Food News

Starbucks Has Latin-Inspired Treats: Only in Miami

Starbucks, the world's go-to place for trendy lattes, has come up with a line of totally Miami treats unique to our hometown.

According to a Starbucks spokesperson, this new Latin-inspired sabores tradicionales line of pastries and goodies is available only in South Florida for a limited time as part of the coffee company's fall promotion.

See also: Pumpkin Back at Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts

A Starbucks rep said Miami's flavors "were key to developing these new desserts. Additionally, we strive to connect with our customers on a more personal level, and we can do this through regional food.

"Miami has many cultural food options, with Latin cuisine being the most prominent. We were able to honor the heritage of traditional Hispanic foods and still be unique to Starbucks. An example is our new Guava Cream Cheese Croissant Blossom, which incorporates traditional Cuban flavors of guava and cream cheese in our signature La Boulange flaky croissant."

By now you've figured out they're not so tradicional. But how are they in the sabor category? Pretty delicious.

The Guava Cream Cheese Croissant Blossom substitutes a croissant for the usual uber-flaky pastelito dough. This makes the pastry lighter, fluffier, and less messy, because I wasn't wearing bits of pastry on my shirt as I was eating (no need for bending over the table). Bonus: Lots of guava, offering fruit in every bite, unlike the usual pastelito. The Blossoms also come in pineapple-coconut.

The tres leches cake, served in a little glass dish you can keep, was moist without being overly sweet, though it could have used a bit of sprinkled cinnamon.

Other items in the line include a dulce de leche tart with coconut, rice pudding (arroz con leche), and a not-so-Latin vanilla crème brûlée.

Not traditional? You betcha. But before you get all huffy that your beloved childhood foods are being "Americanized," think for a moment. Entenmann's has been baking guava cheese danishes for more than two decades. And French pastry chef Dominique Ansel married his own country's classic croissant with a doughnut to make a sensation.

So take Starbucks' pastries for what they are -- a mix of Latin and American cultures baked together. That's one hell of a Miami metaphor to go with your latte.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss