Barcelona’s Pasteleria: Mauri and Escriba

If there was anything in Barcelona that surprised and impressed us, it was their Pastelerias, or Pastry Shops. After having an assortment of pastries from two of Barcelona’s best: Mauri and Escriba. We concluded that the Spanish’s offerings could rival their higher-profile French neighbours. 

Mauri

Establish in 1929, this grand old pastry shop has had its regular customers salivating over the endless range of sweets, chocolate croissants and gourmet delicatessen items. Mauri’s amazing selection of freshly baked bread, cakes, pastries and other sweets has kept it a local favourite for more than 80 years.

One evening, while strolling around our hotel, I came across this Pasteleria just a street away. I remarked to my parents on its “fame” and just the next morning, they sent me out on a pastry run to get our first breakfast. Later hungry again, we popped by for two more sweet treats.

I got us four sweet pastries and savouries: Chocolate Croissant and a Mallorca snail-shaped classic, Ensaïmada, a round Pastisset De Tonyina marked with a “X”, and Patisset de Carn.

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For the chocolate croissant, we were enamoured with the generous thick chocolate filling and dainty flaky croissant.

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Unusually filled with minced pork, the Pastisset de Carn was an appetizing little treat with its moist filling and buttery puff pastry.

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Stuffed with tuna, the Pastisset De Tonyina was equally as flavourful and endearing for us fish-lovers.

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Dusted with icing sugar, the Ensaïmada was a flake-master. It flaked all over us. A cross between a croissant and brioche, the light, airy and delicate spiral-shaped dessert was delicious for the first few bites but the lack of flavour, aside from butter, got monotonous and boring. I was glad my parents were there to share this with me. I was hard-pressed trying to finish this.

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A quick walk around our hotel saw our tummies rumbling again and we popped back to Mauri to get two sweet treats. A signature, flaked with almonds, the circular Amond Cake, and an Apple Tart that reminded me of the French Tarte Tartin.

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The Almond Cake had a touch too much almond essence, and with its tender sponge and solid buttercream was different from the sort I had back home. While I did not enjoy this immensely, I did not dislike it either.

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 The Apple Tarte Tartin with it’s weak apple flavour failed to register in me. Mummy enjoyed it more though.

Escriba

Originally estalished in 1906 as a bakery, this Pasteleria is also widely know for it’s chocolate and elaborate sculptures of the same dessert. We grabbed three sweet pastries on our way back to the hotel after a long afternoon.

We could not resist the opulent shopfront along La Rambla. We got a square of icing sugar-dusted coarse crumbly Orange Sponge Cake, A chocolate-sprinkled Chocolate Croissant, and a Pine Nut-topped Coca de pinones.

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The Chocolate Croissant was remarkable with its dainty flakey pastry. More than half of the pastry was filled with the rich and thick chocolate.

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The Pine Nut Pastry lacked any flavours, and the Orange Sponge Cake was a tad dry but bursting with a citrus flavour.

Sure, there were hits and misses but when done well, the Spanish/ Catalans do work up a mean pastry.

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