The Delicious Science of Traveling Desserts

On average cosmopolitan workers commute approximately 80 minutes each way. Toronto ranks last on a list 21. We are a city on the move, getting there…slowly. I am a modern working gal on the go. I also have a sweet tooth or six. It is where these two worlds collide that dessert science was born. Realizing my experience might reflect the whoa of other snacky travellers, I thought it would be prudent to share my near-scientific findings.

Desserts and their Travel Tolerance

1. Cookies- their hearty nature is misleading. The surface to width ratio is incongruent. Inducing crumbling, breaking and general structural decay. These factors do not affect the flavour of the cookie itself, merely the ease with which said cookie can be consumed.

2. Donuts a) Cake style- (including Apple Fritters, Cherry Sticks, Honey dipped etc) these deep-fried cakes are approximately 5-7 bites; ideal for travelling consumption. Their sugar-coating may flake but if the package is intact the donut creates little waste, no mess or sticky hands.

b) Filled- (including Jelly, Boston Cream etc) the delicate exoskeleton protecting the delicious creamy innards is easily crushed. This creates a mess. Unless the package is solid, expect smushing, squirting and possibly even staining.

c) Dipped- (all donuts with icing on top) the soft, sticky icing is just that and will remain stuck to all container surfaces. The cake however, remains intact throughout the chocolate, maple or vanilla peel away. What remains is a naked previously dipped donut. It is disappointing unless bag licking is possible.

3. Pie- crust implies containment. Though this only applies to the whole of the pie, which invites gluttony. A pie slice does not travel well. Upon arrivalexpect to find a pile of pie. The pie though demolished retains its flavour, which is yummy.

4. Squares- these multi layered pastries travel well depending on the filling and crust consistency. Each flavour category should be tested. And tested often.

5. Éclairs- the cream filling and chocolate coating make this the most difficult dessert to travel with. Though should the situation call for eclair, take a few moments, be French and just enjoy it where you are.

6. Cake a) up to 2 layers- whole cakes sit well on laps with preparation. Though slices combine the icing escape of dipped donuts and the crumble of cookies. Their consistency differs, though the effect remains the same. Slices of deep-fried cake would be travel compatible, though this is generally not an option.

b) Cake-2 layers of more- DO NOT travel with a 4 tier cake, expecting it to do anything but disintegrate. Please call a bakery delivery service, they are qualified to perform such tasks. Special containment required.

c) Cupcakes- the factors effecting cupcakes include: icing height, cake stability and flavour. Each bakery differs. Further exploration required. Though with the proper cupcake containment these desserts travel well and maintain their snacktastic appearance.

7. Baklava- The 3 main ingredients honey, phyllo and pistachio create a dessert that is yummy, crispy and sticky. Do not be fooled by the recipe; it spells licking fingers on the go.

8. Tarts- the single serving pie. Tipping in transit induces filling spillage. They must remain upright in an effort to maintain harmonious filling to crust ratio. Though the effort is rewarded.

9. a) Fruit- though I don’t classify it as dessert, I included it- you know- in the interest of science. Fruit travels appropriately. Bruising and skin blemishes are typical of lunch box shenanigans.

b) Fruit cups- travel well, though are high in sugar. You may as well just have actual dessert.

c) Chocolate covered Fruit- qualifies as a dessert. The small portions make it easy to contain. Though the delicate nature of this dessert’s chocolatey coating is easily damaged. Forcing you to pick up the pieces, literally, and then eat fruit.

10. Pudding or Gelatine- all cupped desserts travel extremely well. That does effect flavour or ensure enjoyment. Though for ease of transport and consumption they are incomparable. **Important Note- SPOON, that is all

There is nothing that finishes a meal off like a great dessert. Now, even on the go you can enjoy the many culinary delights you might find on the way. Making an informed dessert decision is an important part of being a cosmopolitan commuter. It takes a lot of sugar to keep a well oiled machine working… or at least getting to and from work. Safe Snacking!

The Delicious Science of Traveling Desserts

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