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I’m No Vegan

October 11, 2010

Vegan is a horrible word.  It conjures up ill-conceived versions of dishes that are missing key ingredients, which have been replaced by unspeakable substitutions.  It also conjures up the people who not only eat, but also enjoy such comestibles.

It’s a stereotype to be sure, but it exists for a reason.

That said, my favorite Cuban black bean recipe just happens to be vegan.  So does my favorite sliced sandwich bread.  I even honestly liked a bastardized version of baked ziti that conformed to the stereotype above.

But getting back to bread for a minute.  The pre-sliced loaves I enjoy almost daily have just four ingredients: whole wheat flour, water, salt and yeast.  It’s not trying to eat vegan, it just turned out that way.  And frankly, up until today I never even considered it.

I mention all of this because there is a new local venture ramping up that is exciting despite the fact that it is largely vegan.

What I like about All Good Bakers is its commitment to baking with integrity.  While “commitment” and “integrity” are words that can be a bit squishy, here is what the bakery has to say about what it does:

All Good uses local and organic ingredients at every possible turn and we strongly believe in sourcing all of our materials in a sustainable way. We will be using organic flours; local and organic milk, buttermilk, eggs, maple syrup and honey; fair-trade, organic sugars; unsalted European butter, aluminum-free baking powder and kosher salt.

Now if you are astute, you will notice that All Good Bakers isn’t entirely a vegan bakery.  And in my mind, that’s a good thing.  A while back, I made a commitment to highlight local restaurants that are using ingredients of exceptional quality.  Even though officially All Good isn’t a restaurant I think they qualify under this initiative.

Right now you can buy their bread and sweet treats at the Delmar Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.  But what about in winter?  And what if Delmar seems like a million miles away from Albany?

There’s an answer.  Actually, there are two.  But one of them isn’t for everyone.

The answer with broader appeal involves becoming a member of All Good’s Community Supported Bakery.  You can buy a share, or two, or three which entitles you to a weekly lot of goods for 26 weeks between November and April.

Each share will set you back $156 which translates to $6 per week.  And for that you get to choose either one of their five regular loaves, one of their six specialty loaves or one of five lots of baked goods.  What is especially nice is that you can choose a different item every week.

It will be winter, and I know that rustic wholesome bread goes really well with the hearty soups and stews that are so sustaining throughout the season.  But you might also want a little treat—after all, swimsuit season is way off in the distance—so let’s talk about the baked goods for a moment.

You can choose four bialys, three croissants, two large seasonal muffins, two medium seasonal scones or two large vegan cinnamon buns.  When I went to Delmar on Saturday to meet the bakers, I had hoped to try the croissants, but they had sold out of them in about an hour.  They did give me a taste of the vegan cinnamon buns.  And I have to say that is a very tasty pastry considering it has no butter.  Should I need to go back on my draconian anti-cholesterol regime, these will be a welcome treat in the drudgery of my diet.

I should note the deadline for sign up is October 24.  There is a Wednesday evening pickup location in Delmar and one in Albany.  So if you are interested, drop a line to allgoodbakers@gmail.com.

Now the even less conventional way of getting this bakery’s goods involves home delivery by bike.  Yes, some brave intrepid souls are committing to bring you bread and soup and salad on a weekly basis through all weather by bicycle or if necessary by sled.  Currently this program has a more limited trading zone.  Specifically the:

12054 zip code in Delmar, though we are already looking at a Slingerlands route, and it may also be extended with sufficient interest to a wider area such as Glenmont, the near side of Albany, or elsewhere bike delivery might work.

This is seriously awesome.  And when Mrs. Fussy found out about it, she positively lit up.  Hopefully some of my readers live in Delmar and can take advantage of this service and report back.  We can’t wait to see how it all works out.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2010 9:49 am

    I tried some AGB breadstuffs at the Delmar market after I first learned about the CSB. Also, my guy Matt brought my parents AGB bialys as a little present when he met them the first time. Thumbs up all around, and none of us are vegans! Tasty is just tasty.

