In the fabric of our wonderful multicultural Melbourne, the South American community may be a less immediately-obvious thread, but it is no less lustrous than others. Indeed, the South American bakery in North Sunshine is a real sparkler.
There's something about tiny, tucked-away shopping strips that seems to attract South American places here in the western suburbs. Panaderia Sud Americana is nestled in North Sunshine on a quiet backstreet and fills up with members of the Chilean, Argentinian and neighbouring communities getting their sweet fix.
There's a good range of bread that's somewhat reminiscent of French, with stubby baguette-style bread, as well as round, hamburger-like rolls with rustic fork marks on top.
The real drawcard for me, though, are the sweets. They feature lots of pearlescent meringue, whether crisply coating biscuits that in turn sandwich intense caramel sauce or spread gently to enclose huge sponge cakes.
A huge part of the pantheon of Chilean sweets is manjar (known in Mexcio as dulce de leche), a home-made, heavenly, thick caramel sauce. Here it comes swirled in tiny homemade donuts, piped into horns and wedged between shortbread biscuits. Don't try to snaffle these in the car on the way home - you will be covered in crumbs and icing sugar and it will be a dead giveaway!
They make all their own pastry here, including puff pastry that features in some seriously impressive mini danishes. Custard features in sweets too, but I prefer the caramel. Sweet tooths are not the only lucky ones with a small range of empanadas, pastie-like turnovers filled with cheese and/or ham.
DO YOU NEED ANY MORE CONVINCING?
South American Bakery
76 Warwick Road, Sunshine North
Phone: 9364 8302
Hours: Tues-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun 8am-2pm
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