If you can’t tell from my previous posts, I have a thing for combining salty with sweet. It was only recently that I was introduced to the classic Cuban combination of guava and cheese, a delicious marriage of white, creamy cheese and sweet, sticky guava paste, typically found tucked away in the buttery folds of flaky pastries.
While I was in Los Angeles last month, my friends Stephanie and Ashley brought me to Porto’s Bakery, a Cuban-style bakery in Glendale. Going to Porto’s requires patience, usually a 10-15 minute wait on line before actually reaching the ordering counter. I wasn’t in the mood for any ordinary pastry. When it came time for me to order, I looked past the fruit tarts, eclairs, and cookies, and finally found what I was looking for: disguised as a normal Apple Strudel, the thick red paste and crumbly curds of cheese peeking out from the sides revealed its true identity–a Guava and Cheese Strudel. Biting into the strudel, the pastry crumbled into crisp, delicate flakes. After the first few bites, I reached the filling–a thick guava paste with a slight gritty texture, like drinking a can of Kern’s Guava Nectar but in paste-form, which paired so perfectly with a mildly salty and creamy cheese.
Guava and Cheese Strudel at Porto’s Bakery