Antigua Guatemala bakery

Cu Chee Cu Chee 2

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Yolkobsens did some further investigation into the Antigua Guatemala bakery that everyone here calls Cu Chee Cu Chee.  We were not satisfied that its entire story had been told in a previous blog.  Like, what’s with that name? And besides, we spelled it wrong.  Now we’re using the correct Spanish constellation of vowels and consonants when we talk about the famous Cu Chee Cu Chee bakery.

Its formal moniker is Panaderia San Antonio and there are two locations, one near the Concepcion barrio and the other within shouting distance of the main market off the Alameda Santa Lucia.  Hardly any one in Antigua Guatemala calls these two places by its saintly name.  And many agree both locations offer the best breads and sweet loaves in town.

The pan frances, or french bread, for example, has a lot of character and stays moist into the next day, qualities that most Guatemalan breads do not share.  Their lightly sugared cake loaves and muffins are also a heart-healing treat.

As for the name, Cu Chee Cu Chee, it seems that the late owner was something of a ladies’ man.  In fact, he had a string of lovers.  So customers and neighbors started calling him Cu Chee Cu Chee.  The name stuck and eventually his bakeries became known by that cheerful near-anthem as well.

Not surprising really. Even in this day and age, what woman can resist a man with flour on his hands?  Or for that matter, the sight of a naked muchacho down on his hands and knees, scrubbing the floor? But I digress.

Senor Cu Chee Cu Chee must have made quite an impression on all around him, and not just the local nubile and senora types. If you go to either bakery you will see the tributes to Antigua Guatemala’s gift to women.  Both locations maintain a shrine to its founder, with the same photo of the sweet dumpling of a man he became in old age.

The tribute to Senor Cu Chee Cu Chee in the market-side bakery is more elaborate than the east town outlet, featuring a painting of the Guate Lothario, a candle shining bright and roses.

The market shop sits in front of the elaborate bakery where all the oven magic happens.  And at peak times during the day you will find a line up of fans who come to buy the bread, still made in the fine tradition of the founder, and to worship at the altar of Cu Chee Cu Chee.

Panaderia San Antonio or Cu Chee Cu Chee’s two locations are:  4a Calle Oriente #29B; and 5a Calle Poniente #17.

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