What's a manteconcha? Here's where to find it in Chicago

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Artemio Casas of Panadería Nuevo Leon in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood makes his own version of the manteoncha.

Manteconchas are all the rage right now at Mexican bakeries across the United States.

Panadería Nuevo León in the Pilsen neighborhood is the first bakery to make them in Chicago.

The new pastry combines what's known as a mantecada (a muffin of sorts) and the quintessential concha. The concha is a round semi-sweet pastry with a sugary shell-pattern topping.

Panadería Nuevo León's manager Artemio Casas says the manteconcha was recently introduced at a bakery in Querétaro, Mexico.

"The baker who invented the manteconcha mixes both the dough of the mantecada and the concha, and I thought the result was a little too dense for my taste," said Casas. "So through trial and error, I created my own version," Casas added.

Casas says he essentially makes a mini-concha and places it on a half-baked mantecada. He then bakes them together once more and he says the result is much tastier.

"But make sure not to separate the concha topping from the manteconcha," Casas warns. "To get a true taste, you must make sure to eat them together," Casas said.

Casas says people of all ages have been stopping by the bakery for a taste of his manteconchas. He's not sure how long the trend will last, but for the time being, he makes them only on Saturdays and Sundays.

"Manteconchas are much more detailed and time-consuming to make," explained Casas.

10-year-old April Zendejas of Chicago says she and her family made the trip to Pilsen just so she could get buy a manteconcha.

Just like conchas, they come in a variety of colors. Zendeja picked an ice-blue topped manteconcha.

"They're really sweet, and I really just like them," said Zendejas.
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foodmexicanbakery
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