La Cadena Que No Se Corta: The Unbroken Chain

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el Taller, the Workshop
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The El Rio Bakery on Grande Avenue, also by Paul Lira (JSG)
The El Rio Bakery on Grande Avenue, also by Paul Lira (JSG)

Bakeries represent another kind of workshop, presided over by a master Baker, always trained in Mexico through a traditional apprenticeship system.

A loaf of pan de muerto (JSG)
A loaf of pan de muerto (JSG)

(Day of the Dead Bread) from the now-defunct Ronquillo's Bakery in South Tucson. This rich egg bread, decorated with little dough "bones" and sugar, is one of several shapes made annually for November 2, el dia de los muertos or the Day of the Dead.

Pan de muerto from Alexia's Bakery on North 4th Avenue, November, 1995 (JSG)
Pan de muerto from Alexia's Bakery on North 4th Avenue, November, 1995 (JSG)

The head baker at Alexia's, who comes from Guadalajara, Jalisco, makes pan de muerto in the style of his home city. It is unique in Tucson's bakeries. Photograph by Dianne Nilsen, courtesy of the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography.

Cookies from La Fama Bakery Tucson, June 1995 (JSG)
Cookies from La Fama Bakery Tucson, June 1995 (JSG)

A plate of cookies from the La Fama Bakery on Tucson's southside. The ornamental shapes of cookies, designed to make them appealing to the potential purchaser, have traditional names (which can vary from region to region of Mexico.) For instance, the long cookie on the right is an elote or "ear of corn," while a cochito, or "little pig," and a bandera, or "flag," are on lower left.

Tacos Del Guero taco truck by Luis Mena outside Sky Villa, July 1986 (JSG)
Tacos Del Guero taco truck by Luis Mena outside Sky Villa, July 1986 (JSG)

In recent years, mobile taco stands or carretas have sprung up all over Tucson's southwest side. Many of them are decorated with murals, as is this one, painted by well-known muralist Luis Gustavo Mena.

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