I know what you’re thinking. Those cupcakes don’t even look real. They look too good. Oh, but they are. They’re not too sweet, they’re softer than a Tempur-Pedic–and they’re filled with a lemony custard. Yes, they’re gluten-free and yes, these are the holy grail of cupcakes–the best you will ever try. I remember when I lived in Chicago in 2005 I learned baking before I went gluten-free. I made these blueberry cupcakes that melted in blueberry goodness and were so flavorful. They were sweet with sour notes. I was proud of myself that I had made the best cupcake I had ever tasted. Now, I concede. The marshmallow-meringue toasted topping, the lively lemon custard inside, the delicate sponge of lemon cake win.
Of course these are not new to me. I have been to Wild Flours Bake Shop in Huntington hundreds of times. This time I’m saying good-bye to an old friend. The last few posts have been about restaurants because I’m in the process of moving to Florida to explore and cook there, so it is fitting that I taste my last of the yummy world of gluten-free New York. I don’t think I have consumed this much baked goods in a period of a few weeks ever. But I know on those days when I crave a lemon meringue, I can just look at my post and the yummy photos and…book a flight. Wild Flours truly is the one bakery I have to say has the best baked goods I have ever tasted. They don’t just do gluten-free well, they put wheat to shame.
Wild Flours has all kinds of baked goods–delicious baguettes, bagels, pizza, quiche, muffins, and of course, cupcakes. Yet the lemon meringues are my favorite. They have become a tradition for my birthday, anniversaries and other occasions. The lemon meringue cakes and cupcakes should be pre-ordered because they just sell out too fast. The same goes for baguettes. On many occasions I have driven like mad all the way up north to Huntington from the south shore to make it before closing time only to find the best baked goods sold out. I often settled for coconut cupcakes, which is not really settling because they are incredibly awesome, but not quite lemon meringue. I like that on their web site the bakers clearly state that the baked goods are meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Yes, gluten eaters will love this place and I would say not even notice the difference, except they will notice a difference–it’s way better than that wheat crap. I don’t know why everyone has this stereotype of gluten-free tasting like cardboard. That’s just bad baking. Even gluten eaters do that. What I recall before I went gluten-free that many wheat cupcakes tasted stale and dry.
As I scarfed down my lemon meringue cupcake on my birthday I couldn’t help pondering how fast things change–children grow up, two years become seven and the passage of time is seen in worn out wooden floors, green moss over rooftops and altered landscapes. It’s not quite hitting me yet–I’m leaving New York for good. Whenever I see a new building come up in my home town I’m always a bit startled. Time races by. How do we slow it down? Of course the only constant is change. Did you ever look at the end of your photos on iphone (or other smartphone) and wonder what photos you will take next? I used to flip through blank pages of journals after finishing writing for the day and wonder what those pages would be filled with. I have an antagonistic relationship with time. I refuse to admit it exists. That seems to be a problem for others. But there are too many things in life to enjoy. I could savor the ocean surf alone for a decade. Savoring people would take lifetimes. Perhaps the only way is to truly enjoy every bit, every bite and every moment is to sit and savor a delectable cupcake.
Wild Flours Bake Shop is located at 11 New Street, Huntington, NY 1143 and can be reached at (631) 923-1090. Yes, I have it on speed dial.