Web Extra: Panaderias (Mexican bakeries)
See related: Taste: Triple delight of tres leches
Not ready to bake your own tres leches cake? Look to your local panaderias (Mexican bakeries). Also, Fiesta Marts in Austin, Houston and Dallas carry a crowd-pleasing tres leches for sale by the slice or whole cakes in various sizes.
Be forewarned. The minute you walk into a panaderia, your senses will be stimulated by the impressive display and smell of freshly baked goods, and some of their most fragrant ingredients, like cinnamon and anise. You will quickly discover that the tres leches aren’t necessarily the star of the show. The supporting cast of pan dulce (sweet bread) can definitely hold its own.
Some panaderias, like long-time family favorite Arandas Bakery in Houston, offer trays and tongs for customers to grab their own selections. This self-help method feels a bit more adventurous, but don’t feel cheated if you don’t get a tray to fill yourself. Having someone grab your selections for you (like they do at another family fave Mi Tierra in San Antonio) will help you practice moderation. Either way, you’ll walk out with a bag full of goodness.
PANADERIA HOT LIST
The following are some of the most popular items at panaderias.
Other panaderia offerings to look for and enjoy include bolillos (personal-sized white bread rolls), French-influenced cuernos (croissants), bread pudding, flan and candies like pralines and banderilla de coco, a popular coconut candy in the red, white and green colors of the Mexican flag.
From the June 2012 issue.