BY TAMARA PALMER
Porto’s Bakery debuted in Southern California in 1976, and will open its fifth location by the end of 2018. In early October, they announced Porto’s Bake at Home, a nationwide shipping service for some of its most popular pastries: cheese rolls, guava cheese rolls, dulce de leche cookies and meat pies.
Knowing that the brick and mortar locations are perpetually packed, I logged on to place an order early on the first day. They were clearly overwhelmed — the order didn’t ship out until 10 days after it was placed, and they’re currently taking a breather for a week to catch up on all the orders that have poured in since that first day.
I ordered the cheese rolls, which is the biggest seller — Porto’s requires a minimum order of two boxes of one dozen rolls for $16.99 each. It’s not quite as economical as purchasing a cheese rolls inside a Porto’s Bakery for a remarkable 84 cents, but is still very competitively priced. Shipping to Northern California came to $9.99 and the order was received two days after it was sent via FedEx.
Orders arrive with an instruction card and parchment paper, which is used to line the top of a baking sheet that’s been stacked on top of another baking sheet to keep the bottoms from burning too easily. Cheese rolls arrive raw and frozen and are baked for 20-30 minutes until golden. They do scorch really quickly, as I learned in my overly-hot oven.
I will tell you with all sincerity that I don’t love the slightly burnt ones any less than the perfect ones in my batch. I’ve always been too impatient to warm up my cheese rolls in the store or after bringing them somewhere, but it’s a real treat to try these right out of the oven. You’re supposed to wait 15 minutes for them to cool before you eat them, but you can really snatch ‘em up in about 5-10. One benefit to baking them at home is that you get to eat the burnt sugar crystal puddles that form on the parchment paper.
All we need now is for Porto’s to add their infamous potato balls to the national lineup. I’ll be a repeat customer in the meantime.