Cherry blossoms season is almost done here in Washington. The actual blossoms faded away late last week. Who can blame them? It’s been barely 40 degrees for the past two days… and don’t get me started on the wind! But officially, the festival ends on April 17 so there’s still more than an entire week to celebrate our city in boom and enjoy festival events, like the fireworks on the 9th, the Sakura Matsuri street festival and the official parade on the 16th, or all the different themed eats, which let’s be honest are my favourites anyway!
Now, I’m not a huge fan of the official “cherry picks” gimmick co-sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington that sees restaurants as unrelated to Japan as Boqueria, Carmine’s or Lincoln come up with dubiously cherry-inspired menu items during the festival. But I’m a big fan of sweets of all kinds, most particularly when they don’t involve chocolate and I do love all of the cherry-flavoured pastries that have popped up all over town. Here are some of my favourites so far:
MILK BAR’S CHERRY ROSE COOKIE
Normally I find Milk Bar’s treats just a tad/a lot too sweet for me but the combo of freeze-dried cherries, milk crumbs and rose water essence with a final layer of dusted cherries on top really worked for me.
OLIVIA MACARON’S CHERRY BLOSSOM FLAVOUR
All my favourite macaron flavours have always been on the floral side: fleur d’oranger, rose, jasmin, muguet… so it was bound to be love at second sight with this one — second because I had already fallen with it when it was first introduced last year.
RARESWEET’S CHERRY BLOSSOMS COOKIE
So pretty it’s almost a pity to eat it. Keyword: almost!
ASTRO DOUGHNUT’S CHERRY DONUT
I can’t think of a better to spend $3.25 than this donut! Inside the vanilla dough rests a soft cherry filling, and all this deliciousness is topped by a decadent vanilla bean cream cheese glaze adorned with a sweet cherry blossom design. I’ll be very sad to see this one go.
CHAPLIN’S CHERRY BLOSSOM BOMB
Normally I’m not a huge fan of the boozy cherry blossom specials (the exception this year being BLT Steak‘s Japanese whiskey flight… everything else is just too cherry-y and sweet) but I am a HUGE fan of sake bombs. Don’t judge. I have been since I did my first one at a trendy London Japanese restaurant/bar back in 2002. I like Irish car bombs too. Had my first one of those at Lindy’s Red Lion, because GWU! So I actually appreciate Chaplin’s $5 bomb featuring a pint of Kirin Ichiban beer and a shot of bright pink Sakura Emaki Rose Sake. Bottoms up on that one!
Have you enjoyed any good seasonal eats (or drinks) during the cherry blossom festival this year? Let me know in the comments! I still have a few days to try and check them out!