¡Ask a Comida Critic! Where to Buy Rosca de Reyes?

Of course, I get this question the day of its celebration. I'll explain after the question posed by Ursula:

Hi! I was thinking about picking up a rosca de reyes today. Should I have ordered one in advance, or do bakeries supply them on a first-come, first-served basis? Also, do you recommend a particular bakery? Thanks.

She's referring to the bread traditionally baked in Mexico to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany--and guess what day is today? Gotta ask me preguntas in advance, people!

I'm actually not a fan of the bread, which is just like the Mardi Gras tradition of king's cake--same dryness, same overwhelming use of sugar, same tradition of placing a statue (in the rosca case, of the infant Christ) that signifies good luck to the person who finds it, as long as they don't bite directly into it and crack a tooth in the process.
A happy family looking for the infant Christ...
A happy family looking for the infant Christ...

I told Ursula she's better off eating a lot of empanadas, but that's my opinion. For the people who want a rosca, most panaderías will have them in stock, but it's always best to call ahead. As for the king of the county's rosca de reyes? I'd go with El Toro Meat Market in SanTana, even though one of the owners doesn't like me. Its panadería has always done well by my familia, and the gargantuan tacos remain the stuff of gabacho legend. But, again: call ahead. And I still say stick with the empanadas. Not all Mexican-food traditions are spectacular, you know. . . .

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El Toro Meat Market, 1340 W. First St., Santa Ana, (714) 836-1393.

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