Get Great Mexican-Style Panocha at Taquería Zamora
Oh, the funny names we Latinos give to our meals. The above picture is what I know as a gordita de trigo, even though that name might throw off most people. This gordita isn't savory or even stuffed, but rather a flatbread sweetened with brown sugar and bits of cinnamon sticks. It's a Zacatecan fave, a constant at any proper household during the winter, when nothing quite wakes up kiddies like the sweet scent of the gorditas cooking on the griddle, with canela (cinnamon tea) boiling on the stove.
Taqueria Zamora in SanTana sells them sometimes, in packages of two near the counter for two bucks--they're available this week. Yeah, the one above was burnt a bit much, but its twin was perfect: chewy, fragrant, toasted perfectly yet moist even though they were prepared in the morning, and only vaguely sweet. It wasn't as sugary as most pan dulces, but restrained--really a treat. But they called them gorditas de harina. And when I showed it to Javier, he smiled. "Oh, you got some panocha!"
As readers of my other column know, panocha is Mexican Spanish slang for a woman's private parts, cruder even than our "pussy." But it's derived from the Mexican Spanish term for brown sugar, and is most famous as a New Mexico Lenten pudding.
But for Javier, panocha was what his family called these gorditas. Made sense: after all, they were made from panocha (brown sugar) and were as sweet as...never mind. Just go to Zamora's, don't get the burnt ones (and if you do, just knife off that crust--the inside will still retain its optimal flavor) and don't mind the double-murder that happened this weekend--no one in the packed restaurant the day after the crime did.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.