Eating Your Way Through South America at Pastelería Toortu in Barrio Italia
Everyone has a dream and for many of us, it’s to be able to get out of bed, have a hot drink to start the day before heading to your dream job where you explore your passions and do what you truly want to…and of course be your own boss. Few people actually have what it takes to make these dreams into a reality, and those who have accomplished this feat will tell you there’s a lot of work that goes into it.
Last month, I had the pleasure of interviewing the Owner, Felipe Gallardo López and taking the grand tour of Pastelería Toortu in Barrio Italia, one of the neighborhoods newest fine pastry and bread addition. As a fellow neighbor, I passed by this the first week and was drawn in my the warm welcome of Felipe and his wife Astrid who told us all about their delicacies and I was instantly hooked. No, that’s not a cliché, I regularly crave their pastries and I’m hooked on their bread, and it’s saying a lot considering I’m not a huge bread fan!
Before opening up Pastelería Toortu, Felipe always had a passion for pastries and cooking, but his work was on an industrial scale. Inspired by a trip to France, Felipe put his plans into action preparing for three years to set up his own piece of Paris in Santiago – a quality neighborhood bakery serving up fine pastries and bread while following his passion. Barrio Italia seems perfectly fitting for his venture since it’s quickly becoming foodie haven, yet it still has that neighborhood feel where you can see neighbors and stopping by after work for a baguette or loaf of ciabatta for once (tea time).
Not Your Normal Chilean Bread
So… that brings us back to the bread. Pastelería Toortu does what a lot of bakeries don’t, they use masa madre (sourdough), a slow fermented dough that takes us back to the times before commercial yeast was readily available. This is how traditional bread was made, it was a slow and delicate process that required bakers to ferment the bread overnight or longer before baking. This is what makes the bread so good and different from your regular bakery – check out the sponginess, the crunch and the shine that this bread has, but most importantly you have to go there and taste the difference for yourself.
Pastries to Fly For
Once I got past my infatuation for their bread, I went into more complex flavors that took me on a trip to the Congo, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Ecuador – lands I had never seen before I could now touch, smell and most importantly taste part of their essence. All of their chocolate is by origin and one of Felipe’s objectives is for foodies to get to know Latin America through his delicate and flavorful pastries.
“I want people to travel to Guayaquil or to Montañita and remember their first trip there, to feel like they’re there through the flavors inspired by those places,” explained Felipe.
To finish off the grand tour, Felipe invited me into their kitchen to see where the magic happens and I witnessed the origins of all the delicious goodies, from real and natural products to cool chocolate art, and back upstairs for a tasting of the finished delicacies.
Pie de limón
Probably the best pie de limón I’ve had to date, it’s delicately flavored, balanced and has a twist on an old recipe. It includes limón de pica and ginger with a thin chocolate disk (Peruvian Chocolate 64% coca).
For my fellow peanut butter lovers, this one is made with Ecuadorian chocolate (71% cocoa) with a light peanut butter mousse topped with peanut butter and bits of peanuts.
Paris Brest Eclair filled with crème and natural vanilla from Madagascar
The freshly baked bread
Keep an eye out for more types of bread and they now have whole cakes so you can share the love with the family. If you’re in the neighborhood again, try these guys out, travel the world with your taste buds and support the dream, passion and quality, natural food!