SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) – Pan dulce, translates to sweet bread. It’s considered to be a Mexican cuisine. But, how it’s shared and the tradition behind it is what makes it such a delicacy.
It’s a delicacy in the Hispanic culture because it does more than keep someone fed.
It’s a sweet treat that sparks conversation and honors core cultural values like food and togetherness.
Pan dulce, ‘sweet bread’ is a popular pastry in Mexico and in the Hispanic culture.
“Mexico doesn’t always… have the resources or money to buy good food sometimes so… bread is… another alternative… cheaper.”
The bread comes in many different sizes.
“A very common bread that Mexican people like, they’re called conchas. It’s sweet bread. It’s made out of white flower. Typically from the time they mix the ingredients to the time they bake it takes from 5-6 hours,” Brian Tapia said.
The crusted ‘conchas’ are breaded in every color, like chocolate or strawberry.
Letting the bread rise typically takes the longest. You just have to pop it in the oven and about 20 minutes it’s fully baked.
“In the Hispanic culture the pan dulce is, well since I can remember, it’s been a tradition forever. It’s basically a staple… in the Hispanic culture,”
It’s a staple that does more than please one’s taste buds.
“Eating pan dulce is not just a way of feeding yourself and eating a sweet piece of bread. It’s a way to bond with others as well,” Tapia said.
And, there’s plenty of options to keep belly’s satisfied.
“The most popular would be the regular cookies with M&M’s on top or with sprinkles. Usually a lot of kids prefer that over any bread,” Tapia said.
Pan dulce is a delicacy meant to be shared in groups.
“Pan dulce is mostly shared at home, at the table. Usually with family talking, talking with each other, sharing about their day. At parties as well. It’s a tradition to bring pan dulce especially during the fiesta’s. That’s what they call them back in Mexico. It’s common to bring pan dulce and share them with your loved ones and friends,” Tapia said.
Brian Tapia said pan dulce is popular among other ethnicities, too.
“It’s not just Hispanics that are buying pan dulce now. Different types of races are now for different types of purposes,” Tapia said.
Tapia is the 4th generation in his family to carry on the panderia, or bakery, business.
“In Mexico, for a lot of people who have bakeries, it’s an economic driver… Over there it’s basically their whole life… It’s a way of feeding themselves,” Tapia added.
His family’s business, Panderia San Miguel in South Sioux City, has served the Siouxland community for 10 years.
And, like in many households, pan dulce is most wanted around the holidays.
“People eat it usually in the morning with coffee or at night with milk… But mostly during the holidays you see it most commonly,” Tapia said.
Tapia said he’s forever grateful what his family was able to create all thanks to the simple sweet treat.
“I’m very grateful for them. They’ve provided a life for us that we might not have been able to live in Mexico, out of pan dulce,” Tapia added.
Tapia’s fondest memories include his mom coming home with pan dulce as his siblings run to the table to grab their favorite treat.
He hopes the tradition of sharing over pan dulce continues for generations to come.