When Nestlé begins talking about an ethnic cookie trend, you know it’s on the verge of mainstreaming. So when I saw a press release this morning about “NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Unveils 2015 Baking Season Trends” that mentions alfajores, I took notice.
Alfajores hit the sweet spot of U.S. cookie consciousness recently when Pope Francis toured the States and was presented with a gift of the Latin American treats, reportedly one of his favorite little indulgences (“Miami-based flight attendant feels ‘blessed’ to have traveled with Pope Francis”). Now recipes for the cookies have hit the internet with force. In South America, they often feature two cookies sandwiching a filling, sometimes enrobed with chocolate, while Spain and spots in the Caribbean have their own twists on the concept.
Wooden Table Baking Co., based in Oakland, CA (a city that has evolved into a bustling hub of food-fueled innovation, as I learned on a culinary tour of the city earlier this year—fertile ground for trends poised for prime time), has made a name for itself based on its delectable alfajores, and I recently gained some insight into their process—information that will be part of our upcoming trends feature on cookies running in the November issue of the magazine (watch for that to surface next month). Andreas Ozzuna, owner and head baker at Wooden Table Baking Co., has a passion for alfajores, and it shows in the quality of her products, which are now seeing far-reaching points of distribution.
Good ideas often just need a few highly visible pushes to make it into the mainstream, and alfajores now have sufficient momentum to potentially roll into a cookie aisle near you sooner rather than later.