Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bocado de Reina (a cake) and a lot more.

We had a long discussion around the table with Tom, my mom (Juanita) and dad (Anibal) trying to guess the origins of this cake's name. 

The Bocado de Reina is a cake made with leftover bread. It is not bread pudding because the consistency is that of a cake. The literally translation Bocado de Reina is "Bite of a Queen" now to really carry the meaning I suggested "Food fit for a queen", although I couldn't figure out why a cake made of left overs would be fit for a queen. 

My mom suggested a more sinister meaning: Poison for a Queen. I have to explain another meaning for the term "bocado". If you been to Guatemala you probably seen a lot of stray dogs and cats, people used and probably still in marginal areas take this matter into their hands and poison the animal giving them "bocado" a piece of bread with poison in it. (I do not sponsor this practice or have ever done it).

Wherever the term came from it is a treat that is definitely part of the Guatemalan culture. The Bocado de Reina takes my dad back to his  grammar school days. He used to live in Zone 6 and walked to school to El Asilo Santa Maria. My dad now a recognized successful entrepreneur in Guatemala, grew up around a lot of love but not a lot of money.  On his way to school they had a couple of options for a snack, basically what they could afford with 1 cent. One of the options was to stop at the "banana deposit" there they would give them 4-6 very ripe bananas for 1 cent. Their first option, though, was to stop by the Espiga de Oro Bakery. When they got there they quickly stuck their heads in to ask "Hay Bocado de Reina?" Not every day they had it and when they did it went fast for it was the right price, 1 cent! 

A couple of days ago we went to a function and there was a lot of left over bread so I was given a big bag of rolls to take home . In this time of frugality and growing up with the idea that it is a sin to throw away food (with my parents visiting to remind me of it) I came up with the idea of making Bocado de Reina. The cake turned out great and more so all the conversations that were derived from it. 

RECIPE (Kids approved)

2 cups of crumbled bread
1 can of condensed milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp of cinammon
2 bananas 
Raisins (optional)

Mix all ingredients. Bake it at 350F for 45 minutes. Makes one 8inch round cake.


Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Dean Fajardo and I can further discuss the origin of the "bocado de Reina". This treat is The results of the agricultural and cyclical crisis between 1786 and 1788, during this time France was in the midst of a financial struggle, but the Pride of being queen and maintaining the high profile status, would not allowed anything to get on the way of a high profile gathering. With that being said, and perhaps illustrating the scene, I will now get to the the Bocado de Reina. As previously mentioned France was in the midst of a financial struggle and the cooks had ran out of things to make for desert, the Queen instructed the staff to compile something out of leftovers and add some flavor to it. The cooks used their imagination and grabbed bread, bananas, grapes, which I have not tasted in the Bocado de reina that I have consumed, eggs, and milk. Ever since , a dinner with not much to show but plenty to offer, people began to question the unique taste of the desert they had just eaten, and the cooks called it “El bocado de reina “ for two reason is was for her and her guests and she instructed to use leftovers. This will conclude my 2 cents of a little unknown history of what we Guatemaltecos, enjoy so much.
I also attended El Asilo Santa Maria; I can go back and remember the kakis pants, white shirt and brown sweater with two white stripes on the right sleeve. My aunt lived across the street “ Mi Tia Elena “ and recall seeing her go to a church nearby daily with no shoes, the church is called La candelaria.

Guatemalan Genes said...

Thanks so much for your comment, both the origin and the childhood memories!!!

CrumbsandPixels said...

Glad you made "Bocado de Reina". I knew it as "Bocade de la Reina". This is the best desert to make with leftover bread! Yummy! So good. Will blog about it someday!

Unknown said...

Hello, thanks for taking me back to my childhood days, I am of Guatemalan descent, I was first born in the US. My grandmother used to make this treat for us all the time with the leftover bread and now I love to make it for my family. I love to share this recipe, since many times women have complained to me about leftover bread and so they are delighted when I mention what they can do with it. I'm glad to be able to give them a little description of where this recipe came from because most of the time my fellow latinos know nothing of this recipe and that is when I figured out, it was a Guatemalan recipe! I know Mexican's have one similiar to it but it has a slightly different taste. Thanks!

Foose&button said...

just found your blog and love it!!! thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I am about to make it for the first time and to tell my girls about its origin, I am from Guatemala, but my girls were born in the US. But I love them to know about el pais de la Eterna Primavera, so I will let you know how my bocado turn out. My mom used to make it a lot. We had a bakery so, we had fresh Bocado de Reina twice a week!!!

baby_jacob27 said...


Just wanted to say that my family and I love this bread and a big fan. Wondering if you happen to know how many calories each piece consist of?
Thank you.