Thursday, September 15, 2016

Svenhard's

Update Review, April 2016 (and July 2017)

You know how I said I'd never try another Svenhard's pastry again, after my previous review?  Sometimes I fail at taking my own advice.  Particularly when there is a free pastry involved.  Sometimes that isn't the worst thing.

The context: Walk to work day.  One of the walk to work stations was giving out free coffee (why I stopped) and ... Svenhard's pastries!  They had a large assortment, including a cheese horn that I almost went for, but, somehow, at last minute, I decided to grab a cinnamon horn.

And ... I liked it.  Sigh.  Guess now I'll have to try more?

Update (July 2017): I did try more.  And they were just as bad as I remembered.  Ok, no more of these, really.
Cinnamon Horn (April 2016).
"Cinnamon folded in sweet dough, & glazed with our delectable icing delivers old-fashioned goodness, reminiscent of Grandma’s house."

This looked just as bad as the breakfast claw.  It was kinda smushed, the icing was all over the inside of the packaging, and, well, it looked like a packaged baked good.

But I tried it anyway.  I took a tentative first bite.  It was soft, it was fluffy, it was sweet.  No, the dough was nothing like a fresh pastry, but it had a really lovely sweetness to it.  I took a second bite.  There was plenty of cinnamon within the folds.  The glaze on top, while not evenly distributed and rubbing off all over the place, was pleasantly sweet and went nicely with the cinnamon.  I took a third bite.  I stopped for a sip of coffee.  And then I went right for the center piece, always the best part of a cinnamon roll.

And I liked it.  Soft, sweet, moist, a bit gooey, and not in a fresh way at all, but, I liked it.  I realized as I neared the last bite that it reminded me of a Little Debbie product, which I'd never think of as anything like bakery items.  If you frame it in that context, then it really just isn't so bad ...
Cinnamon Horn (July 2017).
I had another, again, a freebie given out at an event.

While I still enjoyed the icing on top (it really was tasty), and even the cinnamon between the layers, the pastry itself was just so lackluster that it made the whole thing not very enjoyable.  I need to stop trying these.

Original Review, September 2015

Svenhard's is a "Swedish Bakery" located in nearby Oakland.  However, they aren't a traditional bakery, as they make packaged baked goods and do not have a storefront.  I've seen their items at Target, Costco, and even on Amazon.com, so I think they run quite a large production.  I wouldn't normally be that interested in packaged baked goods like this, but they have been around since 1893.  Clearly, they have staying power, so perhaps their products really are tasty?

Svenhard's makes "claws", "curls", and "horns", all different varieties of croissant-like products with fillings.  The "claws" are basically bear claws.  "Curls" are just pastries in curled form, aka, cinnamon rolls and raisin snails.  And the "horns" are danishes with different fillings.

I've only tried one item, but, well, it was a packaged baked good.  I had no desire to try another.
Breakfast Claw.
"Served warm, or eaten fresh from the package, Breakfast Claws will melt in your mouth, and bring delight to your taste buds! Our special icing and secret filling formula garnishes every bite."

I went for the fascinating sounding "breakfast claw", since, well, I was having it alongside a coffee for breakfast and it sounded like the most decadent of all the choices.

Sounded good to me, even though I must admit it looked a little sad ...
Breakfast Claw: Revealed.
Well, first I tried it "fresh from the package".  "Fresh" was rather questionable.  It was a bit scary looking.

The pastry was about as bad as you'd expect.  Sorta spongy and gummy.  Not flaky.  Not buttery.  Greasy.  The oil slick left on the napkin I set it down on for literally 20 seconds to take a photo was impressive.

So far, gross.

On the plus side, the icing on top was sweet and rather tasty.  The little brown crumbles looked promising, but didn't deliver much flavor.
Breakfast Claw: Inside.
Inside was a cinnamon sugar filling that was tasty enough, but, as you can see from the cross section, it wasn't exactly generously filled.

Next, I tried warming it up, which did make it marginally better, but it was nothing like the magical transformation of the 7-Eleven cinnamon roll, and I still would certainly never get another of these.
Breakfast Claw (July 2017).
I had another of these given to me at an event.  It was rather mushed, but, I still tried it.

I again thought the topping wasn't too bad, icing and cinnamon crumble.  The cinnamon filling was also ok.  But the pastry?  Just, ugh.  Spongy, oily, just not good at all.
Breakfast Claw (Waffled).
I scraped out the cinnamon filling since I liked that, and then got bored and decided to throw the rest (now in two halves), into my waffle iron, since, waffling leftovers often transforms them.

This did not transform.  Yes, the texture improved and it got crispy, but the flavor of the horrible pastry was just impossible to get away from.


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