Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Éclairs in Paris

An Auckland friend presently in France on holiday sent me the link to this wonderful foodie blog - "David Lebovitz -living the sweet life in Paris". 

And I see leading NZ food writer Lauraine Jacobs describes the blog as "one of the best on earth". I would have to agree with her. Check it out below and then use the link to see the full blog.

eclairs july 14 and pecan
I’m often asked about upcoming trends and each time it happens, I am sorely tempted to respond, “If I could see the future, I’d be buying lottery tickets.” I guess it makes good press – but the unfortunate thing about most trends is that they are often temporary. (In many cases, it’s a relief to see them go when their time is up.) Yet other times, a trend brings something to the foreground, allowing us take a fresh look at it.

One trend that isn’t necessarily something new in Paris, is l’éclair, a torpedo-like pastry stuffed with a creamy filling then dipped or brushed with glaze. I’ve been eating them ever since I was a child, loving the tender, eggy pastry contrasting with the sugary icing striped down the top. Most bakeries in Paris have them and I pick one up every once in a while since they make a nice snack. They’re not overly rich, nor are they too-filling; they seem just enough to satisfy me without bogging me down. And they’re also easy to handle when navigating sidewalks riddled with walking people diagonally. (Although in spite of my holding on for dear life, I’ve almost lost a few in the fray.)

Two places have opened up in Paris, featuring éclairs. And lots of ‘em. But you won’t find only plain old coffee or chocolate at either place. Instead, be prepared for cru (single-origin) chocolate fillings, fruity combinations like passion fruit-raspberry, and variations on the salted butter-caramel theme.

eclairs in paris
While preparing for the next update of my Paris Pastry Guide app, I did a tasting of the éclairs. And I have to say, I was pretty impressed. At L’Éclair de Génie, pastry chef Christophe Adam prepares slightly smaller sized pastries that you’ll find at the typical corner bakery, but the flavors are intense and the decoration that first put me off (I’m a classicist) won me over because – well, they just tasted so good.

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