In my kitchen in Oakland, California,I preheated my cast-iron comal and slipped a pat of butter onto the surface.
I’d just gotten home from New Orleans, where at an artisanal bakery I’d purchased a mallorca, a sweet spiral bun made by a baker from Puerto Rico, who was in turn following a centuries-old formula that can be traced back to a tiny island off the coast of Spain. Removing the pastry from my backpack, where I’d kept it safe and unsquashed on the 2,000-mile journey, I sliced it in half and set both sides face down on the griddle. I made a sandwich like the ones you’ll often find in Puerto Rico, where my family is from, with some crispy bacon and melted American cheese, a decadent treat made even more so by the traditional snowfall of confectioners sugar I dusted over the top.
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