Thursday, September 08, 2005

Burgers, Bakeries, Cheese and Huckleberries

There's a great deal to catch up on. For information on burgers, check out my friend Amy's blog at She provides some well-deserved publicity for my new favorite burger spot in our 'hood.

In other news, it was back to the East again, this time for a wedding ( like the birthday I attended back East some weeks back, it too involved a big feast and a cake). It was my first trip through Boston since I moved, and I set about trying to eat all of the things that I loved in the city and visiting all of the friends, too. I remembered how much I adored the double chocolate chip cookies that they sold at Whole Foods, so I bought some of those for the flight back. Though they have Whole Foods out here in abundance, for some reason the magic mystery of the cookie hasn't been explained to their cadre of West Coast bakers. They don't make 'em out here. I suspect it's because they don't actually meet the Whole Foods standards. They are too good to be made with sucanat and whole wheat flour. Somewhere, in a Whole Foods commissary, a clever and brave baker is lacing the double chocolates with the requisite crisco, white sugar and real chocolate.

I also remembered how I often enjoyed the palmiers at Bread & Butter bakery, in Jamaica Plain. They boast a kind of chewy, caramely goodness and a rich butter flavor and the requisite flakiness. After having spent many a morning on line at Tartine bakery in San Francisco I can now confidently say that the rest of B&B's offerings are only suitable. The palmiers, however, are worth the trip.

Then there were the cheeses from Formaggio Kitchen. In the interest of full disclosure I must reveal that I worked at Formaggio for many, many years, so my analysis is hardly unbiased. But given my high-level of cheese expertise, I can say that there are few places like it in the country (maybe Murray's in NYC, Zingerman's in Ann Arbor...) and that visiting there felt just like going home, if home had a cheese wall featuring 3o0 cheeses from around the globe, cut to order. Robert, the GM of FK, told me that recent wheeling and dealing with the FDA (who ban the raw-milk cheeses aged under 60 days, boo!) has resulted in more great cheeses, especially goat cheeses, making it through the gauntlet. The time to mobilize is now, my friends.

Finally, in a moment of shameless self-promotion--the new CHOW magazine is out. Find it on newsstands and read my hard-hitting treatises on quince and America's cheese shops.

Oh, and one more thing: I think huckleberries are the new pomegranates. I'm imagining it now--here comes the Huckatini. Don't say I never told you.


Amy said...

You can have your huckleberries, but I'm all about the ollalieberries. If only for the name.

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