Thursday, January 17, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Bomboloni

I feel like someone has kidnapped my favorite bomboloni! That cream-filled Italian treat at Boriana's Corner in the Ferry Building in San Francisco just isn't the same. An impostor is in the midst.

After I raved about this "discovery" last year here and here, I felt it was my obligation to give a "downhill" alert.

Last Saturday after strolling through the farmers market, I went to get my favorite treat, the custard-filled bomboloni. But when I stood in line, I could see from the counter that the bomboloni looked different. (You can see in the photo above how they all look different.) They were all roughly shaped and not at all like the perfectly round puffy doughnuts of last year. And they looked like they were partially sweating because the sugar coating didn't look all there.

I still went ahead and bought one and once I bit into it, I could tell that it wasn't the same dough. I have a really strong suspicion that they've switched vendors and is no longer using the same baker who did the wonderful job last year. (The Boriana's Corner owner does not make the bomboloni herself but contracts a baker giving a vendor her "grandmother's recipe." I have a feeling she's shopping her grandmother's recipe to a cheaper baker.)

The only redeeming thing from my latest taste of the bomboloni is that at least the custard filling was the same as I remembered. Still, at $2.50 each, that's too high for an impostor. Bring back the real bomboloni!


foodhoe said...

oh no! and I never made it over to try the original version... I'm very sad, I hate it when that happens

Carroll said...

Truth in Journalism -- this is what I love about reporters of all genre -- you're our eyes on the street. I too never made it up there in time to try your convincingly-touted originals. Will cross that off my "must do" list until further notice. Thanks, Single guy!

Marzia said...

Hello there! I've just come across this very interesting article. We are the Bomboloni makers north of you, in Canada! We pride ourselves and making the freshest, best tasting Bombe in North America! (made with real, traditional recipe, by the way!!) We've stepped up the fillings to a choice of 8! Including the most popular Nutella chocolate!! Our community can only tell you how addictive this incredible delicacy is! I fully understand your love affair with them! I make them and still crave them after all this time! Please tell me more about this impostor!!:))
Marzia...From Toronto, Canada!!

Chef Ben said...

Hey Marzia, maybe you need to ship your bombolonis here. I've never had an Italian-Canadian bomboloni!

Marzia said...

Good morning Chef Ben! I'd love to ship them over..but as we know they must be eaten hot and fresh! I do plan on making it out to LA within the next year or so and begin making Bombe (bomboloni)for all fellow Californians! It's been a great dream of mine! Perhaps you can offer some advice?? :)))

Head Maven said...

I've also noticed a big difference in the bomboloni but I didn't bother until now to research it. 7x7 reported that Absinthe's pastry chef Luis Villavelazquez was making them as of a few months ago and that he has a new stand where he sells them himself on Thurs, including a maple bacon variety. I haven't been thrilled with chef Luis in the past, specifically his insane desserts at Orson that he wanted to "challenge" his diners with (such as a dessert I personally thought tasted like smoked creamed turkey) but two respected kitchens have employed him lately so I will give his future creations a try.