News Column

El Paso Bakeries Increase Rosca Pastry Production

Jan. 7, 2013

Juan Antonio Rodriguez, El Paso Times

It's going to be a good year for bakeries that sell Rosca de Reyes.

Kansas Bakery owner Dolores Ayala has seen how El Paso residents follow the tradition of gathering each year on Jan. 6 to enjoy a Rosca de Reyes.

Ayala, who inherited the bakery from her father and has been making roscas for 14 years, said this year might be the best.

"Last year, we baked 600 roscas, and this year we plan to bake a thousand of them," Ayala said. She added that the tradition is being adopted by different communities, not just Hispanics.

"We explain the tradition to our American customers so they buy their rosca, too," she said. "The following year, they come back to get another one."

The Jan. 6 tradition of the Rosca de Reyes is celebrated in Mexico and some other Latin American countries. It centers on the arrival of the three kings in Bethlehem.

According to the Christian belief, the three kings were guided by a star to offer baby Jesus gold, incense and myrrh.

A tiny plastic doll is hidden inside the rosca and represents the help Christians offered to hide baby Jesus from King Herod, who wanted to kill him.

"We follow the tradition, so we hide two baby Jesuses inside the pastry," Ayala said. "If our clients want more tiny dolls inside, we add some more."

The tradition has it that whoever finds the tiny plastic doll should buy tamales on Feb. 2, which is known as Dia de la Candelaria.

"Besides the rosca tasting so

good, it is fun trying to guess who will get the monito (doll). I will take one to work, and whoever gets it will have to buy tamales for everybody," said Anahi Mendez, a customer at Kansas Bakery.

Other bakeries plan to increase their rosca production by as much as 50 percent.

"Last year we baked two thousand roscas at our two branches, and this year we plan to bake three thousand," said Mario Gutierrez, manager of Bowie Bakery on the West Side.

"People started to buy roscas since Friday and we expect the demand to increase on Saturday and Sunday," he said.

Consuelo Lizardo, manager of La Moderna Bakery in Northeast El Paso, said the bakery will increase the production of roscas 100 percent.

"We are going to bake 350 roscas. Ours include pineapple slices, and they are stuffed with cajeta," a sweet similar to caramel, Lizardo said.

The price of a rosca is between $9 and $25, depending on the size and filling.

Source: (c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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