16 April 2010
Montreal, I realized quite suddenly not too long ago, lacks any discernible doughnut scene. I still have the fondest memories of doughnuts from Presti’s in Cleveland, but there’s nothing like them around here: there certainly aren’t any local doughnut shops in my neighborhood that I’ve ever heard of, I can’t mentally conjure up the location of any chain stores, and I think that your main local option for fried ringlike dough is something like Tim Horton’s. But we do have a wonderful bakery / pâtisserie scene, and I can’t begrudge the city its lack of doughnuts when it’s otherwise filled to bursting with artesanal breads, croissants, tarts, buns, cakes, and macarons. We all must suffer with the hand that we’re dealt, I suppose.
Similarly, the wonderful Wisconsin dairyland makes it virtually impossible to consume anything other than local ice cream: Babcock Hall, the Chocolate Shoppe, or maybe some frozen custard. Choosing anything else would be heretical, like rooting for the Bears or something. But the Montreal ice cream scene is much more diffuse, and therefore I can feel free to buy cones of cheapo soft serve without feeling too much guilt. Smooth, delicious, chemical-filled vanilla-flavored soft serve from the machine. Even when it’s 40 degrees and rainy (… ahem), it still tastes like summer.