A Mexican epiphany

All along 5th Avenue in Sunset Park this week, bakeries and grocery stores are advertising “Rosca de Reyes.” Peek through a steamy bakery window, and you’ll see giant pastry wreaths bedecked with unnaturally bright candied fruits and sparkly, multi-colored sugar stripes.

It’s part of the celebration of Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. Tomorrow night, families and friends will eat rosca, drink hot chocolate, and try not to ingest or break a tooth on the tiny baby Jesus figure baked inside each ring.

I celebrated a day early by stopping at La Flor de Izucar bakery (4021 5th Ave) toward the end of my morning run and snagging a single piece of a cut-up sample rosca. It was a comparatively spartan slice, lacking the alarming-but-also-fascinating candied fruit (I was hoping for some glacéed fig), and after passing the bakery bag from hand to freezing hand for the mile and a half it took me to get home, it looked positively forlorn.

But I have to say, it was delicious: gently yeasted, rich with butter and egg, sweet, but not too sweet.

I just may have to go back and get a small rosca tomorrow (if there are any left).



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