Eat Drink Jax Talks With Mina's Bakery and Cafe

June 2, 2013 9 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The ubiquitous cogitators of all things culinary over at Eat Drink Jax take an indepth look at The Mina's Bakery and Cafe!

Tell us about Mina's Bakery & Cafe.
Mina’s Bakery is a family owned and operated European style bakery. Our cakes and pastries hail from various countries around Europe (from Russia to Greece to Hungary to Croatia). Our emphasis is on taste and quality, with no preservatives or artificial ingredients used. The bakery offers one of a kind sweets and delicious hand crafted sandwiches.

How is a European style bakery different from other types of bakeries?

European cakes differ from each other quite a bit. Every time you have a different cake you have a different experience. Every cake has its own thing going on. What is similar with various European style cakes is that they're not too sweet or too heavy. For example, Medovic, which is a huge cake, maybe 10 or 11 pounds, uses only 1 stick of butter for the whole cake. For puddings I use imported varieties that come without sugar. That lets me control the amount of sugar to use. Most of my cakes have at least one imported ingredient.

…what types of imported ingredients do you use?

For example, I don't use vanilla extract, I use vanilla sugar in almost all the cakes. I use imported puddings too. For whipping cream I use imported whipping creams that come in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors, because they're not too sweet. I use German milk chocolate for my Milka Roll. For my Moskva Cake I use imported sour cherries because I can't even find sour cherries here.

…is the level of sweetness the thing that mostly differentiates European cakes?

Yes, mostly that. They're not as sweet as cakes made in America.

What makes Mina's special?

Everything is handmade by myself, Mina, from scratch. Every cake uses at least one imported ingredient to give it a true European feel. From sour cherries to Milka chocolate to poppy seeds to apricot and plum jams, there is something special in all the sweets that make them delicious and unlike anything most people have ever seen!

What sort of food do you serve in addition to your baked goods?

For lunch we focus mainly on paninis. We have a number of varieties, such as smoked turkey, Mediterranean, gyro-style and grilled cheese. We also offer a chicken salad sandwich. If you aren't in a rush we can prepare a Bosnian dish called Pita, which is homemade dough that has been stretched and filled with meat and cheese, or spinach and cheese. Pitas are a must try for food junkies - they were voted one of the top 10 foods around the world! Pita does takes a while to prepare, so we recommend calling ahead by at least 30 minutes. It's delicious but it's not something to order if you're in a rush.

Our main focus is our cakes though, which are all made in house and from scratch.

Where do your recipes come from?

Many of my recipes have been passed down to me. Baking has always been a passion of mine and many of my family members. A few recipes I’ve made up along the way as I go, combining ingredients I think taste well together, and then experimenting. I’ve even had customers bring me their family recipes that they’d like me to make for them which has been a fun and flattering way to discover even more types of cakes! The selection changes daily so there is always something new.

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