(image borrowed from Yeah Right)
Yes, the battle of the breakfast buns has gone beyond the basic hamburger. Jollibee has finally developed an answer to the McMuffin question. Yep, they got sausage and yup, they got eggs too, but pandesal?
Which is the better bun? That’s what we’re trying to find out. I went out and bought the Sausage McMuffin with Egg from McDonald’s and the Sausage and Egg Pandesal from Jollibee. I believe I owe my readers a comparative study of the two breakfast buns. Comparison shall be based on three important things; taste, price and appearance. I shall provide the facts as I research it, as well as my opinion and I’ll leave it to you to decide.
Indeed it is one of the firsts, if not the first food chain, to offer breakfast sandwiches. I remember when the McMuffin was first introduced, I immediately favored it against its cousin, the McDonald’s Sausage Biscuit with Egg. I like my breads slightly glutinous, not flaky, thus my preference for the McMuffin.
The Sausage McMuffin with Egg is a world favorite. It has a large slice of sausage, sunny-side egg (though you can ask for scrambled in some branches) and a nice slice of hearty cheese to glue the flavors together. There is no dressing because there is no need for it. The English muffin that they use is similar to the Pandesal in some ways. It is yeast-leavened and baked while rolled in crumbs, not bread crumbs but cornmeal bits. Adds a nice touch to it and adds to the overall flavor. When you bite into it, you get soft bread, eggs, savory sausage and salt from the cheese.
This is my beef with the McMuffin, the cheese. I find it too salty, which when added to the already savory and salty sausage is a crime to my high uric acid problem. It’s not the McMuffin’s fault why I suffer from gout but I would appreciate it if it were less salty, especially on bread. Then again, that’s what the egg is for. It neutralizes the salt and makes the McMuffin as real standout. That’s why it’s better to order the Sausage McMuffin with Egg than without.
The presentation is as simple as they make it. White muffins look good on dark sausage and yellow eggs and cheese. I just wish they didn’t squish the darn thing before serving it. Some branches like to flatten the McMuffin before wrapping it. Please McDonald’s personnel, don’t do that. Let it flatten inside our bellies, not by your hands. Also it would be good if that McDonald’s branch in Paseo de Roxas didn’t use old or overtoasted muffins. That lady manager is very grumpy especially in the early mornings when people are starting to ask for the breakfast. (Sorry for the rant, but yeah, the McMuffin looks good.)
In the Philippines, 50 to 60 pesos for a sandwich without drinks is not an easy morsel to swallow for average-income Pinoys. The price is probably dictated by taxes and import levies. You gotta admit, the English muffin DOES taste good and cornmeal is no less expensive. Immediately, the price serves as the great divide. It tastes good but it ain’t cheap, which is the norm. Cheap can’t be any good, right?
It’s Jollibee and the taste is better because it’s FAMILIAR. Every Pinoy is familiar with the taste of Pandesal. The bread is soft and slightly gummy, the egg is scrambled because this is how we would cook it at home. The sausage is not intimidating. It tastes like the local sausages we know, slightly sweet. Yes, the Pinoys have a sweet tooth for practically everything. Sweet is a nice equalizer to salty or sour. The sausage is thicker than the usual palaman (filling) that we know. So, why no cheese? Because we don’t mix our cheese with our sausages, in bread or in rice. Maalat na kasi, di ba? Catsup or mayo is good but for me, pandesal does not need these binders. Especially with Pandesal this good. It tastes so much like the Pan de Manila pandesal that I love. What do you think?
Admittedly, it doesn’t look any better than the McMuffin. In this category, I believe the McMuffin wins. The McMuffin has symmetry and a more definite shape. It is more eye-candy than the Pandesal. However, the familiarity of seeing Pandesal is enough to make us crave for more. Good looks don’t always cut it, especially with food.
Here’s the most important factor. So it tastes good and it looks yummy, but can you afford it? It’s a resounding YES for the Jollibee Sausage and Egg Pandesal! As filling as the McMuffin and almost the same size and weight, isn’t P35 pesos an amazing price to pay? Then you just add P10 pesos for the drink which can be soda, hot chocolate or coffee. So we’re talking a great-tasting, Pinoy-friendly, familiar Pandesal with the same size sausage and scrambled egg (just like the one you make at home) with the drink of your choice for a meager P45 pesos VS the symmetrical McMuffin with drink at P74 pesos, how would you decide?