ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
While the pastries are sweet, this is no cookie and cake shop like the name could allude to. Rather, "Sugar City" refers to the tiny Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, which most likely acquired this nickname from the almost complete dependence on the sugar cane industry on the island from 1640 into the late 1900's. Tourists there can now ride a complete loop on the railway lines designed originally to transport sugar cane from farms to factories in the city.
I walked in with a smile on my face and pretended to turn this experience into a small slice of tropical paradise in the Bronx, asking about the origins of the bakery and wanting to task specifically Kittitian baked goods. The lady who runs the operation is Jamaican like many in this section of the Bronx, and there is a lunch steam table with a few options tending towards that island, although the two cuisines are not entirely dissimilar. Her husband is the Kittitian and most likely the giver of the name, one of the proud people who make up the smallest sovereign state in the Americas with a population that could be multiplied 26 times and still be under the population of the Bronx.
I stuck to the baked goods here, and filled a bag with quite a few options. The unassuming, and simply named bun ($1.25, below) was satisfyingly sweet bread with a raisin or two inside.
The most interesting from the outside, probably due to its resemblance to a South American empanada, was the coconut tart ($1.25, below), a flaky pastry filled with coconut, sugar, butter, and maybe some nutmeg? Of all the items I bought, I think this was unfortunately my least favorite, mainly due to its dry nature.
Great Britain was the overlord of Saint Kitts & Nevis during colonialism and brought with them the rock cake ($1.25, below), basically a cookie (sorry, biscuit!) which gets its name from appearance. The outside is pretty hard but not crispy, while the inside is quite pillowy.
The nicest coconut option came in the form of the coconut roll ($1.25, below), another ode to combining coconut with sugar and surrounding it with carbohydrates. One any return visit to try lunch, I would probably take away these last two goodies after my meal.
The national dish of Saint Kitts & Nevis is stewed saltfish served with spicy plantains, coconut dumplings (droppers), and seasoned breadfruit. I put in a subtle hint that it would look nice on the sandwich board out front before saying goodbye to the sweet people here.