Saturday, March 28, 2009

So let them (me) eat cake!

I was fortunate to have to return to the United States for a week last month. The trip was unexpected and somewhat unwanted, due to the pressures of being away from work (i.e. having to return to a session in progress after a week of being away) and to the fact that I didn't feel I was ready to go back. Yes, I know, Boo-hoo...

The short of it is that I went back, got the business I needed to get done done, saw friends and had a great time. What's more, I was able to stock up on a few favorite snacks, the lack of which often leaves me wanting in Seoul. I am allergic to gluten, so pastas and breads, crackers and cookies are usually on my "no list." Most Korean street food is questionable and Korean cafe snacks such as pastries are never edible.

My first afternoon in Seattle, I was fighting falling asleep and decided I needed to get out of the hotel in order to make it until a reasonable sleeping hour--I am not a great fan of jet lag and I try my best to get into a groove as soon as I arrive. I googled gluten free bakeries in the city and came up with the Flying Apron Bakery, a few miles from where I was staying. Naturally, I put on my walking shoes and got moving!

I hadn't had a piece of cake in months. What I returned to the hotel with was this:
This chocolate cake was good. It was dense, but not dry and included macadamia nuts and a cinnamon frosting in between the cake layers that was a splendid touch. This treat was a welcoming homecoming, but I have to admit I still longed for Portland's gluten free scene. Of course, I know it better and so can find just what I've been craving.

While Flying Apron is good, it is also both gluten free and vegan, which means the tasty morsel pictured above includes no butter, milk, etc. I'm going to be frank here: I'm not vegan, and although I appreciate those who are, I also appreciate gluten free snacks that give me everything the real-deal gives me, which sometimes means animal fat.

When I reached Portland, I stopped at New Cascadia Traditional for a cupcake and a loaf of sourdough. A sample photo of each is to be found to the left, but I must admit that these are stock photos from their website. I wasn't as active with the camera back home as I have been in Korea, and my main purpose in buying these items was to eat them.

And that I did. They were perfect - I won't say more. Whether you're gluten free or not, you are doing yourself a disservice if you happen through Portland and miss this bakery! (And I'm not saying this only because I am back in Seoul and aching for a loaf of crispy on the outside, perfect on the inside bread to chew on.) Everyone deserves a cupcake now and again.

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