Cornetto Chronicles: Baronchelli Dolce e Salato in Milan

Brioche Integrale con frutti di bosco

I hate rainy days.  I hate rainy days and I hate them even more when they extend into a week, creating a literal and figurative blanket of darkness that envelops everything.  One weekend is okay, I’ll be upset, but I’ll deal with it.  Come Monday morning, however, I want a big bright sun hanging high in the sky.

Needless to say, this has created some problems living in England’s West Country.  Surprisingly, the sun hasn’t been a given in Italy, either.  Who knew that New York was a remarkably sunny environment?  I sure didn’t.

If it was a sunny day when I was going to see the last supper, then I wouldn’t have been looking for an escape from the rain and I wouldn’t have eaten this brioche.  Since this was a pretty good brioche, I guess there are some good things that can come from rainy days.

I’ve given up looking for new cafes and bakeries to try in Milan.  No matter how hard I search, I invariably discover that all the places that others deem interesting are old, ritzy locales that over-charge for a robusta-laden espresso.  Thanks, but I’ll stick with my whole wheat everything bagel with hummus and an american coffee at The Bagel Factory.  Yeah, I’m cool like that.

I stumbled upon Baronchelli Dolce e Salato and was surprised to discover that it was actually quite a popular place.  The owners posted pages ripped out of magazines from all over the world on their walls, each one proclaiming them a fantastic place for pizza al trancio and focaccia.  Too bad I read that after ordering a brioche integrale con frutti di bosco.

Even though the brioche was filled with jam, it wasn’t too sweet.  The whole-grain flour was pleasingly gritty and helped add an extra flavor punch to the pastry that it would have otherwise lack.  Unlike some whole-grain products, the brioche wasn’t dry, but pleasantly squishy.  There was even a little bit of crunch on the top of the crescent, a truly momentous occasion in Italy’s brioche atmosphere.

I didn’t love this brioche, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The highlight was the lack of sweetness, but the flavor was still disappointing and the texture a touch too uniform.  Italian brioches aren’t as satisfying to me as French croissants because they don’t play with simple textures and flavors in such an intricate manner.  I’ll keep on eating brioches to think about the differences between them and what makes each one of them unique, but this is one Italian tradition that I’m looking forward to leaving behind.

Do you prefer a sweet or savory breakfast?

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