Tacos may very well be the perfect food, but let's face it, the standard Meximerican fare can get a bit stale after a while. Taco the Town is here to highlight some of the more unusual Mexican finds in the valley.
This week: Polvorones from Azteca Bakery
¿Como se dice?: You probably know polvorones as "Mexican wedding cookies," but nobody in Mexico is going to refer to these little shortbread gems as such. Instead of talking past the friendly folks at your local panadería, ask for polvorones instead.
Polvorones are the crumbly little shortbread cookies us gringos know and love, and they can be flavored with nuts, cinnamon, anise, and pretty much any other flavor combos. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to polvorones, so each bakery may have a slightly different take on these tasty treats. Just make sure to grab a glass of milk to go with your galletas, you cookie monster.
La Comida In addition to an impressive wall of empanadas, galletas, and pan dulces, Azteca Bakery serves Mexican staples as well. So you can grab something savory, like a green burro or a couple street tacos, if you need a more substantial meal than cookies and sweet breads. Although we still eat our dessert first at Azteca Bakery.
El Sabor: Polvorones are crumbly little shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth, and will liberally dust your clothes with powdered sugar upon first bite. That's how they got their name, as polvo translates to powder. Polvorones were brought over to Mexico by the Spaniards, and have been a cookie staple in the many years since.
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Our favorite polvorones are the nut-based shortbread bites. Think walnut, almond, or pecan sandies dredged in powdered sugar. Although we wouldn't turn down a cinnamon, cocoa, or good old fashioned vanilla polvorones either! Upon first bite the cookies will yield and flood your mouth with tiny cookie crumbs, and you'll realize how these cookies got their name. The shortbread is lightly sweetened and incredibly buttery, and the predominant flavor of our polvorones from Azteca Bakery was nutty pecans that added a bit of extra crunch.
Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: Polvorones are very easy to make at home, just be careful not to overwork the dough. Get creative with your recipe for polvorones, and vary flavor combinations, maybe split the dough into a couple different batches. Embrace your inner cookie monster!
Know of any Mexican gems in the valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.