Many breads called "pan de arroz" employ rice flour as a gluten-free substitute for wheat. Here, the rice is used more indulgently.
In the company of variously shaped, often multicolored pan dulces, Panaderia Coatzingo's flattish pan de arroz ($1.50) appears rather plain, granules of sugar notwithstanding. Its slightly plump midsection hints at something more: a filling of firm, cinnamony rice pudding.
Previously: Many small shops that carry homemade foods display them near the point of sale, where the cashier can identify these intriguing but often unlabeled items. Coatzingo's sales counter is small, and the place to look is on the cluttered cabinet directly opposite. From two tin trays loosely covered in plastic wrap, I plucked a candied pear and apple ($1 each). Less photogenic, and so left behind: candied slices of pineapple, chunks of sweet potato, and (should've spent another buck!) fingers of yuca.
Also, from atop that same cabinet: Of the culinary exports from Mexico's fourth-largest city, the camotes named for Puebla's convent of Santa Clara are much less famous than mole poblano but much better suited for the road. A camote (cah-Mo-tay, $1) resembles an oversized roll of saltwater taffy whose namesake ingredient, sweet potato, is confected into a paste flavored with fruit. At Coatzingo, you can choose from orange (shown), pineapple, grape, and guava. Sorry, no peppermint, root beer, or boardwalk classics of any stripe.
76-11 Roosevelt Ave. (76th-77th Sts.), Jackson Heights, Queens