Autor Tema: Cheesecake in San Fran  (Posjeta: 8540 vremena)


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Cheesecake in San Fran
« u: 24 Ožujak, 2008, 19:18:58 CET »
Sam Zanze, like his father before him, understands the importance of patience. Cheesecake is not a thing that can be rushed. Like a petulant child, it needs to be coaxed, coddled and cajoled, and if it falls flat, you have to pick it up and try again.

"My dad was a pastry chef who started with German bakers. He ran a dinner club in Santa Cruz after the war, and he was always experimenting with the cheesecake recipe to get it just right," says Zanze, 74, a gentleman for whom the word "kindly" was surely invented. "He started out using baker's dry cottage cheese and eventually it evolved to cream cheese. The texture, though, was always light and airy."

When his dad retired from the restaurant business in the 1970s, Zanze, who'd grown up in the kitchen, wasn't ready to hang up his apron. So he opened a tiny shop in the Ingleside district, where for 28 years he has quietly been refining and perfecting the singular art of making European-style cheesecake.

His is the antithesis of the dense New York-style, sour-cream-topped variety you get at places like the Cheesecake Factory. This is cheesecake like a cloud -- a souffle-like confection that makes it easy to go back for seconds.

Zanze's cakes are made with no flour, no butter and no graham-cracker crust. Frothy, delicately sweet, with a fresh-lemon aftertaste and a light sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar on top, they emerge from the ovens the color and shape of flan. A little glass case in the front of the shop displays the three sizes; payment is by cash or check only, and each cake is hand-boxed and tied, with a little piece of fishing line taped to the top for slicing.

With the help of his wife, Joyce, Zanze puts out 50 cheesecakes a day, four days a week -- double that around the holidays, when a line forms down the street with people picking up their preordered specialty cakes, which include pumpkin, raspberry, sour cherry with kirsch and mocha.

Like the cheesecake, the shop is a delicate jewel. Ask about it among the legions of Zanze's cognoscenti and you're likely to elicit a sort of cautious reverence -- as if singing its praises too loudly might cause a vibration that would crumble its fragile existence.

"I almost hate to talk about this place in fear that too many will discover the gem that my family has turned to for years," writes one blogger. "Places like Zanze's are endangered in this world ... so please be careful with it."

So devoted are Zanze's customers, they'll drive hours to get their fix. A colleague of my husband's, in fact, makes a pilgrimage to San Francisco from Livermore several times a year to fill his family's lengthy cheesecake requests, before flying them home (frozen) to Toronto, where, he insists, they taste as fresh as the day they were made.

"People hand-carry them to Shanghai, Tokyo, South America, Europe -- all over," Zanze says. "They travel extremely well."

On days when he's closed or on vacation, Zanze thoughtfully provides Molly Stone's Tower Market (635 Potrero Drive) -- the only other outlet where the cakes are available -- extra frozen cakes, so no one has to go home empty-handed.

As to why he ultimately chose cheesecake over a career in, say, international relations, Zanze is sanguine.

"I think baking, providing sustenance, is one of the nicest things we can do for people in this world. It keeps me engaged," he says. "I get to connect with people on a human level, and to create something that makes people truly happy."
Da je siba u raju izresla, uzali su nasi stori govorit, ali tu danasnja generacija ne moze razumit.  :bootyshake::whip2: