Very Good Friday

YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, about 4-ish, I was walking solo down a narrow Colonial street strung above with banners colored purple and white. Are those Good Friday colors, or Jesus colors? I am not versed in the traditions of the Catholic Lord.

My destination was a coffee shop on the main plaza, which is jammed with an Easter market selling all manner of stuff — clothes, the works of artisans, tacos, burritos and sombreros. It’s similar to what transpires here on the Day of the Dead.

I planned to sit there with an espresso and watch the throng of tourists, admiring some, chuckling at others, rolling my eyeballs at times.

But I was still walking on that narrow street and I passed a pastry shop. About 10 paces farther on, I thought: Get something to go with the espresso, so I backtracked, entered, picked up a tray and a set of pincers, which is how you go shopping in pastry shops here, and looked about. The shelves held the typical fare, which normally is good to mediocre.

donutMy eyes stopped on doughnuts. There were chocolate-covered ones and sugar doughnuts too. My first inclination was the chocolate-covered, but I detoured to the sugared. Nearly every doughnut I have eaten in Mexico has disappointed me.* Dry and tasteless for the most part. If you can’t pour cheese over something, they seem to lose interest.

I put one sugar-coated onto the tray, walked to the counter and paid. Three pesos, which ain’t much.

Later, sitting at a sidewalk table with my espresso, I ate the sugar doughnut. To my shock and glee (because I know where the pastry shop is), it was one of the best of my life. It’s good I did not buy a dozen. I must remain sleek.

The doughnut, the throng of passing tourists, some of whom were quite lovely, the blue sky and and cool air made it a very Good Friday.

But especially that doughnut.

* * * *

* Note to Don Cuevas: Yes, I know the shop across from La Bodega has great doughnuts. But I have not been there.

19 thoughts on “Very Good Friday

    1. Ms. Shoes: Beats me. I’ve been passing it for years, and I think it was only the second time I have entered. Most of the other stuff looked routine. Well, the sugar doughnuts looked routine too, so …


  1. Divine purple was used by the Vatican because it was so expensive. Mere peasants could not afford it. Try the chocolate doughnut next!


    1. Peter: Divine purple was used by much of the royal class for the reason you mention. Purple dye was rare and thus very expensive. Since the Pope is simply another king (then and now), he wore it too.

      As for trying the chocolate doughnut, what will I do if I buy one, and it’s not as good as the sugared? I will be mad at myself. Maybe at you too. Of course, I could go back and buy the sugared after eating the chocolate, but that type of thing leads to bad habits and obesity to boot. I must remain sleek.


  2. Every time I have tried them before, the looks always appeared better than the chew. Okay, where is this donutatorium? Do they make them there or just sell them? Most of the stuff at the majority of shops comes from one bakery down a ways toward your district.


    1. Tancho: Walk out of the Church/Hospital San Juan, and turn right. It’s in the next block on the right side. It is, I believe, more bakery than retailer. I’m reasonably positive they make their own goods.


      1. If we are thinking of the same place, I used to buy pan dulce there, but I got tired of having them dump everything into the bag, to get crumbly and greasy.

        The bakery I have in mind has rolling racks with pans of finished products, out on the sales floor. Take your pick but watch out; some pans may be hot. Imagine doing that in the U.S.!

        Don Cuevas

        PS: You need to get a donut at the shop at the glorieta, across from Bodega. Free parking!


        1. That’s the place, Don Cuevas.

          As mentioned, I am aware of that doughnut joint across from La Bodega. Maybe I’ll go in one day before it goes belly up. Every business at the location has gone belly up pretty quickly.


  3. Virtually every donut I’ve eaten since about 1980 has been disappointing. A block away from my jr high was a family-owned, Portuguese bakery that made AMAZING donuts. I ate a lot of them in Jr high and high school. But since? No donuts compare. Dunkin Donuts, which has a near donut-hegemony in the northeast sells rings of sugary, greasy cardboard. And the others I’ve tried have been similar. If I’m going to down 250 calories of something bad for me, I at least want it to be delicious.


    Kim G
    Mérida, Yuc
    Where we need to try the marquesas.


    1. Kim: No great doughnuts since 1980?! Obviously, you have never run up against Krispy Kreme. I recommend the “original,” as they call it. They sell them in some high-end malls in Mexico City. When I was a kid in Jacksonville, Florida, I sold them door to door for a few months. Yes, I was a young entrepreneur.


  4. Doughnuts are America’s favorite junk food, sweet and greasy, almost irresistible. The oil is probably cheap GMO corn oil and the sweetener High Fructose Corn Syrup. I am also afflicted with this addiction. There is an exception to every rule.

    I get most of my grub from Bodega Aurrera, the discount store run by Wal-Mart. Their bakery decided to eliminate easily identified chocolate and maple doughnuts and make generic frosted doughnuts with no flavor in red, blue and yellow frosting. I haven’t had a doughnut in two months. Krispy Kreme is another good brand common in the south.


    1. Andrés: The sugar doughnut I encountered on Good Friday was not notably greasy. What it was was soft and sugary. If you lack a nice doughnut, just get on the bus up to my town.


  5. Even though my chassis would say otherwise, I am not a doughnut fat. Sweet things are generally not to my taste. But, like most of your readers (and you), I have suffered serial disappointments with pastries in Mexico. Most of them taste like hamburger buns spread with sugar. I am pleased that you found something to your taste — so to speak.


    1. Bliss: Yes, she does, and sells them most every Saturday afternoon down on the plaza. She doesn’t make doughnuts, however, and she was not selling any of her tasty wares on the day in question.


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