by Terrance Mc Arthur
Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Carol of the Bells…Ring a Bell? Yep, it’s Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Holiday time in the Valley. It’s gift-giving time, forget-your-diet time, get-something-for-yourself time. At The Great Food Search, that means—Good Stuff! Let’s dig in!Eddie’s Bakery Cafe (7089 N. Cedar Ave., Fresno) Just north of Herndon, it’s been a part of Fresno since 1939. Eddie’s is a wonderland of goodies. There are cupcakes, donuts, and more. For the holiday season, you can find gingerbread houses on sale…and there is fudge! It’s rich, it’s dark, it’s gooey, and you want to eat it all for yourself! For international tastes, there is German stollen, a cake-like fruit bread with fruit peel, raisins, spices, and a whole lot of goodness. After eighty-two years, they know what they’re doing.
Frosted Cakery (1292 N. Wishon Ave., Fresno) On the northern part of the Tower District is a place of cakes, cupcakes, pastries, and candy apples. I bought a caramel apple covered in frosted-on Mini M&Ms, and two cupcakes. I sliced the apple into bitable wedges, and munched my way quickly into bliss. As for the cupcakes, the peppermint gingerbread cupcake was peppy, and I ate the gingerbread gingerly. Yummy Yummy!
Gourmet Goodies by Delilah (626 O St., Sanger) It’s less than a mile from my home, and they bake, dip, and sell things that make my taste buds yell “Gimme-gimme-gimme!” My haul from my latest trip included: a salted-caramel cupcake (so gooey and swirly), a cheesecake apple (the pink layer between the caramel and the graham coating made me imagine eating a core sample of the Earth), a Yule Log cupcake (the creamy core that echoed the Bouche de Noel was a happy surprise), Oreo bark (I refused to share), dipped pretzel sticks (my go-to treat), and dipped Red Vines (they dip and sprinkle them, and Red Vines have become very difficult to locate). This place is a Sanger treasure!Hickory Farms (635 W. Herndon Ave., Ste. 500, Clovis) I know you don’t associate Hickory Farms with sweet. It’s where your parents went to get the beef stick they would send to the aunt and uncle you never met, but always had to buy something for them. However, those memory associations resurfaced when I passed the shop on the way to my next destination, and my mind said…Gotta go in! Wandering along between tables of gift boxes and…What was that? Turkey Summer Sausage? Ooohh! And there was a box with Turkey Summer Sausage, Beef Summer Sausage, Smoked Cheddar Blend Cheese, Sweet Hot Mustard, and crackers! The beef was as tangy as I remembered it, but the turkey possessed a delicious, gentle sweetness. I liked it. Oh, and I couldn’t pass up the Olive Oil & Rosemary Crackers. Wow! Nothing Bundt Cakes (635 W. Herndon Ave., Ste. 100, Clovis) This was where I was going when I was sidetracked by Hickory Farms. They have bundt-y Cake Pops, individual Bundt Cakes, medium Bundt Cakes, and large Bundt Cakes (“I like Big Bundts, and I cannot lie”). Those molded cakes with the hole in the middle (“So round, so firm, so fully packed”) and lots of icing are calling me. I picked a Lemon-flavored, but I’m fond of Carrot, and they have a Peppermint Chocolate Chip for the season. Enjoy!
The Verdict Given my druthers (and I’d druther have my druthers), I’ll travel on down to Delilah’s (It’s within walking distance for me) because it’s a candy-store bakery, close, and it has great variety…but I would choose any one of these if I was near it.