July 19, 2004

breakfast in (a bowl of) Los Angeles

Sunday, July 18

Last time it was cookies. This time, it's granola!

When I posted and said that I had had cookies from La Brea Bakery in LA for breakfast, Santos tipped me off that their granola is also very good. Although I am a devout supporter of muesli when it comes to the preferences in breakfast cereals (sorry, I just lied; I eat other kinds of cereals, too), I couldn't help but think about it - La Brea's granola? It's got to be good! Since some of their bread, albeit limited selection, have become available even in my local stores, I was putting hopes in them, which has not been very hopeful as of yet.

Then the other day, my dear friend Joyce who had sent me those cookies just a couple of weeks ago just sent me another package in which she graciously included a bag of granola from La Brea! The granola in the bag looked absolutely handsome; shiny dark brown oats and rye covered with maple syrup and honey, accompanied by other goodies such as whole almonds and pumpkin seeds, and dried berries.

The granola was as good as I had expected (and in this case, my expectation had been very high, you know). Chewy oats, crispy bran and wheat flakes, and crunchy nuts and seeds together made a pleasant contrast of different textures, and generous amount of dried berries added a sweet and tart touch. In fact, dried cranberries in the granola were the best of this kind I had ever had - plump and chewy and definitely fruity, those ruby gems held the clear line against other mediocre dry, rumpled things called cranberries.
And it was flavored with not just orverused cinnamon but with nutmeg and clove as well; those spices did not make the granola noticeably spicy, but rather added fine nuances.

It reads on the back of the bag that the granola would make a "real treat" with yogurt and fresh fruits; although it really was good with yogurt, I found it better with just milk - to me, at least (I love yogurt, but somehow I like cereals better with milk).

Only problems is, there is not much granola left in the bag already... I sometimes wonder if I am the only one who sees "serving sizes" of breakfast cereals are often way too small to make a meal; I mean, this 16oz bag of granola supposedly has eight servings, but it clearly wouldn't make me eight breakfasts!


Santos said...

now we have to figure out a way for you to try the cinnamon roll *without* going to los angeles....oh, and the ginger cake, too....have you tried the chocolate-sour cherry bread?

Reid said...

Hi Chika,

Haven't yet tried this granola as I don't think I've seen it in the stores. I love to eat granola with a little bit of soy milk! Mmmmmmm.

chika said...

Hi there,

Santos - yeah that'd be my next project! I have been thinking about at least get the recipe for their cinnamon rolls, but I don't know. The very friend who's sent me those La Brea goodies did mention about the chocolate & sour cherry bread, saying that's one of her favorite. Yummmm!

Reid - So their granola hasn't made it even to Honolulu yet.... Granola in soy milk sounds like a brilliant idea!

Santos said...

hi chika

a chef friend and i were discussing the la brea bakery cinnamon roll, and she says it's basically a brioche dough that is rolled out thinly, slathered with butter and cinnamon, then rolled up like a swiss roll and cut. you can use that as a starting point to your recipe; maybe when you actually get to try one, you'll find out yours is better than theirs!

chika said...

Hi Santos,
if that is similar to a brioche dough, it would make a rich, buttery, sweet dough... very tempting! I am really a novice bread baker, so I don't know how it will turn out, but I have been meaning to make cinnamon rolls anyways, I'll figure some out! Thanks :-)