Mexican Junk Food: Tia Rosa Bigotes

Tia Rosa Bigotes have been calling out to me from the checkout counter at the local OXXO for quite some time now, with their promises of “rellenos de CHOCOLATE pan dulce.” They are jumbled in with all of the snack-cakey things, so at first you don’t see them…but given enough trips to the store, they start whispering at you. I at first had my doubts…spending time in airports has taught me that rarely are croissants in a plastic package any good at all. And while that is definitely true of Bigotes, there is more to the story. Read on.

BigotesI enjoyed my Bigotes this morning with a cup of Nescafe instant coffee. First impressions, on sight, were similar to what Jillian had predicted. With a yawn, she explained last night, “They won’t be good, but they won’t be bad, the bread will be dry, and the chocolate inside will be kinda grainy.” Jillian, I fear, is growing bored with watching me eat in the name of !Lunes Sabroso!. On with the study!

I, for one, was not going to be prejudiced about these Bigotes. Ha! See what I did, there? While first appearances and bites did appear to be a little bland, things improved as I went. As feared, the bread on the outside did have that too-dry, stale airport quality. I figured I would just dip them in my Nescafe and press on, and this did indeed seem to help. But then I began really trying to consider the chocolate inside, and what made it special. Chocolate in lots of Mexican prepackaged delicacies seems to have an almost bittersweet quality. Wait, that’s not exactly right. It’s not bittersweet, it’s like there are extra flavors in chocolate here not found in the States. Herby, aromatic flavors, with a touch less sweetness. (Though the Coca-Cola here IS more sweet. Go figure.) It had the same quality that was special about the generic cookies I ate last night…different enough to make them special, and camouflage their only moderate deliciousness.

This would have been the end of what I had to report. I was ready to chalk the whole thing up to being kinda boring, decent with coffee, but not something I would ever buy again. However, this was about the halfway point, when, all of a sudden, BOOM! The injectors used to blow frosting onto the inside of these cardboardy breads must have been calibrated wrong, because what began as a fine river of chocolate soon turned into a gusher. The second half of the Bigote can only be described as “soft chocolate ball in a thin flaky crust.” Either a mistake was made somewhere at the factory, or everyone but me knew to start at the other end. I finished my Bigote by hollering at Jillian, “Wow, these are pretty damned good! Jillian! Listen! These are delicious! HEY!” Jillian just looked at me helplessly, but since I got two for the product shot, you can be sure she’ll try one. I’ll see to THAT.

Photos: Grupo Bimbo

This is an edited reprint of a post I originally published in 2006, while living in Southern Mexico on a steady diet of ham, ham stuffed with cream cheese, and ham stuffed with cream cheese stuffed into cinnamon rolls. The series, originally titled “Lunes Sabroso!,” detailed my sometimes baffled introduction as a foreigner to the items for sale in the junk food section of our local tienda.

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

3 Comments

  1. Hilarious…this is the only pan dulce that without asking I just automatically throw in the cart everytime we go to the super. My husband is a super fan of the Bigote and seeing how the rest of the supermarket “fresh” pan is dry, not actually sweet, and resting spot to the occasional fly, I cut my losses everytime and just buy the bigotes. I’m not sure if they have them in other parts of Mexico, but here in GDL there is a “high fiber” bakery chain that has better than average bread that we buy from time to time. Other than that, even though I want so badly for it to be good, I’m forever disappointed in the pan dulce you norm

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  2. Is there any way that you could possibly send me a recipe for Bigotes? They are delicious(or at least the ones I had in a restaurant were)! I would love to be able to make them at home and so far I haven’t found a recipe for them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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