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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stock Your Altar With Pan de Muerto From 24th Street

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Pan de muerto from Panaderia La Mexicana, left, and La Reyna Bakery. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • Pan de muerto from Panaderia La Mexicana, left, and La Reyna Bakery.

Today and tomorrow, panaderias up and down the Mission's 24th Street strip are selling bones for the eating -- pan de muerto, a lightly sweet bread formed in to the shape of skeletons, skulls, or simply rounds decorated in doughy tibia. They're for placing on altars along with photos, ofrendas, and marigolds or for eating at the grave sites of loved ones.

This weekend, SFoodie picked up golden pan de muerto ($1.60) coated in sesame seeds at Panaderia La Mexicana (2804 24th St.). We peered through the display glass at the giant holiday breads at La Reyna Bakery (3114 24th St.), which are covered in multicolored sugar sprinkles ($20 for a skeleton, $15 for a round), before walking out with a smaller round ($2) coated in a fine layer of frosting and caster sugar so that it takes on a glittering, ghostly cast.

La Victoria (2937 24th St.) also confirmed on the phone that it sells pan de muerto today and tomorrow, as does Royal Bakery (4773 Mission, at Russia) in the Excelsior. And on the west side of town, Arizmendi Inner Sunset makes denser, larger skeleton loaves ($5.50) flavored with aniseed and candied orange rind to sell today and tomorrow. (The Valencia street location will only offer pan de muerto on Nov. 2.)

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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