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Where to find it: European-style pastries, Colombian empanadas 

Plus, an update on where to get your muffalettas

The small town of Stallings seems an unlikely setting for a pastry nexus. But it is. Last year, Grand Asia Market opened a spot-on Chinese bakery with dozens of buns, egg tarts and mooncakes. Nearby is Lucy's Bakery & Deli, located in an abbreviated white strip shopping center fronting Potters Road. Though small, Lucy's has an endearing rustic charm as well as a loyal following for their delicious — and inexpensive — sweet and savory treats.

Bakers here craft excellent facturas, those hard-to-find Argentine pastries, a meld of Italian style with South American taste preferences. The selection varies with different shapes and fillings, but typically Lucy's has membrillo, a rolled pastry stuffed with a red quince jam; dulce de leche (caramelized condensed milk), a ubiquitous breakfast item throughout South America; and a cheese Danish. Another popular morning sweet is the baseball-sized pandebono, or round Colombian cheese bread, still warm from the oven.

In addition to sweets, Lucy's has two styles of empanadas. One pie is the flakier variety — both beef and chicken — found throughout South America. The other is a Colombian empanada, a kissing cousin to the American corndog. A fried cornmeal exterior hugs ground beef and potatoes and is given a kick with a dose of ají, a salsa of cilantro, onions, salt, and lemon/lime juice. Also on the menu board are imported chorizo, blood sausages, and tamales. Lucy's Bakery & Deli, 4522 Potters Road, Stallings.

Update: Genuine NOLA muffalettas are to be found in Uptown Charlotte. How about that? New Orleans native Chassidy Justice has the real thing at her New Orleans Sweet Traditions located across from the meat/fish counter in the 7th Street Public Market, 227 E. 7th St. $8.

Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: or 704-522-8334, extension 136.

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