It’s the height of blueberry season right now: the perfect time to stock up on those little plastic pint crates at Trader Joe’s. You can eat them all plain (something I always end up doing when I buy blackberries!), or try your hand at baking some blueberry muffins for National Blueberry Muffin Day! No one can really pinpoint the origins of the muffin, but they’ve been around at least since the 10th century in Europe. The blueberry muffin became popular in the United States as quick as England could colonize it, the new pioneers finding blueberries to be plentiful in the New World and worked wonders inside their muffin tins. When you eat a blueberry muffin tiday, you’re taking part in a centuries-old tradition!
But where to find a great blueberry muffin in the city today? How about Locanda Verde, a bakery in TriBeCa that puts a new spin on an old classic. Their blueberry muffins are made with a dense cornbread base, so it’s called the polenta muffin. I am all about cornmeal things, especially polenta, so this muffin is a no-brainer for me! The polenta dough base is less sweet than flour-based doughs, so the sweetness and flavor of the blueberry really stands out (and all the sugars don’t overpower you). Not to say this is a savory muffin at all: lightly sprinkled with sugar crystals on top, the muffin is indeed a sweet treat. But get there early! Locanda Verde makes all of their baked goods fresh daily, so when they’re out, they’re out–and this blueberry muffin is one of their most popular treats!
377 Greenwich St (between Franklin St & Moore St)
“Say hello to Locanda Verde’s blueberry-polenta muffin. This is a gorgeous number, and I am head-over-heels obsessed with the pairing of blueberry and polenta in a plush, sweet muffin. The surface is lightly dotted with sugar crystals, the blueberries are aplenty, and the polenta brings about this moist, near nutty crunch. It is insane.”–Serious Eats
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Chock-a-block full of soft and sweet blueberries juxtaposed against pockets of butter and cinnamon and all set before the backdrop of a slightly coarse and textural cornmeal – an absolute must order and reason enough alone to visit Locanda Verde for breakfast – just make sure you look over your bill.”–Michael U.
“Ordered a huckleberry croissant, blueberry polenta muffin, and another breakfast muffin (forgot the actual name). All were stellar and solid pastries! Favorite was definitely the huckleberry croissant, not to say that the others were any less delectable. Flaky, light croissant with bits of huckleberries tucked into the layers. Both muffins were exceptionally moist. I loved the slight crunch of the cornmeal in the polenta muffin.”–Meredith X.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!