Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Honoring my Irish heritage at Keltic Krust Bakery

Growing up, my mother made sure we knew that we were Irish (although her side of the family was mostly Scottish – my father’s side had most of the Irishness). On Sundays, our New Hampshire cape would be warm with the aromas of pot roast and potatoes baking in the oven, while the sound of the hyperactive cabbage boiled on the stovetop. During most work weeks, a household favorite was also shepherd’s pie – made with instant mashed potatoes, scrambled hamburger, and creamstyle corn from a can. The pot roast wasn’t glamorous, either – it took me years to realize pot roast did not have to be chewed 25 times in order to swallow it safely. And I have still yet to meet a boiled cabbage that I like.

But, I have to give the woman credit for her cooking – my mother did raise four children (one who is mentally disabled – and no, I’m not talking about myself), and she always worked. We were a middle class, Irish and Scottish family in New Hampshire – so what if our staple Irish meals tasted like we were on welfare?

Regardless of the Irish dinners I ate growing up, I have grown to love and cherish my Irish and Scottish heritage, mostly thanks to my mother. So when I stumbled upon Keltic Krust Bakery in West Newton last weekend, I instantly fell in love. Perfectly risen loaves of Irish soda bread, crusty scones, and airy Eccles cakes lined the bakery shelves like hard-to-resist gems. Just walking in there made me feel proud to be an Irish fatty.

For breakfast that morning, I opted for an Eccles cake (a classic British puff pastry tea cake filled with raisins), and a decadent hot cross bun. The Eccles cake was perfectly light and airy, with the moist center and crispy sugary coating that I now crave just about every morning. Keltic Krust also didn’t overdo it on the raisins, which made this cake that much more enjoyable (and less chewy). 

The hot cross bun was downright traditional, but also very tasty. The dough was well spiced, and had just enough raisins to give it flavor and texture, but allowed the dough to be the star of this baked good. The icing on top was also thick and sweet, which complemented the almost-savory bun perfectly.

To wash it all down, I ordered a large iced coffee. The coffee, of course, was nothing special, but it was strong and brewed well – no sign of being watered down at all.

I’m already craving my next visit to Keltic Krust – there is so much left for me to gorge on. My only gripes: The d├ęcor and atmosphere were disappointing and bland, and I was confused by the gluten-free, vegan breakfast bars. Great item, but weird to have at an Irish bakery, in my opinion. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Michelle! I'm glad you discovered KK, I used to stop in there every morning before getting on the train. I no longer live in Newton or take the train to work, although I would get off in West Newton for some Keltic breakfast before getting back on the train for the rest of the trip into the city!