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Archive for the ‘Bakeries’ Category

Fall will bring concord grape juice and this, which I am very excited about. Because it’s around the corner, literally, from this humble abode, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll have the fluffy, buttery, and perfectly salted pretzel croissants sold at The City Bakery? Please?

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Stellaaaaaaa!

This is the most heartbreaking part from the story about the closing of Stella D’oro.

Mr. Capalbo, who said his nickname was Johnny Angel Wings because he turned dough into cookies shaped like the wings of an angel, has worked in the Stella D’oro bakery since 1979, when he was 22. “I was there more than my house,” he said. “It’s a sad thing.”

The only silver lining: we won’t have to bid arrivederci to the breadsticks, which will continue to be made in a TBD location.

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Oro Bakery + Bar

Oro Bakery + Bar

Oro Bakery + Bar

By evening, most bakeries lose their charm and purpose, because it’s been hours since you’ve had your afternoon sugar rush and you’re probably too busy rushing past them to get some real food with nutrients. But a bakery and bar, like Oro on Broome St., lights up inviting candles (no one can look bad in this ambiance), and simply morphs into a night time hang, with wine, snacks, and a little corner (pictured above) displaying a small selections of sweets. It was an ideal place to catch up with a friend and discuss hers and my two years’ worth of  roses and thorns (TWO YEARS! Where does the time go?).

Baked goodies-wise, there were some shortbread cookies, cupcakes, and chocolate-covered madeleines. I regret not picking up some of the latter, because I could really use a Proustian revelation today, the edible equivalent of someone patting my back, saying, “It’s okay, B., it’s going to be alright.”

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Dear Colebrook, N.H.:  Keep living free or die.

Vive Le Rendez-Vous!

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Make a note of these delicious options all over the country and beyond.

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Le Tour Eiffel

Le Tour Eiffel, out of focus

It’s a given that all people obsessed with food should go to Paris or spend a chunk of time there (or the rest of France, too) to acquaint the self with all matters surrounding it: the history, culture, preparation techniques that’s been well-documented for centuries, les marches en plein air. As Ernest Hemingway wrote: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then whereever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” He probably meant a lot more than just food (sex, booze, terse but profound conversations, hunting?), but we’ll just stick to food for our purposes.

I had never been until last October (sad, right?) until the boyfriend bought us plane tix as a pastry school graduation present. I felt so lucky! I set out to have pretty much everything we had ever covered in classes, a tall order for my blood sugar level, as we only had four days.

A hearty piece of chocolate tarte, with tar-thick ganache—almost the consistency of caramel—from Chez Michel in the 6th arrondissement capped off our post-arrival meal:

Chocolate tarte

We stopped by Laduree on Champs-Elysee, but it was like Grand Central in there (mostly women with fancy bags and sharp elbows, dangerous). Plus I realized the cost of one Laduree macaron was half of what I had in my bank account, so I ended up settling for the less glossy and hyped but pretty good Dalloyau ones. They were properly crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside, with buttercream fillings. I ate most of the contents below before I remembered to take a picture—oops! Getting better at that all the time.

Maracons

I think I planned the trip around stops at Poilane. I had never had a croissant so airy, so ethereal. The layers of the puff inside it just disappeared as soon as they hit the tongue. We also bought a box of punitions, the crunchy shortbread cookies sold there, to save for the journey home.

Get in my belly!

Then there was this leek and seafood quiche we bought at a bakery off Rue Lepic near Montmartre, with a satisfying, thick crust.

seafood tarte

There was also a tarte aux pommes from La maison Kayser, but the photo is really bad so I’ll spare you. But feel free to drool at this snapshot of profiteroles in chocolate sauce from a great dinner we had at Brasserie Lipp:
Classic profiteroles

In true BWD fashion, though, the trip was equal parts bitter and sweet—personal conflicts surfaced, plus it was so short. C’est dommage. Mais que sera, non?

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When I checked out Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar for the first time a couple of months ago, I grew envious of the workers, not because they had a steady job, for one, and also not because the job entails churning out tasty cookies and pies and soft serve (that I wanted so much to hate but ended up enjoying), but because of their uniform. I don’t have a photo of any of them working, but I’ll describe it: an airy, white, short-sleeve shirt with collars that bares the clavicle; a cute, printed scarf that serves as a headband/hat to keep the hair out of the food; and whatever pants they want on the bottom, which in this case meant skinny jeans sans the crack (the other “crack” goes into their pie). [Sigh] So hip!

All other baking/food establishments have women wearing the same ‘ole unflattering thing: checkered pants with too-tight elastics that are really made for boys, a cookie-cutter jacket that never fits right, and a cap that you can never fit all your hair in (then again, I have a lot of hair), but it’s so tight that after a shift during which you sweat—and you do sweat—you come home and all the sebaceous glands on your forehead are clogged.  Add to that the crinkly imprint of an elastic band on your stomach. How’s that for sexy?

So thank you, Chef Tosi, for restoring dignity to female bakers and pastry cooks.

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