The first time I ever traveled to Mexico, I stayed in Puebla for six weeks. I’m not sure when I initially tried pan dulce during that time, but I immediately fell in love with it. When it was time for me to come home to the U.S., I stuffed my carry on with about 10 different kinds of pan dulce, no kidding! I thought for sure they would stop me at customs, but I made it through. Haha…they must have taken pity on the girl with the pan dulce obsession.
In Spanish pan dulce means “sweet bread” and refers to a variety of French-inspired pastries. Pan dulce is sometimes eaten for breakfast with milk or coffee; other times it’s enjoyed as a snack, and it is even nibbled on right before bed with some café con leche or chocolate caliente. I like it pretty much at all times of the day.
When you walk into almost any panadería (bakery) in México, you will see a stack of round metal trays and a set of metal tongs piled to the side. Grab a tray and some tongs and get to work. There are conchas (sweet bread with crunchy topping in the shape of a shell), orejas (swirls of puff pastry sprinkled with sugar), mantecados (buttered bread), chilindrinas (two cookies sandwiched with jelly or icing), bolillos (oval-shaped sandwich buns), and the list goes on and on. It is so hard to choose. I could spend a whole hour in a panadería just deciding what I want. But alas, I know I must choose at some point in time. Once you have made your selection, take it to the counter, and they will individually wrap your pan dulce, put it in a bag, and give you a ticket with the amount that you need to pay. You are only a few pesos away from a delicious treat.
My favorite panadería in all of México is called Le Caroz. The only one I have ever seen is located in Coyoacán, D.F., but apparently there are over 20 different locations. I love this panadería for the sheer variety of sweet treats that they have to offer. There are cookies, donuts, little cakes, big cakes, gelatins, rolls, meringues, and sweet breads. Every time I’m in Mexico City, I try to convince my boyfriend, Roberto, to go to Le Caroz with me. Please, please, please… Can we go? He always submits, humors my pan dulce fetish, and accompanies me to Coyoacán. I am forever amazed by the endless variety of sweets and bursts of color throughout the store.
If you are ever in the Mexico City area, I highly encourage you to pop in to the Panadería, Pastelería, y Panificadora Le Caroz in Coyoacán.
*This is not an advertisement for Le Caroz. I just like the place :-)*
Allende 5, Col. Del Carmen
Coyoacán, Distrito Federal 04100
5554-6374 -OR- 5554-6297