Welcome to the first-ever blog post for George’s International Market! Thank you for joining us here. We’re so excited to bring you more information about the unique foods we carry, updates about the market, recipes for fabulous dishes to expand your cooking abilities, and more.
This month, we’re starting simple with conchas, which is one of our top sellers to our hispanic customers. Our dedicated bakers put a lot of time and effort into making the best conchas in Fort Wayne. But have you ever wondered what exactly a concha is made from or where they originated?
Well, stop by our Deli & Bakery and pick up a bag of conchas, sit down and continue reading!
Conchas are one of the most popular and beloved varieties of Mexican pastries, or pan dulce. The word concha means “seashell” in Spanish, which makes sense due to the roll’s resemblance to the surface of a seashell.
They are most commonly enjoyed with breakfast and dinner. More recent versions can be filled or spiced - or even be used as buns for a burger! - but traditional conchas don’t need all that fanciness to be special treats. Most are flavored quite simply, with vanilla or chocolate.
It wasn’t until French influence began in the 1800s before Mexican bakers really started to explore the possibilities of baking with wheat flour. Utilizing French techniques allowed Mexican bakers to create unique breads, pastries (pan dulces), and more. Even today, Mexican bread culture is hugely varied and extremely creative. Some estimate that there are between 500 and 2,000 different types of bread being produced in Mexico.
Conchas have two iconic parts: the pastry and the topping.
The pastry starts as an egg dough, often called bizcocho. It’s made with wheat flour and yeast, then enriched with eggs, butter, and milk. Like many breads, the pastry dough is mixed and kneaded thoroughly before being left to proof.
The colorful topping is made of shortening, sugar, flour, and other optional flavors like chocolate or cinnamon, which comes together to form a paste. While the traditional color for topping is white with cinnamon flavoring, other common colors include pink, yellow, and brown. However, conchas can be found with any color you can imagine!
Our fresh and homemade conchas at George’s come in four colors: White, Brown, Yellow, and Pink.
The pastry is rolled into balls, then placed on a baking sheet. The topping is flattened into discs and placed on top of the pastry, then a “concha cutter” scores lines into the topping. When the pastry bakes, these lines widen and the topping cracks, giving the pastry its iconic seashell design.
The final product is a rich pastry with a soft and airy texture that contrasts with the crunchy, sweet topping. The whole confection goes perfectly with hot chocolate, coffee, or eaten on its own like a donut.
If you haven’t yet stopped in to our Deli & Bakery for fresh and homemade conchas, you are missing out! We make conchas fresh every day to have with coffee or by themselves as a treat.
Come grab one, or a dozen, at 2021 Broadway in Fort Wayne or order ahead of time by calling 260-420-5565.
Don't miss out on the incredible variety of international grocery items waiting for you at our store. Come visit us today at 2021 Broadway in Fort Wayne and embark on a global culinary adventure right in your neighborhood!