Bakeries are perhaps the perfect travelers fast food joint. They open early, usually by 5 or 6 in the morning, allowing the traveler to get a quick breakfast before jumping on that early morning bus. They are delightfully cheap - even in an expensive town like San Jose, you can get enough food for to sate your hunger until dinner for less than two dollars. Most importantly, they are generally delicious.
On the bus out of Monteverde, I was having a fairly typical bakery breakfast. Loaf of french bread, a pineapple strudel, a small apple-cinnamon concoction, and a croissant (total price of 700 colones, with 480 colones to the dollar). I got to the croissant and realized that unlike most crossiants, this one was glazed, much like a donut. Properly pleased by this discovery, I next found a brownish interior substance. At first glance I thought this might be apple, but soon found it to be caramel. This glazed caramel croissant was quickly dubbed the "Orgasmitron" by a fellow traveler, and inspired a discussion of bakeries I've patronized over the past 7 months. Highlights included Kathmandu, Kunming, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Ko Tao, and, of course, Monteverde. It also gave me the following idea.
Every traveler dreams of writing a book when they get home. Its a ticket to continuing the traveler lifestyle of no responsibility and generally easy living. While I don't have the ubiquitous dread of the nine to five job that most backpackers do, I do enjoy writing and have the same kind of romantic notion that someday I may be inspired to produce something worth reading. Might a review of worldwide bakeries be such a subject? Granted, its a bit of a niche product, but then, there have to be enough people in the world like myself and my brother to justify such a book. I'd certainly shell out a few bucks to get a map to the best pastry in every conceivable destination, and I would personally love researching this particular project.
Anyway, this is now my dream. For those who might laugh, I recommend trying out the Cinnamon Swirl loaf from Great Harvest in Lexington Massachusetts. Imagine a guide to bread like this everywhere you go. I'm sure you'll agree that it would be worth the $4.95.