East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

"It Happened in Monterey"

"broke somebody's heart/and i'm afraid that it was mine"
  • The artichokes didn't work out that well. I found the California Artichoke Advisory Board's Basic Preparation page, followed the instructions, trimming and boiling a pair of them. When I tried the first one it seemed mostly inedible. I then found the advisory board's How to Eat page, which informed me that most of it was supposed to be inedible. So I ate the second artichoke correctly. It was pretty bad, tasting medicinal. I'll give artichokes another attempt in a couple of weeks; preparation and recipe suggestions welcome.
  • I shopped at the Monterey Market for the first time, getting some strawberries and a Belgian endive. Selection was admirable, though the checkout service was so surly I didn't bother to point out they'd overcharged me 30 cents for my endive. Berkeley Bowl will remain my go-to place: as a one-or-two basket shopper, the state of permanent melee isn't too hard for me to negotiate. The endive, by the way, was terrific cooked with butter and served with my remaining Bleu d'Auvergne.
New feature!

The East Bakery Project

What's the best bakery in the East Bay? There's no single answer, of course: one might be better at sweets, another at savouries. Over the next couple of months, I plan to stuff my face at the East Bay's most beloved bakeries, all in the name of research. This week:

Masse's Pastries, Shattuck & Vine

I bought a croissant ($2) and a Citrus Charlotte ($4). The croissant was very good if overpriced for its size, not too oily and with some solidity in the crust. The Citrus Charlotte looked beautiful, with a shiny glaze and a cute tiny raspberry on top. It's thus no disgrace that its honourable taste didn't quite match its looks: it was admirably light and smooth, but the fruit flavours were a little subtle for my liking. Pretty good overall, would strongly consider them in the unlikely event that I need to do any catering around here.

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