Baked goods may be infinitely varied across the globe, but many of them carry a powerful cultural resonance that spans generations and continents. From the rich, salted egg–filled mooncakes associated with the Mid-Autumn festival in China to the fire-roasted spitcakes served during Christmas and Easter in Lithuania, recipes for baked goods are often grounded in decades or even centuries of tradition. Among diaspora communities, bakeries often offer a sensory connection to distant lands.
From a Sephardic Jewish bakery in Spain that honors a community all but destroyed by the Spanish Inquisition to a critically acclaimed sourdough bakery launched by a grade-school teacher in his Arizona garage, these are all places with stories to tell.
Editor’s note: This piece originally ran on September 1, 2021. It was updated, with the addition of more restaurants, on August 25, 2023.