    I don’t eat nearly enough bread to get a weekly delivery, but Matt went in for a share. I wish them luck in their new venture :)

  2. Ewan permalink
    October 11, 2010 10:30 am

    I’ve signed up for two shares, and both Nick & Britin – the couple behind the CSB – have been fabulous to meet and talk to. The croissants are great (less flaky than the norm; more buttery and complex) as are the scones.

    We’re hoping that they do extend the bike-delivery to Glenmont; how cool is that idea?

  3. October 11, 2010 10:39 pm

    Gosh, that was one good cinnamon bun.

  4. October 13, 2010 1:58 am

    I have nothing against anyone’s dietary choices, I just think the word “vegan” has a dreadful ring to it.

    Whenever someone says they’re “vegan” I have the immediate impulse to tell them how sorry I am to hear that. It sounds like an incurable blood condition to me.

    “Vegan” seems like a combination of “venal” and “Reagan.” In other words, pure evil.

  5. All Good Bakers permalink
    October 13, 2010 8:50 am

    @Sophia, come by the Delmar Farmer’s Market Saturday to try one of our Vegan Cinnamon Buns, let’s see if we can’t change your opinion!

  6. October 14, 2010 12:19 am

    What a fantastic initiative! It makes me wish I lived there in America to be able to try this out. The subscription of sorts with a weekly choice throughout winter is a wonderful plan.

  7. All Good Bakers permalink
    October 14, 2010 5:04 pm

    It’ll be a little colder on Saturday, but we hope you will all come visit us from 9-1 at the Delmar Market (Bethlehem Middle School, Kenwood Ave.) to have a taste of our baked goods & meet over 40 other great local producers! We’ll have lots of Bread, Buns and other tasty treats for you. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about us, feel free to contact us anytime.

    The Delmar Market will be inside the school November – December 15. There are lots of local crafters during the colder months, and a warm & friendly atmosphere.

    Hope to see you there!

  8. October 20, 2010 2:19 pm

    I don’t understand how you make a croissant without butter. That would be like making puff pastry without butter. It makes zero sense.

    • October 20, 2010 2:51 pm

      Yikes! This must not have been clear. The croissants are not vegan. The ingredients of the croissants are as follows:

      Organic unbleached all-purpose flour, unsalted European butter, local organic whole milk, local organic free-range eggs, fair-trade organic raw sugar, local organic cream, baking yeast, and kosher salt.

      • All Good Bakers permalink
        October 20, 2010 3:47 pm

        The Cinnamon Buns are vegan and all of our cakes/cupcakes can be made vegan or with local ingredients. All other baked goods are made using local organic (or organic practices) eggs; rGBH-free milk, buttermilk, cream from Meadowbrook Farms in Clarksville (& possibly butter from them as well). Some of the breads are “naturally vegan” meaning they don’t require dairy or animal products. Hopes this helps clarify.

        Our Albany pick-up has been confirmed: It will be Wednesday nights 5-7pm starting Nov. 3 at The Women’s Building (373 Central Ave, enter in rear of building 356 Sherman St., one block off Central between Quail & Ontario).

        Thanks,
        AGB

  9. All Good Bakers permalink
    October 25, 2010 9:01 am

    We’ve got 41 shares sold as of the deadline! We need at least 100 to make our kitchen rental viable. We are going to start accepting applications for the CSB on a rolling, pro-rated basis until we hit our mark. If you missed the deadline, you can still join! Just deduct the weeks you’ve missed and get your order form in at least a week in advance so that we can have the proper materials on hand. Email us for info: allgoodbakers@gmail.com

    The Delmar Market starts its indoor winter run this Saturday, Oct. 30 – Dec. 15 (Bethlehem Middle School Cafeteria) – there will be lots of local crafters, fall/winter vegetables, grass-fed meat & a warm and friendly atmosphere. Only one of 3 Saturday indoor winter markets close to Albany!

    AGB won’t be there Oct. 30, but we’ll be back in full force the first weekend of Nov. We’ll be baking from our new kitchen space and will have more breads for you to choose from! Hope to see you there.

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  1. {Interview} Community Support Bakery with All Good Bakers « FROM SCRATCH club

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