in Batangas and Cavite provinces in Southern Luzon. It is not a common coffee variety as compared with Arabica, Robusta, or Excelsa. Although it is abundant in the Philippines and in other Southeast Asian countries.
The term “barako” refers to the wild boar who are fond of chewing on the plant’s leaves and berries. It has a strong taste, flavor, and a distinct pungent aroma. Some claim that Barako tastes superior to Robusta. Most Filipino coffee drinkers prefer Barako over Arabica. Today, Barako-Arabica and Barako-Excelsa blends are becoming popular.