By Katie Moore-Gillon
Pastry shops aren’t just for birthday occasions.
I’m no stranger to pastry shops. But for some reason I’ve always been numb to their cutesy cookies and neat rainbow cakes, opting for messy, gritty, homemade desserts instead.
Morrone’s Pastry Shop, as far as I was concerned, was nothing more than the place to buy sugary, heavily-frosted, oreo-injected cakes for friends on their birthday. Mind you, I adore these cakes and the sugar-highs they induce, but only for that specific and entirely appropriate occasion. However, after a recent trip back, my pretentious attitude towards bakeries shifted-at least for the moment.
With no more than 10 tables all lined up along the wall and Easter decorations from Party City strung about the ceiling, this spot was blatantly more charming than it was trendy. My friends and I sat near the back once we picked our pastries. Behind us was a fridge stacked with little Italian sodas, prompting me to grab a blood orange San Pellegrino from the array of jewel-toned soft drinks.
As I glossed over sprinkle cookies and eclairs, I noticed their Italian Cheesecakes, and decided to take a risk in buying a slice. I was only familiar with the sour-cream-laden New York cheesecakes up to that point. I purchased a chocolate-covered strawberry just in case this cheesecake (the Italian cheesecake) was an utter failure.
Of course, just as the world seems to work, the opposite of what I expected happened. The chocolate-covered strawberry was a heinous waste of two dollars (not heinous, but it was jarringly mediocre for a jarringly simple dessert). The Italian Cheesecake, however, was lovely. My fork sliced in and out to create a perfect, crumb-free line in the cake. It was spongy and ultra-dense-perfect for holding the creamy lining of the sugary ricotta spread that nested within the layers. It had hints of lemon and carried an aftertaste of powdered sugar. There was the thickness of a pound cake but it was complimented by the lightness of the flavors, making it an ideal 5 pm snack.
With my little orange soda, my mediocre strawberry, and my happy surprise of an Italian cheesecake, I ultimately had a delicious early evening with friends. Although I still wouldn’t call myself a bakery enthusiast, I would trudge the few long blocks back to Morrone’s without pitching a fit.