While holiday goodies seem to hit the shops earlier and earlier every year no matter where we are in the world, surprisingly not everywhere in Mérida was offering Pan de Muerto before this magazine went to print. Let it be known, however, that every bakery and store does sell its own Pan de Muerto, and really, you need to try them all before you can declare a winner.
What? It isn’t a competition? Hmmm. Well, still, take it from me: the only sensible course of action is to try them all. Otherwise, how will you know what you like? Do you want traditional or filled, artisanal or gimmicky? The options are many and as a lover of México, you need your own opinion on this important issue. In this article, your dedicated writer has willingly subjected themself to eating five different Panes de Muerto, selected more or less at random, to give you an idea of the options.
Pan de Muerto, by the way, is a delicious soft sweet bread traditionally sold around Día de Muertos. It can vary from region to region and absolutely varies from baker to baker. Hence the need to try them all.
This nationwide chain provides consistently good pastries wherever you are in the country. The Pan de Muerto I tried here was less orangey tasting than others. Like many other places, El Globo plays around with fillings, what you find on any one day can be a bit of a delicious lottery! The cream-filled Pan de Muerto here is too heavy for me, but others in my family enjoy them very much.
Plaza La Fayette, Prol. Montejo
Tel. (999) 944 0214
Open daily 8 am – 8 pm
At the Monumento a la Patria you’ll find the Panificadora Montejo, a traditional Yucatecan bakery that locals and visitors alike adore. I stopped by at 4 pm to pick up Pan de Muerto for my family. This was a rookie error that almost got me in trouble, for there was one solitary individual left, just waiting sadly for me to come along and gobble it up. The Pan de Muerto here is light and has the perfect orange tang. Reader, I did not share.
Prol. Montejo x Av. del Deportista (across from Monumento a la Patria)
Tel. (999) 927 2256
Open daily 7 am – 8 pm
Look, I know. You’re expecting the Yucatán Today team to go wild with the tasting offerings but sometimes what you really need is to grab a giant Pan de Muerto from Sam’s, Costco, or the supermarket while you zoom around. And that’s ok. I can tell you for sure that they’re really quite tasty. From Sam’s I bought the giantest of all giant Panes de Muerto. I tried it alone and with a slice of cheese on top. I figured if we can eat cheese with British Christmas cake, we can eat it with Pan de Muerto. It was tasty. You can also buy a giant Pan de Muerto and then use the leftovers to make an equally giant and delicious bread and butter pudding. You’re welcome.
Gonzalo Guerrero, Díaz Ordaz, and Itzáes
Tel. (999) 944 9760
Open daily 7 am – 10 pm
To add a bit of joy to everyone’s life, this teeny tiny Frappería that is really just someone’s home, has made a Chocolate Abuelita with Pan de Muerto frappé. Do you need this in your life? Probably! I drove all the way across town to try this out and I have to say I don’t regret it for one second. The frappé was pretty scrummy and the Pan de Muerto with a dribble of Cajeta was fresh and light. Do it, but be brave because you really do have to stand at the front door and yell “¡Holaaaaaaaa!” before anyone will come serve you.
Calle 75 #588-C x 84 y 86, Centro (near Chedraui Itzáes)
Cel. 9992 04 03 35
FB: Frapperia 9¾
Mon. – Sat. 2 – 10 pm, Sun. 2 – 6 pm and 7:30 – 10 pm
YT suggests messaging to confirm
Monique’s Bakery And Fermentation Kitchen
Here, of course, the Pan de Muerto is made from sourdough, which has the added bonus of letting you tell yourself it’s actually healthy to eat. This Pan de Muerto (which I discovered in 2020 and have been waiting for all year) has a perfect orange balance. But be warned, it’s bigger than others, you may not be able to shovel an entire one in your face in one sitting. I can, but I’ve been practicing.
And if you’re reading this article from overseas and you’re kicking yourself for not being here in Yucatán at this time of such deliciousness (will somebody think of all that Mucbilpollo you’re missing, too!) then never fear, for I have a little-known secret for you. At any time of year, you can order Pan Respiro from Monique’s Bakery and revel in the beauty of Pan de Muerto in another shape and minus the sugar coating. Don’t forget to thank me!
Calle 79 #191-A x 36 y 38, Montes de Amé
Cel. 9991 95 63 89
FB: Monique’s Bakery & Fermentation Kitchen
Wed., Thu., Sat. 8:30 am – 7:30 pm, Fri. 8:30 am – 9:30 pm
Editorial by Cassie Pearse
Freelance writer and blogger, born in the UK. Cassie has a BA from Oxford University and an MA from SOAS, University of London. She lives in Mérida and loves exploring Yucatán with her family.
Photography by Cassie Pearse for its use in Yucatán Today.
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