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Restaurants & Bars 5

Berkeley – Talavera – pasteis de nata on steroids & cannele weather

rworange | Apr 14, 200611:45 PM

I stopped by Talavera Café and Bakery on Solano today to see if they still make canneles. They do. Tomorrow they will be available by noon.

I asked Bobbi who makes the canneles if weather impacts canneles. She said definitely. She’s not sure why but she said talking to a baker who makes canneles in Philadelphia, it was his thought the humidity is not the friend of the cannele. Bobbi said on one recent rainy days, the canneles only rose to half the size.

The cannele was even better than the first time, that lovely vanilla with the interior texture closer to Bay Breads but more custard-y. I have a feeling that the Bay Bread fans may not like these as well. However, I don’t like Bay Bread canneles. The interior is too dry. I think they sacrifice the interior for that crispy exterior. I’ll be interested to hear comments from people who have tried both.

At the end of the day the bakery goods were mostly sold out except for a few tamales. A little tart caught my eye and Bobbi said it was a Portuguese pastry and rattled off the name.

I’ve had almost every pasties de nata in the Bay Area yet the name wasn’t registering because of the size. So I had her write down the name. She also wrote down the alternate name pasties de Belem. Well, duh.

The Talavera version is a cross between a lemon tart and the pasties de nata that I’ve had at area Portuguese bakeries. She suggested warming it which was an excellent idea.

I’m not sure about the size though. This is extremely rich and the smaller size seems better suited, or eat only little pieces of it. I’m sure by heat, she meant oven, but I micro-waved it. This was excellent to the filling, but not kind to the flakey crust. The butter kind of oozed out of the crust. Next time toaster oven.

I asked if Maria was still making the tortillas and Bobbi said yes. Being Good Friday I just bought the pastries since I had planned on having the traditional Good Friday meal of Vietnamese fish soup, French cannele and Portguese pasteis with a little Filipino halo halo. Adding Mexican to my one meal today might have put it over the top and Roberto can only tolerate so many cuisines in the same meal.

I stopped by Crixa because today they switch from ‘not crossed buns’ to ‘hot crossed buns’. Too late. They sold out. That will teach me to do something silly like attend Good Friday services. I asked if they might be making kolachy tomorrow and was told no. The next few days are dedicated to hot cross buns. They were not sure if they were making priroshki tomorrow. Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Their Easter pistachio cake is one of the better cakes I’ve had there. It is a light mousse cake with a lovely lemon custard and a delicious true-tasting pistachio topping.

Link: http://www.crixacakes.com/archives/ea...

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