Mexican pan dulce can encompass pastries, sweet breads and even cookies, and are typically purchased from a panadería, or bakery. Popular kinds of pan dulce that you’re probably familiar with may include varieties such as conchas, sweet empanadas, cuernos, and puerquitos or marranitos.
Bread and pan dulce first came to be in Mexico after wheat was introduced to the country by the Spanish conquistadors in the early 16th Century. However, Mexican pan dulce as we know it today rose to popularity during the French occupation in the mid 1800s. French influence on Mexico’s gastronomy grew exponentially from the time Porfirio Díaz, a Francophile, took control as president in 1880 and flourished into the early 1900s. And although the French occupation of Mexico ended in the mid-1860s, they left behind an indelible impression when it came to Mexicans’ palate for sweet breads and baking techniques. French pastries and sweet breads adopted by Mexico morphed into uniquely Mexican creations, with a variety of shapes, textures and creative names—some of which still exist today. In fact, scholars estimate there may be as many as 2,000 different types of pan dulce in Mexico….