Pastries are a food group in Puerto Rico, so the island has many “panaderías” or bakeries. Try an assortment of guayaba pastelitos, bizcochos and danish. Pick a bakery that has a covered outside dining area where you can relish in the sublime pastry and a large “café con leche” (coffee with milk).
“Mallorca” is a soft light squishy sweet bread that is dusted with powdered sugar and goes perfectly with a cup of coffee. Named for the Spanish island where they originated, stopping for a “mallorca” is mandatory on any trip.
One of the most popular pastries is called a “quesito”. This oven-baked pastry is a flaky, slightly crispy, sugar-coated treat stuffed with vanilla-flavored cream cheese and can best be appreciated with a tall glass of milk or hot flavorful coffee. The word itself (“quesito”), simply translates to small cheese. Walk into any local bakery and you are guaranteed to always find “Quesitos” in the glass display shelves. “Quesitos” are perfect for breakfast or dessert is an easy traditional yummy Puerto Rican pastry.
Quesitos de guayaba
September is “guayaba” (guava fruit) season in Puerto Rico, and this light sweet fruit is used in everything. “Guayaba” paste, “guayaba” candy, “guayaba” cake, “guayaba” cupcakes, and, of course, “quesitos de guayaba”. A light pastry dough is filled with cream cheese and “guayaba” paste and deep fried.
“Polvorones”, also known as “mantecaditos”, are crumbly and not overly sweet Spanish shortbread cookies. “Polvorón” is Spanish for dust, like the crumbly remains of the cookie. They are often topped with brightly colored sprinkles or a small depression is placed on the top before baking and then filled with guayaba paste.