La Oriental is a teeny tiny traditional pastelería that offers a whole array of gluten free goodies. Founded in 1950 and currently run by the fourth generation of bakers, here you’ll find locally inspired pasteles, elaborated using traditional Madrileño methods and the best local ingredients. This is the place to go to step into the world of traditional artisan pastries and try some local specialities. Luckily for gluten free foodies, it is central to the city and just a short stroll from the Argüelles metro stop!
When you step into the bakery you are immediately surrounded at all heights by stacks of galletas, trays of mini pasteles, counters brimming with all sorts of chocolates, beautifully decorated tartas, light pink meregues and boxes of assorted chocolate-dipped shortbreads.
It is not hard to find the gluten free goodies as the shop is covered in ‘sin gluten’ symbols to help you find your way around.
You’ll find delicacies in every counter, including the tall fridge in front of the window, which is jam-packed with tartas, cheesecakes and birthday cakes (see the raspberry cheesecake above, yum!). There is also a counter with an entire selection of rocas, which are chocolates filled with caramelised nuts, in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate… well, in every kind of chocolate that you could imagine.
Also sitting on nonchalantly on top of the counters, as if they have no idea of the effect they’ll have on you, are boxes of assorted biscuits, which are, indeed, gluten free too.
There are Viennese-style biscuits covered in jam and chopped nuts, star-shaped shortbreads, vanilla cookies topped in dark chocolate and sprinkles, and many more options. In addition to the boxes on the counters, there are also boxes behind the shop front, which the shop assistants will no sooner whisk out for you than you can say ‘sin gluten’.
As well as the shop’s excellent ‘gluten free’ signing, the best part of visiting the shop is being greeted by the shop’s incredibly smiley fourth generation owner, or one of her friendly assistants. As soon as you mention that you are ‘celiaca’ or ‘celiaco’, a whole range of extra delights will be whisked out from the back and you’ll wonder why you never came here before.
The pastel of choice on this visit was one of the ‘bandejas’ of mini pasteles, which I can say are without a doubt the most delicious little morsels I have tried in my natural gluten-free, and non-gluten free, life.
Each tray is slightly different, with six rows of beautifully presented mini pasteles, each little pastel like a mini work of art. You can tell that at La Oriental they take their baking seriously. In this particular ‘bandeja’, there were six types of mini pasteles: a custard-cream topped sponge; a light pastry sandwiched with chocolate cream; dark chocolate cups with vanilla custard filling and chocolate sprinkles; a profiterole-style pastry filled with dark chocolate cream; an orange cream square and, last but not least, dark chocolate cups filled with whipped cream and topped with a raspberry.
The mini selections of pastries like this bandeja are wrapped up in a sweet little La Oriental box with reflective gold lining and tied up with string, making them the perfect treat to buy for a friend, gluten free or not gluten-free, or maybe, let’s be honest, just for yourself.
In addition to this, the tartas in the tall fridge counter in front of the window can also be ordered for special occasions like birthdays, or just selected from the shop on the day (they all look delicious!).
There are also sugar-free and lactose free options. Just ask the owner.
Extra tip: some of the boxes of biscuits already have prices on, but the rest are priced according to weight, so make sure you check with the owner before you select your box.
InfoCalle Ferraz, 47 Website Tel: 91 559 70 45
Word of the post
I hope that you liked this post on La Oriental. Today’s special word, in homage to the delicious nature of the post’s content, is:
natillas– a creamy custard, yum.