Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pan De Zacatlan (Puebla, PUE; Mexico): A Taste Of A Mountain Village In Downtown Puebla

A Night In Puebla
Roaming The Night In Puebla

We had decided to stay an extra day; it was ‘too late’ to leave now. But the fact of the matter was that my father, little sister and I all fell deeply in love with Puebla. We all came not knowing what to expect. None of us had been before and they all came because of me. And the only reason I came was because a certain someone would always share such gleaming stories of Puebla and its beloved dishes.

We found a cheap hotel in that same corner where Mi Ranchito was at, which also happened to be right across the street from that intriguing bakery I mentioned in the review. I went to sleep early that night just to wake up even earlier. I was to have a breakfast of bread, glorious, tender...fresh baked bread.

Pan De Zacatlan
Pan De Zacatlan: A Taste Of A Mountain Village In Downtown Puebla

Mexicans of all walks of life take sincere pleasure in daily fresh baked Pan Dulce, its even instilled in our religious upbringing that most of us grew up with “Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada dia” (give us today our daily bread). With coffee, it serves as a satisfying breakfast, an afternoon snack, even as a dessert course after dinner. Be it a crumbly, corn meal based polvoron (shortbread), a soft and pliable Cuernito (Mexican Croissant) or an extra-decadent cream filled Empanada we just can’t get enough of the sweet, bready stuff.

Fresh Bolillos
Crusty Bolillos: Begging For A Torta Destiny

empanadas de Zacatlan
Empanadas: Savory Too!

generic Mexican pan
The Mexican Bakery Classics: For Everyone Else

Walking in, this bakery did not seem too different from any other Mexican Bakery at first glance. With the classics like Orejitas, Mil Hojas and even the nouveau Mexican Bakery Donuts all presented first.

the health food section
Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds & Amaranth Grains: The Health Food Section

Although, this was one of the few bakeries that included whole grain renditions with toppings of toasted nuts. This stuff is known as productos naturistas in Mexico and usually means stuff with no sugar, whole wheat etc. I am a consumer of these products, it was the first thing I picked up with the standard-issue bakery tongs, I put it on my aluminum tray and kept walking.

gusano de zacatlan
Gusanos: Stuffed With Zacatlan Cream Cheese

Right next to the cashier was the regional “relleno de queso” breads from Zacatlan that the bakery advertised. There was only one since I went so damn early. It was called a gusano (larvae) even if it looked nothing like one. It was ridged with a texture somewhere between a cakey scone and a crumbly cookie. A paper thin layer of cream was what made this pastry special from the rest, slightly sweet but tangy more than anything, This was no industrial bavarian cream 'cream filling' that is the U.S standard for cream filled goods. The other pumpkin seeded cookie I picked up wasn't as crumbly as I would of liked it. But I nibbled on only the edges and seeds on top and went on with my day.

My curiosity was solved and it was time to cast savory sail to Cholula...

Pan De Zacatlan

Right on Corner of Avenida 4 and Calle 4 in Downtown Puebla.

(In front of Mi Ranchito)


Anna A. said...

Amazing panaderia! That's funny about the gusano name, maybe that explains the ridges? I love those healthy cookies! When I lived in Morelia, there was a 100% de trigo panaderia next to my house. It was 200% awesome.

Sweet Temptations said...

This is a great story!! :)and I'm soooo happy you enjoyed your trip to Puebla, i love that place too!!!
My father was born in Zacatlan so I know very well this bread and is the most wonderfuld and tasty sweet bread I've ever tried in my life!! Next time you are in Zacatlan, try the "almohadas", "picadas", "colorados" .... you'll never go back home :))