Bakeries & Cakeries in Bogota

 

 

Panaderia and Pasteleria Pandemonium:

 

It is very common for visitors to overlook the multitude of panaderias and pastelerias when traversing Bogota.  This is a mistake, and perhaps also fortunate, since these wonderful bakeries are full of scrumptious habit forming fresh-baked goods.  When entering most panaderias, you should take a wire basket (canasta) and a pair of tongs from wherever they are stacked.  Approach the racks and trays of delicious breads with an open appetite to experience new tastes.  Don’t be surprised if when the baker brings out a hot-from-the-oven batch, a swarm of devotees suddenly appear out of nowhere.  One taste and you will understand the frenzy.  Delicious arepas and empanandas can also be bought from street vendors who prepare them regularly for a fresh, quick snack, treat or meal.  Try not to be dazed by the beautiful cakes and cookies displayed so temptingly at the pasteleria, you will doubtless;y enjoy whatever selection you make, just be prepared to want another taste, and more after that.       

 

Gluten intolerant visitors will be happy to know that there are many treats that they can enjoy.  Some panaderias, such as Pan y Soya and Fondant Cakes also specialize in delicious gluten-free baking.

 

Following is a list of the amazing bread, snack and pastry choices that can be found in most panaderias and pastelerias:

 

Almojabona – A spongy disc-shaped bread / biscuit that is made from white corn flour and cheese.  This bread is amazing when eaten warm.

 

Arepas – Primarily made with white or yellow corn meal (some have a little wheat flour added), there are many kinds of arepas; we suggest that you try as many as possible.  The following list just a sampling:

 

 …paisa blanca – This arepa is a staple in Colombian homes, and is served with many dishes at restaurants as opposed to white bread or crackers.

 

santandereno – Large and flat, like a cracker, these white corn arepas are grilled and taste amazing with a little butter. 

 

…con queso – Sweet or savory, your choice.  Those with sweet cheese have the appearance and texture of a small cake and are baked with the cheese melted on top.  The more savory choice is made from white corn meal and the cheese is blended with the dough, the larger and denser arepa is cooked on a flat griddle with butter.

 

 …con huevo – Which came first, the arepa or the egg?  In this case, the corn arepa is formed, then split and the raw egg is dropped into its new shell.  The arepa is then deep fried, cooking the egg and arepa until a crisp crust forms. They are easily identified by the rotund surface. 

 

…relleno – Most commonly stuffed with either chicken, chicken and mushrooms, shredded beef or a combination.  After you eat one, you’’ll know what a stuffed arepa feels like (and you’ll want another one).   

 

…de choclo – made with the yellow meal from sweet, baby corn.  Typically ham and cheese are added during the cooking process, and the arepa is rolled like a crepe.  You can always ask for it “sin jamon” or “sin queso” or both, if that is to your taste.

 

Biscocho – Crispy, not hard, Colombian biscotti or biscuit.  

 

Bunuelo – Once a treat reserved for Christmas festivities, these round balls of slightly sweet dough, made from a very fine corn flour, are deep-fried until crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. 

 

Cuca – A dense cross between gingerbread and a molasses cake, cucas are not found so much in the bakery any more but are still sold by street vendors.

 

Corazone – Call them hearts, butterflies or elephant ears, corazones can be found small or large, dipped in chocolate or plain, but always buttery and very flaky.

 

Croissants – usually stuffed with cheese, or ham and cheese.  However, the most delectable and flaky plain croissants (croissant sencilla) can be found is some panaderias and French bakeries. 

 

Empanada – Beef, chicken, cheese are the most common encased in a golden corn crust.  Usually served with a slice of lime and aji (a sometimes spicy and herby condiment). Empanadas made with a wheate crust and baked can also be found in some bakeries.  

 

Mantecada – Buttery, crumbly, golden brown cakey goodness.  

 

Milhojas – Colombia’s answer to the French napoleon - flaky pastry leaves supporting creamy custard and indulgent icing.

 

Mogollas – Dark brown, dense and a little sweet; or whole wheat with grains, mogollas can taste like a cross between a roll and a cake.

 

Mojicon – Usually filled with arequipe (think caramel) and topped with sugar, these giant doughnuts are sure to satisfy your sweet-tooth.

 

Palette de Queso – Cheese sticks never tasted this good. 

 

Pan Blandito – Sometimes in the shape of a mini-croissant, pan blandito is a little like a roll and a little like white bread. 

 

Pan de Bono – Corn flour and yucca flour are mixed together with cuajada cheese and eggs to create a light and delicious sibling to the almojabona.  Pan de bonos are also sometimes filled with bocadillo (guava paste).    

 

Pan de Coco – Little and rotund, the dough is mixed with coconut and baked with a sprinkling of shredded coconut on top. 

 

Pan de Queso – A French style roll is split on top and cheese is melted over it.  These breads are almost impossible to stop dreaming of after you have eaten one hot and fresh! 

 

Pan de Yucca – Usually long and rounded at the ends, this bread is made from yucca flour mixed with a little cheese and then baked until puffy.  Be careful that you are not sold one that is already hardening as it may be difficult to eat.   

 

Pan de Chicharron – A whole new meaning for “pigs in a blanket,” as savory chicharron is wrapped inside a warm pastry crust.    

 

Pasabocas – Bite-sized snacks such as puff pastry filled with bocadillo (guava paste).

 

Pasteles de:

Carne: Puff pastry filled with savory ground beef

Pollo: Puff pastry filled with shredded chicken (sometimes mixed with mushrooms)

Gloria: Puff pastry filled with bocadillo (guava paste)

Yucca: Like a croquette, mashed yucca is mixed with rice and ground beef, and then fried until golden brown. 

 

Ponque – Spongy cake, flavored with anise or liquor, some are topped with fruit or crumble, while others are bald.  Any way you slice it, pound cake will never look –or taste– the same way again!

 

Roscones – Sweet breads with a little sugar on top. 

 

Torta de Ciruela – A cake darkened by wine and the wonderful little Colombian plums, that are in and on top of the cake; sometimes walnuts are baked in for extra flavor.

 

This list does not include the amazing mousse cakes like mousse de maracuya (passion fruit), tiramisu, cheesecake, tres leches, leche asada, choco-flan, and many others that will tempt you.