Producing rosquillas is quite a difficult task and it involves several steps, with specialists for every different part of the process. The first step is to clean the corn and select the best grains (the ones in the best condition). The selected corn is then ground, weighed, cleaned, baked, and ground again.
The next step is to mix the corn with 'cuajada' (traditional cheese), and both then enter the next phase that consists of shaping this mass to a variety of rosquilla cookies or other treats like patties or "viejitas". The final step is to toast the rosquillas in an artisan wood-fired oven, where they will get their final shape and taste.
When the primary products are scarce (the cuajada cheese for instance has ups and downs in the production) the smaller producers dedicate themselves to the creation of other traditional products including rosquetes, picos, or espumillas, among others.
About three dozen producers of varying sizes exist in Somoto. These places often employ family members of the owner but often people from outside are contracted to augment the output. A midsize producer generates between 6,000 and 15,000 rosquillas of various types per day, and almost all producers are able to produce custom-made orders.
The Somoto rosquillas are sold at different places throughout Nicaragua and even in other countries. There are other high-quality producers in other regions of the Madriz department (like Yalagüina or La Esperanza), but it are the Somoto rosquillas that have positioned themselves as the highest quality products in the minds of Nicaraguans and foreign consumers that had the change to try these delicacies alike. It is therefore a must to visit one of the rosquilla bakeries when in the Somoto area, and not only learn more about this interesting process but also to try out some fresh rosquillas!
Getting to: Rosquilla bakery
The different rosquilla workshops are located in different places of Somoto's urban areas. Some of them on the road as well. Not all of them have a staff that can take care of visitors, but must of them will open their doors so that tourists can get to know a little bit more about the cooking procedure. It is very simple to identify these places, since they have signs on their doors.