Let's take a moment to celebrate new experiences.
I'm talking, of course, about CakeSpy's visit to The Salvadorean Bakery (what did you think I was talking about?).
This is a bakery visit that was a long time in the making. I've heard great stories; I've even sampled some of the goods (including their famous Tres Leches Cake). But until a couple weeks ago, I had never actually visited the retail location.
But oh, I was so glad I did. And you will be, too, when you go.
When you first walk in, you'll be impressed and delighted by the array of baked goods, in a big, beautiful expanse of glass bakery case. In a variety of colors, textures, and flavors, it's fun to take several minutes to decide on your ideal pastry assortment.
Ultimately I settled on a couple of the the Pastelito de Leche, the Sandino de Mango, the Pastel de Crema, and the Maria Luisa de Pina.
The Pastelito de Leche (rice flour cookie filled with sweet Salvadorean style custard), were sort of like sweet, milky custard-filled little empanadas. The crust itself wasn't too sweet but the filling was, which added a nice contrast, and it they were crusted with sugar which made them sparkle prettily in the sunlight (pictured top).
The Sandino de Mango (a cookie filled with mango jam), which were crumbly little morsels held together with a sweet, sticky jam which once again, was a nice contrast to the not-too-sweet dough.
The Pastel de Crema (white cake willed with bavarian creme, and dusted with cinnamon), was probably my personal favorite, with a thick layer of cream on top which kept the cake more moist than the other pastry specimens sampled, and nicely contrasted by the spicy cinnamon for a sort of horchata-esque flavor.
And finally, the so-pink-it-almost-hurt Maria Luisa de Pina (white cake filled with pineapple, topped with meringue), which was good, but a drier sort of cake (not stale--just drier in texture) so a good candidate to be paired with a strong, milky coffee, or ice cream, or both.
Of course, you'd be a fool not to try their specialty, the Tres Leches Cake. Officially, it translates to "Three Milks"--but unofficially, it translates to "Triple Yum".
Moreover, the baked goods were on the drier end of the scale, but as mentioned in the description of the Maria Luisa, this is not to say they weren't fresh. Now, maybe a reader or three can help here, but it seems that many baked goods which have roots in Central America do err toward dryness. Upon looking at several Pan Dulce recipes, it does seem that many of them call for shortening or margarine (or lard!) rather than butter as a primary source of fat--could this be the reason? Or perhaps the fact that in Central America, where coffee is also quite popular, pastries are made drier to pair well with it? (CakeSpy Shrug)
The Salvadorean Bakery, 1719 SW Roxbury Street; online at thesalvadoreanbakery.com.