Posts Tagged ‘Jelly’

Polish Fried Dough – Pączki

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

It was a pretty special day. Actually, it was pretty mundane as I was at home working on some jewelry when I glanced through the day’s events online, only to discover there was a Polish Festival going on at that very minute in Golden Gate Park. I had to get there fast — it was already 2:00 in the afternoon! The trip was a total gamble. I checked out a car and drove pell-mell through the streets of San Francisco, hoping against hope that part of the traditional foods being offered at the festival might be Pączki, the Polish version of a jelly doughnut. When I arrived, there was a long line of people waiting to get into the building. I got in that line and waited too — then I noticed a guy who just sauntered by and just walk in. I asked the security guard what the line was for (assuming it was the entrance) and was told it was for food. Before I am going to spend an hour in line for food, I at least wanted to see if they had what I was looking for…

The line for hot food was incredibly long. Upwards of an hour plus, if not longer. It winded its way into the large room with banquet tables where many were already feasting on boiled dumplings, sausages, and more. But then I saw it – up against the back wall was a very long table set with sweets. Fortunately, that table didn’t require the tickets that were sold for the hot food and a young girl — probably 9 or 10 years old — was taking cash for the desserts.

What I was looking for came au natural (no filling) or with plum filling. And nearby, I saw a gentleman working furiously to fill these Pączki. And very fortunate for me, Edmund was more than willing to help me learn more about this ethnic specialty. (more…)

Doughnuts in Art, Part III – Emily Eveleth

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

I would like to introduce you to Emily Eveleth. Well, truth-be-told, *I* would like to be introduced to Emily Eveleth but the least I can do is introduce you to Ms. Evelth’s amazing artwork. I first saw her work on the cover of Gastronomica in the Winter of 2003 but I will readily admit that it did not have that much of an impact on me then. Yes, it was a very pretty image of a jelly doughnut and one could easily think it was a photograph. That picture, by the way, is entitled Nigh and was painted in 1998.

It was several years later when I attended Art Basel in Miami Beach, Florida in December of 2007 and I saw it (or another from that series) in person that the full effect hit me. Her paintings are HUGE. The one I saw in person was more than 8′ square. And while she paints other things, she has become quite famous for her jelly doughnuts, which she has been painting for over twenty years.

These doughnuts are sensual; oozing vibrantly seductive jelly which seemingly begs to be touched and licked. These are sexual doughnuts with their gaping maws, opening to reveal the moist inner secrets of desire. Her paintings are hyper-realistic in their size, but a form of food porn that exudes sexual innuendo.

Hopkins Street Bakery – Jelly Doughnut

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

I had heard about the gargantuan size of the Hopkins Street Bakery doughnuts for some time. An evening meeting in Berkeley inspired me to BART over a few hours early for the mile-and-a-half jaunt from the station. It was a beautiful day with early spring flowers in bloom along the Arts-and-Crafts suburbia I walked through, proud of myself for getting in a *little* exercise (secretly justifying what I was about to do to my body and knowing damn well that the walk was not going to counter the doughy goodness I was anticipating).

As I came from a back entrance, walking by Monterey Foods, there was a distinct aroma of maple in the air. It was a warm, inviting, baker’s maple that briefly made me disband my desire for a jelly doughnut. I turned the corner and saw the purple door and my heart skipped a beat. I was slightly disappointed when I entered — because I had brought a book and was hoping to settle in and comfortably enjoy my treat — only to learn this was a very small store-front bakery with no tables or chairs. Not a full doughnut shop, the glass cases were full of cinnamon morning buns that looked intensely inviting, classic French pastries, racks of bread loaves, and meringues. But sitting on top of the counter, was a giant cookie sheet topped with jam-oozing, white striped monstrous jelly doughnuts.

I grabbed my treat and a carton of milk and wandered outside. Even the adjoining Pizza Parlor’s wooden benches were full, so I settled comfortably enough on the curb under a flowering tree with a light breeze on the back of my neck. More than 5″ across, this doughnut also has height and girth, puffy and inviting, the first bite provided the much-desired, classic jelly doughnut flavor; granulated sugar coating my fingertips and raspberry jam dripping off the corner of my chin, I was in true doughnut heaven. There was a lot of cake to the doughnut, yes. It took several bites to get to the full river of redness, but it is not a journey one would complain about. My only complaint — and this is entirely my fault — is that I couldn’t get to the bakery until well after 4:00 in the afternoon, so I know I was experiencing a level of minor staleness which could easily be rectified with an earlier visit. Now I have to try and get to Berkeley in the morning, this is definitely worthy of a second try; maybe warm from the oven next time!

1584 Hopkins St
(between California St & Mcgee Ave)
Berkeley, CA 94707
Neighborhood: North Berkeley
(510) 526-8188

Hopkins Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

Jelly-Filled Doughnut at Baker & Banker

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

It was pretty funny; Lisa and I were sitting at the bar at Baker & Banker, chatting with an affable server named David, deciding on the dinner choices. The desirability (or not) of a dessert will dictate whether we are sharing variations of starters and entrées. Do we share two starters and two entrées? Three starters and one entrée?  And whilst perusing the menu — and not realizing the dessert menu was printed on the back — I began to inquire about the availability of a fried dough delicacy (because I always try and check, just to make sure).  Before I finished my sentence, David suggested we save room for their specialty dessert, PB&J Doughnuts; strawberry jam-filled goodies with peanut butter dipping sauce. Knowing smiles grow between Lisa and me — she knows me so well and knows how happy this makes me — to have such serendipity.

Our diner completed, David advised us that the doughnuts are normally served in threes and would we like four on our order since we were sharing. Trying to watch the ever-growing waistline, three should be more than enough, thanks. The elongated plate arrived with perfectly round globes of wonder. Warm and crunchy, this was Jelly Doughnut Nirvana with warm, house-made strawberry jam filling oozing out with the first bite (a rarity!). So often with a jelly doughnut, one must eat through a third or a half of the doughnut before the jelly appears. Encrusted with granulated sugar, we took our first bites naked, without the dipping sauce and with that first unctuous fruit hitting our taste buds, smiles and groans were immediately emitted.

The cake structure was light and spongy with a superb amount of tooth to the crunchy exterior. The dipping sauce was made of three simple ingredients; peanut butter, cream, and powdered sugar. The doughnut-alone-bite was perfectly lovely, but laden with the creamy sauce, one is transported back to childhood with a primal memory of wholesome goodness which has been elevated to elegance while still maintaining that sense of familial comfort.

The biggest problem for me is that these are available to me within walking distance and I could see a serious addiction burgeoning.

1701 Octavia St
(between Bush St & Austin St)
San Francisco, CA 94109
Neighborhoods: Pacific Heights, Lower Pac Heights, Japantown
(415) 351-2500

Baker & Banker on Urbanspoon

Twin Peaks; the Ultimate Doughnut-Friendly Television Show?

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

From time to time, it is my plan to share special video clips from movies and television which showcase my favorite indulgence. You will be surprised how many there are! But the inaugural post is a special one, coming from one of my favorite television shows of all time, Twin Peaks. A bit vintage now, I realize, but it was so full of odd food fodder, not the least of which were donuts. Enjoy!