Thursday, May 20, 2010

On Frosting, Ethics, and Being Picky

If you're a fan of this blog, you know that I've recently become a true and loyal fan and friend of Gone Pie Vegan Bakery.  What you may not know are the two most important reasons you should love them too.

Reason #1: Rich, Dark Frosting.
I knew I loved Gone Pie's "frosting" at first taste, but I didn't realize quite how epic it was until one day I noticed that I had a disproportionate amount of frosting to brownie left on my plate.  Barely moments passed, a nearby Sweet & Sara marshmallow jumped in got involved, and history was made.

Then my favorite variety, the toasted coconut marshmallow, had to get in on the action:

Which led me to a graham cracker:

I snuck in another toasted coconut marshmallow and then had an epiphany: a slice of a neapolitan coconut bar:

As long as candy was involved, I couldn't help but dip a Chick O' Stick (A huge fan, it was pretty exciting: thus the blurry photo):

Needing a little more nuttiness, I dunked a couple of cashews:

And then, couldn't help but drench a nearby matzoh:

By then even I knew I was getting carried away.  But, I should like to point out the best way to enjoy said frosting:

But I digress.

Reason #2: Even though they are super-ridiculously conscious of using the very best ethical, healthy, vegan ingredients, they have not lost sight of what is equally important: taste.  They are most respectful of people like me who take their desserts seriously (and that's saying a lot!); sweets have GOT to be good.  I asked Barbara, Gone Pie baker extraordinaire, why she no longer offers a specific item that was one of her originals.  Her answer,

"I know what good is.  This was good ten years ago.  Now it tastes like health food.  Not good." 
Not good, indeed. I like my healthy foods healthy & my dessert divine; Gone Pie knows the score and they are constantly evolving in tune with developing tastes and ethics.

It's hard to believe that when I first went vegan I thought I was saying goodbye to the good stuff: dessert, my favorite meal of the day.  In fact, I like sweets so much that I usually don't mind what's in them, as long as it's vegan (who said that?).  But Gone Pie somehow manages to make delicious goodies that are simultaneously full of the highest quality ingredients; who can resist that combination?  My dessert intake is legendary, but my foodie knowledge nil.  I asked Barbara why even I- a cooking neophyte- can detect the sheer superiority of her baked goods.

"The thing about my stuff is that it is real food. It doesn't just leave out the animal products and leave the other ingredients intact. That leaves just really white flavorless stuff.  I replace those ingredients with things that have flavor.  I am not trying to make junk food.  I am much more focused on making a distinctive - somewhat fancy- simple item."
I would like to point out that this information was not garnered from an interview, or any situation intended to elicit quotes.  Contrarily, these are merely excerpts from candid food conversations between two vegans, one who happens to be a baker that I admire.  I share simply because I feel that the words truly exemplify the fundamental essence of Gone Pie baked goods.  In a world where vegan sweets now abound, we suddenly find ourselves in a position to be picky.  And being picky isn't relegated to the taste of what you are eating: it includes the who, what, where, when, and why of the company who's baking.

Obligatory parting frosting shot:

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