In Search of Lost Food – Dollar Pastries and Priceless Moments

Joy's column picture, taken by Joy

Photo by Joy Cho

//Written by Joy Cho//

I recently found out that the Medici bakery offers dollar pastries every day, an hour before they close. THIS IS A BIG DEAL, GUYS. Many people already seem to know about this, but I like to pretend that it’s still a well-kept secret.

On Sunday night, a friend and I scurried over to the Med, arriving right after 10 p.m. We observed the remaining pastries in the case and took our pick. I ended up getting one turkey and cheddar croissant and one concha bun. Oh, and also the banana pudding (which I highly recommend). Never mind that I had picked up a Mexicana milkshake earlier that day.

I ate the croissant on the spot, which was normally a couple bucks (and worth it too), and saved the other bun for the morning after. I ended up eating the concha as I walked to class the next morning at 9:15 a.m. As I ripped off pieces of the now somewhat tough bread and eagerly put them in my mouth, I was reminded of my favorite Korean bread called soboro. Like soboro, the concha is a plain bun with a sweet, crumbly topping. Unlike the cinnamon-sugar crumbles that top the concha, though, soboro has a softer, more nutty-flavored topping. Despite this difference, the two breads are pretty similar overall, especially considering that they come from completely different cultures.

It wasn’t that big of a deal, but eating the concha that Monday morning brought me a step closer to home again. I absolutely LOVE soboro; it’s my MVP of all Korean bread and pastries (and trust me, there are some ridiculously delicious ones out there). Whether I’m in a chain bakery in Koreatown in New York, or at a cozy neighborhood spot in my hometown, I always gravitate toward this light, buttery, nutty bread. It’s sweet without being too sweet, and a good-looking, fluffy bun in general.

It’s funny how the most random things bring you back home. It could be a smell, a sound, a word, a scene. For me, it was the first taste of concha bread from the Med. I’m discovering every day that home really is everywhere; bits and pieces of it are scattered in the most unlikely places. I don’t even have to search for it. I encounter things familiar to me quite unexpectedly, even in the simple things like bread from a bakery (that cost just a dollar, mind you). And such simplicity makes home, and the experience of returning to it, even more beautiful.

“Dollar Pastries and Priceless Moments” is the third entry for Joy’s column “In Search of Lost Food.” Check for new articles for this column on Wednesdays.

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