Can a dessert be trademarked? In the case of the Flan Antigüeño™, the answer is yes. Actually, trademarked only in Central America, but trademarked nonetheless.
The Flan Antigüeño has been around for almost 100 years, as a local dish. It wasn’t until 1981 when it was finally commercialized by Mayra Córdoba, who was at the time married to the owner of Posada de Don Rodrigo (Calle del Arco #17). Precisely the same place I went to try the dessert at, since the restaurant that bills itself as the home of the dessert, Mamma’s (run by the creator of the dessert herself and soon to open at its new location on 5a Avenida #14), was closed. Just as well, since Casa de los Leones, Posada de Don Rodrigo’s location, has a beautiful terrace and is as good a setting as any to try this Antigua classic.
The Flan Antigüeño is – as most things in Antigua – a wonderful mix of Spanish and Maya heritage. First off is the egg custard, the top layer, a Spanish dessert made possible in Guatemala by the introduction of domestic chickens to the Americas and vanilla, essential ingredients.
The bottom layer is, in my opinion, the star, as it features candied fig, chilacayote (a regional type of squash that’s similar in taste and texture to sweet potato), along with camote (sweet potato). All this on top of a thin, cake-like layer at the bottom. Sprinkled with powdered cinnamon, I also detected bits of candied orange peel, which the server swore up and down was not present. Maybe that’s their trade secret, since I wasn’t able to find the recipe online anywhere.
Personally, I thought the dessert was great, while my wife thought it was a bit too sweet. I have a sweet tooth, so you’ll have to judge for yourself. Serve chilled, my wife thought it would pair nicely with a strong cup of black coffee.
The dessert itself is expensive – Q35/$5USD, compared to the price of the average dessert on Guatemala. But then again, everything is pricy at Posada de Don Rodrigo.
If you’re in Antigua, don’t miss this classic dessert.
Have you tried Flan Antigüeño?
How was it?