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ISSUE 120 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/6/2006

Donuts and pastries and breads, oh my!

By Jean Mullins
Executive Editor


Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you don't go, you should. The meal provides you with important nutrition, jumpstarts your metabolism and fuels you until lunch. If these were not enough reasons to go to breakfast, allow me to provide you with one more: breakfast pastries in Stav Hall.

Bon Appétit provides an extensive and ever-changing selection of delicious pastries at every breakfast. The pastries range from decadent to classic, and they may provide you with the little extra kick you need to jump start your day. As a regular breakfast goer and lover of pastries of any kind, allow me to offer my musings on the baked goods of breakfast.

Croissants

My friend and I live for croissants at breakfast. The Caf seems to anticipate our need for a pick-me-up in the middle of the week, for they always appear about Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The croissants are flaky on the outside, perfectly dough-like on the inside and light and buttery all the way through. They may be the best the Caf has to offer.

Banana and Other Breads

Daily, Stav Hall appeases hungry students with a variety of tasty breads, including cranberry-nut bread, blueberry bread and the old standby, banana bread. The banana bread is good, even if it is occasionally stale or dry. One thing I do appreciate in the bread is the absence of nuts.

If you do like nuts in your breakfast breads, try the cranberry bread. It is also usually moist and has the delightful tartness of the cranberries.

The blueberry bread is on par with the other two, but isn’'t served as often.

Muffins

There is always a scrumptious selection of muffins in Stav Hall that cater to any appetite. I know people who live for the chocolate chip muffins, but they are about as common as the ivory-billed woodpecker. When they are served, people tend to hoard. So come early, but remember that other breakfast attendees may enjoy a chocolate chip muffin too.

Other excellent selections include the chocolate-chocolate chip muffins, lemon-poppy seed-almond muffins, banana-chocolate chip muffins, and some other weird looking muffins that I have not had the courage to try. The crème de la crème of muffins, in my mind, is the seasonal pumpkin-raisin muffin. The pumpkin taste balances nicely with the bursts of raisin flavor in the muffin. This is like great pumpkin bread packaged in an easy to carry form. It is like Thanksgiving –- - for breakfast.

The muffins are usually delicious and never dry. However, if you have an aversion to grease, beware, for these are often the greasiest of the breakfast pastries.

Donuts

Donuts are the guilty pleasure of office workers and police officers everywhere, mostly because they are like dessert for breakfast. Occasionally on Fridays Stav Hall rolls out the donuts so that St. Olaf students may indulge in them, too. There are chocolate cake with chocolate frosting donuts, maple bar donuts and donuts that have the maple bar base with chocolate frosting. The maple bar ones, in my mind, are better: The base is not as sweet and it balances nicely with the gooey frosting on top. Also, the donuts often have vibrant sprinkles that are thoughtfully coordinated with the colors of the season.

Streusel

Picking up a streusel in Stav is like winning the lottery. These confections combine the wonderful buttery goodness of the croissants with rich cream cheese filling and fruit. Simply wow. Fans of chocolate may also enjoy the chocolate versions of these treats, which make rare appearances. Breakfast pastries really don’'t get better than this.

Cinnamon Rolls

The cinnamon rolls are the one disappointment in the bunch. It really isn't that they are not good, it’s just that they aren'’t all that they could be. If I wake up at 7 a.m. to be all that I can be, I would like my breakfast pastry to follow suit. This little bun needs some cream cheese frosting, more cinnamon filling and a softer outer shell. Really, this should aspire to be a mini version of the rolls served in the Cage.

This is by no means an exhaustive survey; Stav Hall does an excellent job changing up the menu everyday. There is something for every type of pastry lover. So go to breakfast and try a few - and decide if you like a croissant or a donut in the morning with your coffee.





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