January 2nd, 2013 by Jihye Chang
I love reading Saveur. And I have somewhat naive trust over whatever that magazine recommends. Plus I have a soft spot for the Berkshires (memories of Tanglewood, Lenox coffee, Chocolate Springs in Pitsfield, etc.) So when I read an article about an artisan bakery in the Berkshires in the Saveur’s December 2012 issue, I HAD to order some.
Berkshire Mountain Bakery’s website is very simple and you can easily place an online order. However the shipping cost is really high – for the states that are not close to the east coast, an order of $50-60 will cost you $45. I know food items should be shipped overnight, but $45 seems pretty steep. And the minimum order is $50. But like I mentioned above, I had to try it.
So I ordered a box of stuff – 2 loaves of cherry pecan, 2 loaves of the holiday Stollen, 1 loaf of multi-grain sourdough, and 2 loaves of the infamous Bread and Chocolate, which appeared on Food TV’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” show.
I placed this order on the 23rd. I expected nothing to happen until the 26th. (They ship on the Tuesdays.) But there was no shipping notice, so I had to make a call in the afternoon of the 26th. They said they were handing out my box to the UPS guy as I was talking to them. For $45 shipping, I would expect it to be an overnight service, but it’s a 2 day air UPS shipping. I waited all day long anxiously on the 28th, and it arrived at the end of the day.
All the breads seem to have the same sourdough base. I liked the cherry-pecan bread a lot – great balance between the dough and the cherry! (I would have liked a bit more pecan ratio, though). Multi-grain was not as good. Stollen was a little disappointing as it was a bit too chewy, and not fruity enough. But the Bread and Chocolate – this was worth all the effort and the shipping cost! The loaf is loaded with dark Callebaut chocolate pieces, and it’s somehow magical to have the tangy flavor of a sourdough bread and sweet and deep chocolate flavor together. It actually is better than chocolate croissant. And it’s quite large, too. I think it’s a really great buy ($5.95 for a loaf) if you can just get it in store. I enjoyed both loaves of Bread and Chocolate for about 5 days, trying to imagine how much better it would be if I had it right out of the oven!
I don’t think I will order it online again, but this made me want to go back to the Berkshire area very much. I should make an excuse or an occasion to go back there sometime soon.