A friend of Jesse’s asked her what was the most surprising thing about Gijon and Spain thus far, and I thought, there are a lot of candy shops and ice cream parlors. Like, way more than one would ever think there could be, that could all make money, per capita. There must be a sweet shop, like an old school, candy store from Willy Wonka or if you’ve been to Southern California, Balboa Candy shop, where kids can get whatever Candy they want by the pound.
Here in Gijon it is obviously sold by the gram, or kilogram if the kiddos really want to rot their teeth; but to me it is something else to see a line of parents six deep waiting to get into the sweet shop. We have not gone inside one of these, for one, since the line is always long, and for two, I definitely do not need, but would really like to, buy a couple kilos of gummy bears, and Jesse also knows this, and thus we haven’t gone in one. Yet.
The other thing that stands out to us is how many people enjoy ice cream. You will see teenagers, older people, kids, couples, tough guys, cool guys, fashionable ladies, literally everyone is, at some point, eating ice cream. All the ice cream eaters actually make me feel safer walking around, because no one looks tough or mean or bad ass when eating it. It also tastes great and we have definitely indulged in some helado after a long day of walking around town or hiking, as then it feels like it really is earned.
But as Jesse and I are adults (at least that is what we tell ourselves, lol) so we like to enjoy pasteries from the local panderias and deserts as part of the menu de dias most often. Jesse has detailed many of our deserts on her blog, from arroz con leche to torta de abuela, as well as some of our pastries, our most favorite being Palmeras (or, Elephant ears) and their smaller version, Palmeritas. None of these are pictured though.
What you see is my favorite desert so far, and now is my number one favorite desert to purchase, called Pastel Lucia Chocolate con Fresa (strawberries). This has replaced the City Diner in St Louis’ Red Velvet Cake, though that is still a close number two, and I will order it the next time in the Lou. (My favorite desert in my entire life is my mom’s homemade carrot cake, which is so ridiculously good that words cannot even describe, because the proper words do not exist for how much I enjoy it).
Found at a local panaderia chain called Pan de Ibias (and not even found at every location), Pastel Lucia Chocolate also is made with oranges, but it is the strawberry version that is my favorite. As you can see in the picture it is not the prettiest cake, but that is just to keep those people not in the know from ordering it all the time. Strawberries also are not in season during the summer, so that makes it even more rare to see. The outer lawyer is a thin, solid lawyer of chocolate, which cracks as you cut into it with your fork, revealing the lawyers of cake and strawberry inside. Jesse says it tastes like a strawberry donut inside, and I think it is similar to that but more rich and tasty. Adding real strawberries just completes the taste with a nice cup of coffee to accompany it. Lastly, and I would not be a true Midwesterner if I did not relay what a deal, price-wise, it is, costing only 1.40 Euro!
So when in Gijon, stop by a Pan de Ibias and ask for the Pastel Lucia Chocolate con Fresa, and I promise you will not be disappointed.