I’m Craving: Half Moons

Behold the half moons

Yesterday, I was back in my old stomping grounds of Somerville, MA, getting my braces removed (yay!), and, knowing it would be a good long while before I’d be able to visit the Beantown area, I made it a point to visit all my favorite haunts, most of which happen to sell food. Naturally.

At the top of my list was a visit to Lyndell’s, a neighborhood bakery that’s been in business since 1887.


The best little bakery in Somerville


You won’t find super fancy-pants pastries here, but you will find arguably the best half-moons in the greater Boston area. But wait a minute, you say. Aren’t these black and whites?

Yes, they are, but only if you’re a New Yorker. These little guys go by a host of different names depending on where you live: “half moons” and “half and halfs” in upstate New York and throughout New England, “Amerikaners” in Germany, and the dubious-sounding “kyon cookie,” which is the name they supposedly use on the “eastern coast region of North America.” Which is…where exactly? I’m not sure. Something tells me someone named Kyon decided to edit this Wikipedia entry to mislead the masses.

Unlike black-and-whites, though, half moons are smaller and less cookie-like, featuring a round, golden cake topped with half chocolate icing and half white vanilla icing. Lyndell’s “Moon Madness” line comes in six combinations, mixing and matching yellow and chocolate case cake bases with half-and-half, chocolate and white icing.

When Dr. J and I lived in the area, our love for this cake knew no bounds. Often, we would have a couple for after-dinner dessert, then have a couple more for breakfast the next day.  Once, we even ran through a torrential downpour from the bakery to our apartment with a box of half moons under my jacket.

I can’t say what exactly I love about them–it could be the velvety yellow cake base, it could be the thick, so-bad-yet-so-good frosting on top. Or it could be the good memories I’ve had sharing them with Dr. J. Might be a combination of all of the above.

Yesterday marked a new level of devotion to the half-moon. I had a bunch of appointments during the day before catching a flight home in the evening, so the only time I could grab some half moons was in the morning, which meant I had to lug around a dozen cakes in two bulky boxes all day.

I would say they weighed about 5 pounds altogether, which, okay, is not THAT heavy, but it gets tiresome when you’re constantly on the go and you’ve already got a fairly heavy backpack on. I schlepped those suckers 455 miles from the bakery to my house in Arlington, VA. If that’s not a testament to how much Dr. J and I miss these things, I don’t know what is.

The best part, though, is that I’m supposed to see my orthodontist in Somerville for a follow up appointment in three months, so once we run out of half moons here in Arlington, I’ll be able to re-up on our stash. In the meantime, if you ever find yourself in the Ball Square/Tufts University area, give Lyndell’s some love!


Filed under Food, i'm craving...

2 responses to “I’m Craving: Half Moons

  1. Great tip! I’m hooked on the black and white cookie!! Cheers, Theadora (I loved your top shot. It’s a beauty!)

    • Chow Bella

      Hey, thanks!! Yes, the black and white/half moon is among my favorite baked goods. Although I think pain au chocolats in Paris really take the cake, so to speak 🙂 I appreciate the comment!

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