>> Panaderia La Rancherita | Eat the World Los Angeles

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Panaderia La Rancherita

BOLIVIA 🇧🇴

COVID-19 UPDATE: For the time being, the full menu here has been reduced to just baked goods and salteñas, all for takeout.

On any given day, there is really no guarantee the items you are looking for will be available. Maybe even if you call ahead, according to some disparaging online comments. But as part of a broader day's pickups, Panaderia La Rancherita is a terrific stop. Passing through the doorway is an assault on your scent of smell, no doubt something has always just come out of the oven.

With many more Mexicans in Santa Ana than Bolivians, the bakery has been around long enough to know their customers. They make and package their own corn tortillas and have fresh pan dulce available daily, among other items. But for an experience more rare in Southern California, ask what Bolivian items are ready at this Bolivian-owned mainstay.



If the case at the counter is full of salteñas ($3.50 each, above), pull out your wallet, count up all your cash, and order as many as you can. Available in chicken and beef, both are worthy of an order, savory stews inside of sweet corn wrappers. During creation, the meat, potatoes, and raisins are mixed with gelatin and refrigerated so that the fillings firm up and do not make the doughy exterior soggy. This melts during baking, and of course these are best enjoyed as soon as possible.

In Bolivia, the most successful vendors will have limited quantities and be sold out well before noon, but they seem to bake salteñas here in waves, so try your luck when nearby. They also sometimes have llauchas, another type of cheese empanada popular in La Paz, and best enjoyed with a warm thick cup of api, made from maiz morado.

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