After bringing in and tasting several sweets and salted in the Pastry del Pozo, we continue our trip and direct our looks to another establishment confectioner located also in the historical center of Madrid. We are today in the Pastry El Riojano in Calle Mayor 10, very close to the Puerta del Sol.
Observing attentively its mahogany wooden front it serves to us to appreciate the antiquity of this centenary shop, just as the one that we visited in the previous post. This establishment was founded in 1855 by the personal confectioner of the queen Isabel II, Dámaso de la Maza, native of Cameros (La Rioja). Hence the name with which this pastry is known.
After its death, and on not having had descent, the business went on to hands of its two main confectioners, who joined in marriage its children to assure the continuity and the personal and labor unit. This way they have been supported during seven generations until the current owners received it from its chiefs for lack of descent, maintaining still the spirit of familiar business.
On having entered its interior, we can verify how it preserves the decoration and the ancient furniture, following a predominant style of this type of proper establishments of the XIXth century. These details we can observe them in its counter, as well as in its shop windows, all this constructed by woodworkers of Palace with mahogany brought from Cuba, and bronzes were transferred by the queen Maria Cristina de Habsburgo and Carrara marbles.
To all this there join the exhibition of products confectioners who offer. In this sense, you can find a varied offer of prepared pastry of form artisan, where they realize its numerous and varied cakes, pastries, cookies and chocolates, in addition to nougats. The typical sweets of Madrid have reputation in this environment confectioner, especially the bartolillos, a stuffed confectioner’s custard cake, as well as torrijas and Roscón de Reyes that sell them the whole year.
There are very well-known its Pastas del Consejo, prepared with lemon grating and in the shape of ‘c’, and that as they tell, were distributed when there were realized meetings of Council of the State in the Palace of Uceda, at the end of the same main road, and before the assistance of the child of that time and future king Alfonso XIII, to keep it entertained before the tedious ones, but important meetings that there were realized.
All these products can be tasted in the proper establishment, since it has an agreeable and cozy Lounge of tea placed to the fund of the shop, where we are with Elizabethan mirror and marble tables, with museum objects in its shop windows, original molds confectioners in wood, as well as its cash register and ancient scales, all of them worthy of admiring, as its lamps and Elizabethan wall lights under ceilings stuccoes.
Throughout its more than 160 years of history, this environment has told with the presence of distinguished personalities, from the queen Isabel II to the queen Maria Cristina de Habsburgo, that liked to visit and taste here its sweets, up to important writers like Jacinto Benavente who was a habitual client of this pastry.
Recognized internationally, it has been rewarded by several awards, like that of the Aragonese Exhibition in 1868, that the Promotion of the Arts of 1871, or some current granted by the Comunidad de Madrid and the Ayuntamiento. Of the last one, it is necessary to emphasize the Commemorative Badge of Centenary Establishments, designed by the big drawer and humorist Mingote. At present the business is in hands to Esperanza Comontes, its eighth proprietress, being supported with her this familiar business.
With everything and without place to doubt, we are in an environment that allows us to do a trip in the time. Its ambience is very familiar and cozy. The motives are great by what it is forced to do a stop in El Riojano, like buying a sweet and tasting it while you cover the Calle Mayor and get lost enjoying an agreeable walk along our city.
- CONFITERÍA EL RIOJANO (Web).
- IBÁÑEZ, Enrique y FERNÁNDEZ, Gumersindo., Comercios históricos de Madrid. Madrid, Ediciones La Librería, 2017 (en especial pp. 339-343).
- OSORIO GARCÍA DE OTEYZA, Carlos y BENITEZ ÁLVEZ, Álvaro., Tiendas de Madrid. 2ª ed., Madrid, Ediciones La Librería, 2010 (en especial p. 42).