Leave it to New Yorkers to be picky and demanding. Whether it’s upscale meals or obscure vodka brands, we want what we want, and if you don’t carry it, you’re somehow “lesser.” Cupcakes are no different. From my window, I can see the Upper West Side‘s Magnolia Bakery (one of three in the city), and there are many others.
In The Atlantic Monthly, a close look is taken at cupcakes, particularly in New York. The balance between cake and frosting is considered crucial, and (thankfully) Corby Kummer gives you a sense of who’s who in the large and growing world of Manhattan cupcake bakeries.
Well, starting with my neighborhood, poor Magnolia is said not to have any flavor in the cake (which I think is a bit harsh). Buttercup’s icing is better, but the cake isn’t. Sugar Sweet Sunshine – which, like Buttercup, comes from former Magnolia talent – is better than both.
Sadly, Kummer missed the latest entry into the Manhattan cupcake market: The Little Pie Company. Known for the most amazing cakes and pies in the city, sex and cupcake blogger Rachel Kramer Bussell tried in vain to get one on Christmas Eve last year. Later, she did succeed, and the cupcake was everything she’d hoped it would be.
[Via The Atlantic Monthly]
[Photo: cupcake from The Little Pie Company, Cupcakes Take the Cake]
Today is National Pie Day. Back in 2007, I wrote a post about pies worth driving to. Last month I found another worthy drive to pie place. The Doughbox Bakery at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio is the type of place that attracts a steady stream of pie and other baked goods traffic, even in winter. The raspberry pie I took home provided several slices of heaven.
Once when my husband was hitchhiking across the U.S., one of the people who gave him a ride woke him up in Collegdale, Tennessee. Pointing towards the McGee Food Corporation buildings, he said, “That there is the home of Little Debbie Snack Cakes.” Little Debbie fruit pies are another option for celebrating pie. The latest flavor is lemon.
Pies have had the place of honor of several Gadling posts. Here are others to help you find a pie near you–or pick a flavor.
Oh, my pies. Over at Intelligent Travel, I found out that yesterday was National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day. That’s a national day worth celebrating. Instead, there I was at Twist O’ the Mist in Niagara Falls eating a butter pecan ice-cream cone, not knowing I that I should have been on a strawberry-rhubarb pie hunt.
The best strawberry-rhubarb pie I know of is at Wallkill View Farm Market right over the bridge out of New Paltz, New York. Oh, I can see it now in the glass case on a shelf among others. Forget the blackberry, cherry or peach. What I’m after is the strawberry-rhubarb as soon as I pull into the parking lot. A whole pie with the hint of the sugary sour of strawberry and rhubarb juices that have bubbled up through the flaky crust. I buy at least one every summer. Sometimes, I buy two–or three. It depends on how many people I am visiting on my summer trips back to New Paltz where I lived through 8th grade and high school.
Wallkill View Farms was a smaller fruit stand back in my high school days. Since then, it has grown into an upscale roadside fruit and vegetable stand that has expanded into baked goods, gourmet offerings and flowers. Every inch of the produce and products are lush and gorgeous.
Another great place to find pies of any kind is at the Green Market at Union Square in Manhattan. Farmers and bakers, many of them from upstate New York and elsewhere, come into the city on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, turning the park area into a garden of earthly delights with pies and more–much more.
Then there’s major pie country in Holmes County, Ohio, where you’ll find the largest population of Amish in the United States. Head to towns with names like Charm, Mt. Hope and Berlin and stop at any Amish stand you happen across. The pie version I snap up here are fried pies. These are in between a pie and a turnover. There is strawberry-rhubarb, but the apricot is mighty fine as well. Actually, they’re all good.