By Anne DesBrisay
There’s an urban myth of long ago, that claims JFK, in a speech delivered in Germany, and attempting to tell the people of Berlin that he was one of them, said “Ich bin ein Berliner” which translates not as he intended — “I am a citizen of Berlin” — but as “I am a jelly doughnut.”
There were some guffaws, apparently. And some don’t believe he actually said that, but the story’s better than the facts, so it lives on.
To be confused with one of Kevin Mathieson’s Berliners would be no great insult, it seems to me.
Mathieson is the king of jelly doughnuts in this town. Berliners, they are called. Or Pfannkuchen, a North German pastry made from sweet dough, sprinkled with shiny sugar, and typically filled in with jam.
And this seasonal one, filled in with pumpkin cream is a true treat, because yes, the pastry itself is fresh and light and not too sweet, but it’s the quality of the pastry cream that’s so fantastic. With the added bonus that he hasn’t gone crazy with the nutmeg. Nothing ruins pumpkin more than an indelicate hand with the nutmeg grater.
I am a huge fan of Art-is-in Bakery for the obvious reasons everyone who loves great bread is also a fan. Other great sources for bread have sprouted in this city, and more and more restaurants are baking their own and doing a dandy job, but I’m old enough to remember when Ottawa restaurants’ bread baskets were pretty grim, and Kevin Mathieson and Stephanie Monnin changed all that. And for this Constant Eater-Outer, I am forever grateful.
I hope the season for folding pumpkin into crème patissière isn’t over… If I show up next week and see mincemeat Berliners I’m taking down this post.
Art-is-in Boulangerie, 250 City Centre, Unit 112, 613-695-1226.