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Pan de Acámbaro at Panaderia Don Juan

Pan de Acámbaro at Panaderia Don Juan
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  • Pan de Acámbaro at Panaderia Don Juan

    Post #1 - August 10th, 2006, 6:54 pm
    Post #1 - August 10th, 2006, 6:54 pm Post #1 - August 10th, 2006, 6:54 pm
    I don’t visit Mexican bakeries very often but for a while now I’ve been noticing Panaderia Don Juan. It seems every few months a new sign goes up plugging their pan de Acámbaro, a specialty of the town in Guanajuato. This picture of the storefront shows only some of the signs.

    Image

    I finally stopped in for some pan de Acámbaro and a few pastries. It’s a handsome loaf, about a foot in diameter, slashed and glazed before baking.

    Image
    Image

    It breaks neatly into large blocks, making a knife unnecessary. The bread is quite dense with a fine crumb and a wonderful yeasty smell. It’s slightly sweet and would be perfect with a morning cup of coffee. I didn’t get a chance but I imagine it would toast nicely. A large loaf is $1.50, a real bargain.

    The pastries I sampled were forgettable with one exception: a sort of sandwich made from two cookies with quince jam (I think) in between. I don’t imagine Don Juan is the only local source for pan de Acámbaro. Does anyone have a favorite version?

    Panaderia Don Juan
    3956 W 63rd St
    Chicago
    773-767-0749
    Open late (24 hours?)
  • Post #2 - August 10th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    Post #2 - August 10th, 2006, 7:08 pm Post #2 - August 10th, 2006, 7:08 pm
    Cool!

    I never knew there was a name to that (well I guess there had to be a name, but I never knew much about it), but I've been picking one up, every now and then at the bakery on North Avenue and Kimball, where I first got intrigued by one I saw in the window. It's good, but it does not look to have quite as nice a crust as the one pictured.

    Thanks for the info.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #3 - August 10th, 2006, 7:28 pm
    Post #3 - August 10th, 2006, 7:28 pm Post #3 - August 10th, 2006, 7:28 pm
    ReneG,

    Your picture makes this pan de Acambaro look extraordinarily inviting. I don't think I've ever had one. Wow, one foot in diameter.

    I came to appreciate Mexican pastry by casting off all European-based preconceptions about what pastry should be. The Mexican pastry is just so different: less sweet, more bready, and taken on its own terms, quite delicious.

    Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #4 - August 10th, 2006, 8:12 pm
    Post #4 - August 10th, 2006, 8:12 pm Post #4 - August 10th, 2006, 8:12 pm
    Vital Information wrote:at the bakery on North Avenue and kimball,

    Rob,

    Sounds interesting, what's the name and address of the bakery please.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #5 - August 10th, 2006, 8:23 pm
    Post #5 - August 10th, 2006, 8:23 pm Post #5 - August 10th, 2006, 8:23 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I came to appreciate Mexican pastry by casting off all European-based preconceptions about what pastry should be.

    Hammond,

    Funny, I had a conversation this afternoon with m'th'su about not quite appreciating the overall beauty of Mexican and Columbian* pastry. Maybe I need to take a page from your book and cast off my preconceptions.

    Glad someone around here is thinking at the 30,000-foot level. :)

    Rene, Don Juan's pan de Acámbaro looks quite delicious.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *The conversation was more specifically about the Colombian Bakery on Lincoln, which, while quite good in it's own right, the pastry has never thrilled me. With the exception of a few of the guava items and, of course, the savory items.

    Mekato's Colombian Bakery
    5423 N Lincoln
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-784-5181
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - August 10th, 2006, 8:26 pm
    Post #6 - August 10th, 2006, 8:26 pm Post #6 - August 10th, 2006, 8:26 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Vital Information wrote:at the bakery on North Avenue and kimball,

    Rob,

    Sounds interesting, what's the name and address of the bakery please.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Sorry, that's all I remember right now. It's on the SW corner of North and Kimbal, I belive across from the armory, but I'll update when I have better info.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #7 - August 10th, 2006, 8:42 pm
    Post #7 - August 10th, 2006, 8:42 pm Post #7 - August 10th, 2006, 8:42 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Glad someone around here is thinking at the 30,000-foot level. :)


    The booze helps.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #8 - August 11th, 2006, 9:05 am
    Post #8 - August 11th, 2006, 9:05 am Post #8 - August 11th, 2006, 9:05 am
    On the other hand, I don't think that Mexican baked goods are so austere when compared to Southern (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, eg) and Eastern (Polish, eg) goodies. I can't argue with the fact that America long ago voted with its bellies to go with the Austrian paradigm of baked goods, but it seems to be overstating it to say that the Latino baking tradition -- essentially a European or at least criollo phenomenon -- can't be judged against Old World standards. By the way, the Austrian Starbucks, Meinl, just keeps getting better in the sweet baked goods arena.

    Of course, lots of people whose taste I admire draw the line on authenticity when it comes to pastry when dining in a Polish or Italian place. Why even bother, as my in-laws say.

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