Monday, September 17, 2007

The Next Krispy Kreme--The Bomboloni

If I had the money, I would create a chain called “Ben’s Bomboloni” and all I would sell would be this lovely, cream-filled Italian treat. That’s all I would sell, and people would drive for miles to try this luscious doughnut filled with creamy custard, Europe’s favorite Nutella, fruity raspberry or America’s favorite chocolate. I’d open store after store, and it’d be featured on every food program, even Giada, the woman that’s all Italian would come and taste it for herself first-hand. Then I’d sell shares of my chain on the public stock market and it’d have the highest appreciation of any IPO since Google. Alas, that’s when there would be an SEC investigation about some accounting thing or another and I’d have to announce layoffs and then it wouldn’t be about the bombolini anymore.

Oh well, forget that. All I have to do is go to Boriana’s Corner at the San Francisco Ferry Building and get myself their amazing bomboloni.

This weekend I was at the Ferry Building on a beautiful sunny afternoon in the city and I saw the little cart at this Italian specialty store. Now, I have to say, I’ve walked past this store many times but never really bought anything. Their prices always seemed a little bit too gourmet and high-end for me. All their products are imported from Italy, specifically from the Tuscany region of Montepulciano. But out of curiosity, I wanted to taste what a bomboloni was. Plus, I love love love custard treats.

The bomboloni, you probably guessed, is not imported from Italy. I asked the store owner and she says that she imports some of the ingredients, but she found a local producer who follows her grandmother’s recipe and this summer she began selling these wonderful doughnut treats. You can get it in custard or raspberry for $2.50 each or Nutella or Cioccolato (which I’m assuming means Italian chocolate) for $2.75 each. They’re made fresh every morning and is available at Boriana’s Corner every day.

The bomboloni reminds me a lot of the malasada, which is a popular Hawaiian treat that has its roots in Portugal. The malasada is basically a pastry that’s shaped like an oval ball and is more fluffy than heavy dough. It’s rolled in granulated sugar and is extremely popular at fairs. Malasadas became so popular in Hawaii that the bakery that made the malasada a star, Leonard's, now make them filled with a variety of fillings such as coconut or guava. So the bomboloni is very similar in that it’s coated with granulated sugar and has a doughy consistency that’s fluffy and airy. Here’s the custard version and I took a bite so you could see the custard greatness inside. The custard was so perfectly balanced, not too sweet or runny. It was creamy, firm and so tasty. What I especially liked about it was that it was room temperature with just a slight chill so it didn’t taste like it just came out of the refrigerator truck. Now I can’t wait to go back and try the other flavors!

7 comments:

Mrs. L said...

I loved the malasada we had in Hawaii, I'd probably love this too...and if you start a bombolini franchise you have to have one in the South Bay, SEC be danged!

Anonymous said...

I just came back from a trip to SF where I had Boriana's bomboloni. Wonderful doughnuts and they taste just like the best I've had in Italy (perhaps better). There's something great about a fresh doughnut and a well-made cappuccino. Custard is my favorite, but the chocolate is good -- a restrained amount and not too sweet.

foodhoe said...

holy cow that looks good. I love Boriana Foods! I need one of those bombobolonis right now...

SteamyKitchen said...

That would go perfect with my 3pm espresso...

Anonymous said...

Since you like custard you should try the Beard Papa's cream puffs at the SF Shopping Centre food court. Amazing.

Chef Ben said...

Anonymous, you know, I have to say I went to the Beard Papa bakery in that little alley across from the Sony Metreon with a friend when it first opened. And there was just this really odd baking flour smell or something. You know how every individual has different reaction to smells. Well, I was just repulsed by the smell and couldn't stay in there long enough to even think about buying a cream puff. Maybe I might check it again in the future based on your recommendation, but that was just my initial reaction to Beard Papa. Funny how we all have different reaction to things!

Mona said...

you'll have to come on up to nyc and visit bomboloni. tried my first one yesterday and i'm a new fan! (found your page while googling bomboloni)