Tagged: breadtop

Chicken-mushroom doughnut – the next offical jam doughnut variation?

Chicken-mushroom doughnut – $2.60 from Breadtop, plenty of locations all over greater Sydney (except for Sussex St which has closed)

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To say that jam doughnuts have played a significant role in my life would not be an understatement. When I reminisce on my many years on this earth, I remember numerous occasions when simple jam-filled balls of dough deep fried in fat until the jam resembles molten magma have sustained me through long nights and cold winters. Needless to say, when I first saw the family resemblance in Breadtop’s chicken-mushroom doughnut, the fond memories came flooding back, and I purchased it on the spot. Triumph or atrocity? Read on.

In a similar vein to Barby’s cheese and bacon, Breadtop has taken something that western snack eaters know and love (the jam doughnut) and given it an unexpected twist (by replacing the jam with a chicken and mushroom sauce). A quick search of the font of all knowledge finds that the jam filled doughnuts exist in regional variations in over 16 countries, including Australia (although largely limited to South Australia, home of Fritz). So far the chicken-mushroom has not been recognised as an official JD variant, though as the late great Bob Dylan said, the times, they are a changing.

The chicken-mushroom donut suffers from many of the same symptoms as Breadtop’s other offerings, largely inconsistency. Some days, on biting into the bulbous mass, you’ll be greeted with a warm oozing stream of fungo-poultry paste, other days, a cold hard slap in the face. Unfortunately the doughnuts seem to be more hit than miss, and eating cold chicken rarely inspires confidence in a snacker. That said, I do keep going back, hoping to find the enveloping feeling of comfort and safety that comes with a good fried doughnut. 2 and a half stars.

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Originality – Excellent

Execution – Average

Value – OK

Overall judgement: 2 1/2

Peanut Swirl – May contain traces of maggots

Peanut Swirl – $2.40 from Breadtop, plenty of locations all over greater Sydney (except for Sussex St which has closed)

 

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This week sees us return to Breadtop for a Peanut Swirl. Now right from the start this snack has me in two minds. On one hand, I do appreciate the literal naming of snacks (see the Sascha Pork Floss Roll), but on the other hand, I can’t stand this new trend of turning verbs into nouns (or vice versa, as my good friend Bernard Black would agree). This time it’s going to come down to taste, so lets potter along in order to learn more about this snack shall we?

Firstly a few warnings. Those of you with nut allergies should not attempt a Swirl, and perhaps should even stop reading this review now, as recent research has shown that even pictures of nut based products can cause a mild reaction in some anaphylaxis sufferers. Additionally, the unique appearance of the swirl may require a bit of a leap of faith from new eaters, who could be forgiven for thinking the roll was covered in maggots, but anything more than a cursory glance would show that this isn’t the case (or at least that the maggots are now dead, providing an additional protein boost).

The Swirl starts as many similar snacks do, with a sweet bread roll base, which in this case is twisted prior to baking to give the swirled appearance. Next the base is covered in a unique nut mixture, unlike anything I’ve eaten before. It’s more pastey than crushed nuts, more crumbly than peanut butter, but is somehow reminiscent of both – no mean feat. On top of the nuts comes another swirl, this time of custard, adding a splash of colour to an otherwise fairly brown snack. Finally comes the small white worms populating the top of the Swirl, which luckily are nothing more than extruded noodles of milk powder paste, adding a welcoming crunchy finish.

The peanuts really are the heart of this snack. The unique sweet-yet-savoury flavour and crumbly-yet-smooth mouthfeel are a triumph, recalling features of many childhood snacks while still retaining a refreshing modernity. The subtle layering of flavours and textures completes what is a very satisfying afternoon treat. Minus half a point for the noun/verb thing though. 4 stars.

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Originality – Excellent

Execution – Excellent

Value – Good

Overall judgement: 4

Sacha Pork Floss Roll – Literally

Sacha Pork Floss Roll – $2.80 from Breadtop, plenty of locations all over Sydney (except for Sussex St which has closed)

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There was a time before I knew of Breadtop. I don’t like to think of those times, they were dark years, but sometimes I reminisce just to see how far I’ve come. It was a stormy afternoon all those years ago, when I dived into a shopfront to avoid the splash of an oncoming bus. I looked around, my day was brightened instantly when I saw I was in a snack shop. A small, square looking treat named Sacha caught my eye, and the rest, well, you know the rest.

One of my favourite things about the Sasha Pork Floss Roll is that it’s literally* a roll, the first I have come across in my regular snack perusals. If you’re lucky enough to be at a Breadtop on Sasha-day then you’ll see the bakers start with a large flat piece of bread dough, which is sprinkled liberally with pork floss, then rolled up like a log, coated in corn kernels, sweet chili sauce, cheese and parsely. The log is then baked until crisp and cut into lengths for adults and children alike to enjoy, and enjoy it they do.

The Sacha is a different beast to that other pork floss treat, the Pork Floss Sushi Roll. The addition of melted cheese adds a whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes) of textures, as the eater is greeted with a crunchy crust on the outside, delving down to the depths of chewy cheese below. Again, the corn adds an important burst of freshness and life, but has an almost quiche-like element to it thanks to the oven baking. The sweet and salty pork floss provides the solid flavour base upon which the snack is built, and the clever spiroid layers of bread ensure textural and visual variety the whole way through the roll.

If the roll has a downside, it’s in the consistency. As a regular consumer of Sacha’s, I notice that there is a significant variation in quality across the pieces on a tray. For those of you playing along at home, I suggest these two simple tests to ensure maximum snack value. Firstly, look for the pieces that are more of a square shape. Due to the rolling process, the ends of the roll are slightly tapered, providing less room for filling and topping, and are to be avoided (such as the one pictured, an unfortunate failure but was the last one left). Secondly, compare the weights of at least 7 or 8 pieces before choosing one. Use the tongs provided to pick up a piece, feel the weight in your hands, then place the piece back on the tray, sorting according to estimated weight. You might need to check two or three more times to ensure you get the order right, but you can’t rush these things. Following these simple tricks should ensure you net a prizeworthy Sacha every time. 4 stars.

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Originality – Excellent

Execution – Average to Excellent (learn the tricks to maximise your chances of a good one)

Value – Good

Overall judgement: 4

* N.B For those of you born after 1990, the word ‘literally’ does have a specific meaning and is not just a big word one can use to make one’s story less mundane. Those who misuse the word should literally have their left hand removed and replaced with a thesaurus, giving them lifetime access to an array of other more appropriate adjectives.