If there’s one thing the Spanish know how to work with it’s bread. Migas, churros, buñuelos, bizcocho, the list goes on and on.
But here during Holy Week, it’s all about torrijas. A cross between bread pudding and French toast, just imagine, amazingly soft bread that was luxuriously soaked in milk and eggs, then fried and topped with sugar and cinnamon, melting in your mouth. I mean, I’m immediately won over by bread alone, so add all of that extra stuff and I’m shoving people out of my way to get to the nearest bakery.
Where to get the best torrija?
That was my question this year. And I’m not the only one. There’s even a Ruta de la Torrija!
The Spanish don’t play when it comes to food, and rutas are a common, friendly competition amongst different restaurants, bars, bakeries, etc. Each place comes out with their best dish, depending on the ruta, and foodies go merrily on their way hopping around and voting for the best of the best.
I knew that if I was going to get my mouth around some torrija, I’d have to go to the best of the best.
That’s right. I headed to one of the oldest bakeries in Madrid: La Mallorquina smack in the center of the city in Puerta del Sol.
“Vaya! Que torrijon!” (“Wow! What a huge torija!”)
People’s heads were whipping around in awe of the huge torrija the size of my face. After dorkily posing in front of the bakery, I practically inhaled the sweet, gooey bread as I wove in and out of the packed streets of Sol, laughing inwardly at passerby’s envious stares.
Fun fact about torrija – in Spanish there are a couple of expressions that you can use revolving around this heavenly dessert.
“Llevar una torrija encima” & “estar atorrijado” – to be distracted, lost in thought, or forgetful. For a variety of reasons, either because of lack of sleep, smoking a joint, or simply having one of those days.
Honestly, I get it. Because while ploughing through this bready wonder, I was too enraptured to be bothered with what was going on around me.
Where to get your hands on this dessert: Check out Timeout Madrid’s list of the best torrijas in town.
What’s your favorite Easter/Springtime dessert?