Alternative Baked Goods
Last week, you may have read here about Chef Barry Snyder and his formidable breads, breakfast burritos, sweets, pretzels, cookies and more. Every Saturday he seems to display yet another delicious creation. Click here. Well, there is another secret weapon in this bakers' category at the same Norwich market. This is Bakewell and the godess of these goods is Susan Zak.
Susan has been spoiling a lot of us for many years. I mentioned her back in January as part of a chocolate escapade and the desperate need when that urge hits. Her chocolate chip cookies are supreme. In fact she also sells the dough at Dan and Whit's in Norwich- and perhaps may even get into the new Crossroad farm stand on route 5. Hm, one may always hope. Click here
I first discovered Susan's prowess when I bought my first quiche in Vermont. There are many quiches for sale out there but nothing compares to hers. The crust is flaky, yet moist and buttery and the quiche innards themselves, be it spinach, roast pepper, or broccoli, are always delightful. I have sometimes had an overwhelming mouthful of dry crust with thick solid centers that hold too much vegetable, which in turn overpowers the cheese. However, Susan's hand produces a rich, moist creamy egg nest that is not threatened by any of the added peppers or greens.
Some of the mornings, Susan has her very popular fresh granola for sale and a couple of years ago she added the loveliest jams, noteworthy especially for the glass jar- almost a collector's piece of unique, clear design. Needless to say, the jam is sublime.
On the same table there are usually her whole grain salads and often the almond cakes, as well as small, ridged cakes called canelés. These have a thin caramelized crust that reveal a custard-like center with rum and vanilla in each bite. The cake itself originated in Bordeaux. They would be delicious at the end of a meal with wine or with a coffee in the morning.
For all her prowess with wooden spoons and mixing bowls, Susan has unfortunately not yet opened a bistro. Ms. Zak also devotes herself to real estate. Her warm and welcoming manner might be a loss for us foodies but certainly a gain for those house hunting. What is it they say about baking a loaf of bread when your house is on the market...?
Susan is on hiatus right now; however, there should be a pop-up coming soon. As soon as this is known, I will attempt to inform. The Norwich Farmers' Market is open Saturday mornings until the end of October.
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