Ever heard of something sweet called "quesito"? It's ok, neither had I – and I am a professional.
The name translates roughly to—cute alert--”little cheese”. I told you it was cute! But what is it, exactly?
Well, to the uninitiated, a quesito is kind of like the tropical version of a cheese danish. But it is not quite a cheese danish itself. Differences? First, the pastry part is a little flakier. In recipes I found, it looks like it is typically a puff pastry.
Second, the shape. It's not a big flat round saucer; it's kind of cigar-shaped. This doesn't seem to be absolute, though; some versions that I saw were folded over, with two kissing ends meeting in the middle, and exposed ends. It's filled with a sweet cream cheese. And the most popular variation, by what I saw in the Rincon, Puerto Rico area, was the quesito de guayaba – the guava and cheese filled quesito. Here's an example of another one, from The Noshery.
This is a highly pleasant pastry, I must tell you. The flaky exterior gives way to a soft and slightly gooey interior, and there's a beautiful moment when you reach the unique middle texture where the gooey fillings have baked into, and beautifully altered, the texture of the pastry. I wish I could live in that moment. Or at least make it last longer than part of a bite.
The melding of the flavors is also quite nice—the buttery flakiness of the pastry, the sweet richness of the cheese, the mellow sweetness of the guava. It makes for an absolutely perfect complement for the small, potent cafe con leche that the panaderias all seem to serve in Rincon.
The Snow Bakery did a very nice job at the quesito de guayaba, and I sure hope to repeat the experience at a later date. In the meantime, if you're not Puerto Rico-bound any time soon, try out a recipe for them here.
For directions to Panaderia Snow Bakery, click here.