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Pan Dulce is a sweet bread made in a Panaderia, or Mexican Bakery.It can be everything from a Mexican style doughnut to an all out cake. They are usually eaten on Sunday, before or after Mass. There are many types of Pan Dulce, but here is a quick list of my favorites;

El Conche- the most common pan dulce, a circular sweetbread with a sugar topping that has been imprinted with a spiral, mimicing a Conche shell.

El Yo-Yo- a pastry made up of 2 hemishpherical halves of sweetbread, filled in the center with a strawberry or rasberry jam, then combined to make a full sphere. The outside is then smeared with the jam, then the whole thing is rolled in coconut shavings. Looks a bit like a Yo-Yo.

Los Empanadas- a pastry that is made of a dough that does not rise much. It is formed by taking a circular peice of dough, filling it with a filling (usually pinapple, apple, pumpkin, cherry, etc, ) then folded in half and baked.

Doughnut- the same as an american doughnut, but with a few twists. First, the Pan Dulce doughnut is usually fatter than a normal one. Then, it is deep fried in a much sweeter oil, and when it is done frying, it is rolled in granulated sugar. Much richer and more flavorful than a normal doughnut.

Pan Dulce Del Ranchero- a large peice of a unsweetened bread toasted on the sides, then generously coverd in a mixture of butter and sugar.

There are many Pan Dulces that I have eaten, but I do not know the names for. There are little baskets made of a sweet dough that is placed in a muffin tin, then filled with a filling like an empanada.

There are large flat crispy pastries that are shaped like an ear, that I have heard called Elephant ears.

There are little Gingerbread pigs, and they have a very gingery edge to them.

There are cakes made with butter toppings, usually a white or a yellow cake batter.

Pan Dulce is one of my favorite parts of a Sunday, and it is a very enjoyable way to celebrate my Hispanic background.

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