Magora bakery

by admin on 04/06/2016

Putting the finishing touches to a carolina

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We went to the house of Izaskun García in the countryside of Carranza where we were met by a rather persistent dog. Interestingly, my guide told me that when a man from the local electrical power provider had been visiting their house, the dog had entered his car, but it didn’t want to leave!

Anyway, having entered the kitchen of Mrs García, the dog was left outside and we could watch her and her mother busily making pastries.

The story of this family-owned bakery is rather special: Mrs García was 22 when she was diagnosed with coeliac disease and since there weren’t any artisanal foods available, she had to make do with bland, industrial foods. However, when her first daughter got the same disease when she was 3 years old and her youngest one when she was1, she was really in despair. Then, she set up a goal: make foods which her children could eat like muffins, pastries and fresh bread. Why should she settle for less?

She was originally working in the quality department of a petrol distributor, a job she really liked, but when her daughters got ill, she started to make cakes at home, being helped by her sister, her mother and her husband. In the beginning, she failed repeatedly and she had to discard lots of doughs, but gradually she succeeded. Then, she let her friends taste her cakes and they advised her to make cakes for everyone with food intolerance.

Having decided to found her own combined bakery and confectionery, she applied for funds in order to convert the garage and the storeroom into a kitchen according to regulations. In September 2015, she sold her products at a market for the first time and they were very well received. Now, her company is called Magora bakery whose name is derived from the names of her daughters: Matxalen and Gorane.

She makes a very wide selection of sweet and salty products, including muffins, biscuits, bagels, breads and pies as shown here, and all of them are without gluten and milk. Unsurprisingly, she gets up at 4 in the morning in order to make her products, all of which have to be packaged in plastic, else they may be contaminated by traces of gluten in the bakeries or markets where they are sold, which may cause trouble for her customers.

She listens to the demands of her customers and she tries to cater to their needs as far as possible. She tries to use organic ingredients and she likes following old recipes, adapting them to her needs. She enjoys watching her customers eating similar food to other people at local markets, which was impossible before she started.

During our visit, she made a cake, which is called carolina and it is only made in the area of Bilbao and the province of Bizkaia. It is the same cake as we saw being made at the Bizkarra bakery where a filled pie was topped with a spiral-shaped filling.

Before we left, we were each offered a carolina, which my Basque guide ate completely, while I had to give up about halfway. Having my mouth full of filling was unfortunately too much for me. This shows that I need to spend more time in the Basque country, enjoying the rich diversity of foods on offer.

Last but not least, Magora bakery has a very active Facebook profile.

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