the mystery pastry of el riojano

Crossing calle Mayor and wiping away the breadcrumbs still clinging to the corners of my mouth, I find myself yet again intrigued by a window. Only this time it’s pastry, exhibited like fine jewelry in a boutique display at El Riojano.  What could better follow a pair of ham sandwiches than a bite or two of flaky pastry? I don’t get much browsing time in the mahogany and marble decorated shop however: it’s time for siesta, and the elegantly turned out ladies of the shop seem more interested in shuttering up for the afternoon than explaining to me what’s what.  So I quickly opt for something that looks strudel-like and non-threatening before paying at the register and returning to the counter to collect my goods. Ushered into the street, I try and figure out what I’m about to eat.  It looks like a fruit filling of some kind but I can’t distinguish it by sight.  Nor by taste, it turns out.  It’s sweet and flaky and buttery at the same time with a hint of almond and the clean taste of said mystery fruit, but I honestly haven’t a clue what it could be. Beyond delicioso, that is – which is all I ultimately care about.

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