You Can Now Buy Hotdog-Flavored Pandesal and It’s PinkMay 5, 2019
I have a history of buying every odd edible thing that crosses my path, no matter how ill-advised the purchase may seem at first. It’s not always a fruitful endeavor, but every now and then, I get lucky and find something that I end up enjoying thoroughly. Sometimes, that thing also ends up being actually safe to eat, but that’s never a guarantee. It’s more of a bonus. I count it a win if I simply survive the ordeal with no bouts of indigestion or unpleasant bathroom shenanigans.
Mylene was the one who first alerted me to the existence of this weird little duck. She sent me a picture of a bag of pandesal with a decidedly Jersey Shore-esqu tan, underneath was written “Lars! This deserves an article!” in big bold all-caps.
I remember the first time I had Kare-Kareng Bagnet, also the first time I ever saw Angel Locsin in full Darna regalia. Both were revelatory experiences to say the least. I found the combinations completely and totally apt. It’s like each was born to be with the other, as if the universe itself decreed that yes, this was how things were always meant to be. Bagnet was meant to be in orange peanut sauce and Click’s Charlie (I’m dating myself here aren’t I?) in a tiny red bikini.
When you encounter such destined pairings, you’re left to wonder why it took human history so long to come up with something that, in hindsight, seems like simple common sense. Unfortunately, this bread, this amalgam of glum gradeschool lunch memories combined with perfectly good pandesal is not one of those things.
You can buy hotdog-flavored pandesal from your nearest grocery right now for less then fifty bucks.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a review. Neither is this a sponsored post from Gardenia. This is just me informing all of you out there that hotdog-flavored pandesal is a thing that exists. Here. Currently. In fact, you can buy one from your nearest grocery right now for less then fifty bucks. Consider this a simple public service.
Before anything else, though, let’s deal with the biggest elephant in the room. Yes, you don’t have to adjust your monitor, those bread buns really are pink. While Pink Pandesal would make an awesome LGBT band name, it’s also a phrase I never thought I’d ever type. Putting aside questions of whether this is a good idea or not momentarily (the buns not the band), the thing I most want to know is how exactly their bakers and food scientists turned the darn things pink. As you can see in the pictures, the buns are colored all the way through, and yet, the crumbs that collect at the bottom of each plastic bag are of the normal brown color. How’d they pull that trick off? Personally, I suspect sorcery.
As for the taste, Gardenia was successful—in a manner of speaking. Do you remember those times in first or second grade when your mom would send you off to school with a Tetra Pak of juice and a hotdog sandwich wrapped in tissue for lunch? You’d forget it was in your bag, busy as you were with the world’s most epic round of agawan base with your classmates, and only remember about your food come dismissal. When you finally take it out to eat eight hours later, you find the cheap wiener’s red skin leached into the white tasty bread it’s nestled against, turning the latter pink, soggy, and sad.
They’ve succeeded at almost perfectly aping the taste of those forgotten childhood sandwiches.
Somehow, magically, the wizards at Gardenia have managed to capture that whole nostalgic, if not exactly pleasant, experience and mass produce it for Filipinos everywhere. They’ve succeeded at almost perfectly aping the taste of those forgotten childhood sandwiches, minus the actual presence of a hotdog as a reward of course. I’d even go as far as to say that they’ve even increased that instantly identifiable artificial chemical taste that only the cheapest reddest hotdogs have, the ones that sell at PHP 36 for a 12-piece value pack. It’s a tremendous technical achievement that I’d applaud if just one bite wasn’t enough to make me gag. The more puzzling mystery, though, is trying to figure out why.
Who exactly is their target market for this? Which group of people did they think would gravitate towards this pink hotdog-flavored pandesal? People who want bread but don’t have enough money to buy the hotdogs as well, maybe? That doesn’t make sense. If people only had enough money for the pandesal, there are many other, much cheaper and tastier, options at any local neighborhood bakery. Getting them this would only worsen the situation, reminding them of all the things they couldn’t afford.
Pandesal as punishment actually sounds like a pretty good idea.
Maybe you could give it to your kid whenever they do something bad? Pandesal as punishment actually sounds like a pretty good idea. A hotdog-flavored pandesal for every failed test and two for every time they wet the bed.
How did they even come up with this in the first place, I wonder? Is it an attempt to tap into the extremely narrow vegan-but-misses-the-taste-of-cheap-processed-“meat” market? Is it a joke from the researchers at their flavor lab? One that the suits didn’t realize was a joke and so put into production, and now everyone is too scared of losing their jobs to point out the error? The entire thing is baffling.
On an almost completely unrelated note, the lady at the grocery did something weird. When she saw me pick up two bags of these pink anomalies, she looked into my eyes and, in a voice so soft I could barely hear, thanked me sincerely. It freaked me out a little, I have to admit. Her voice sounded a little to relieved. I feel like I should feel more worried about that.