Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vanille Patisserie

I have said before that I have a bias toward French food.  Many of the techniques found in fine dining originated with the French and French Pastries are things of art and beauty (as well as tasting good).  There are actually two types of French bakeries, boulangeries where breads, croissants, and other baked goods like cakes are made and sold, and patisseries, bakeries that make pastries and sweets.  In France, patisserie is a controlled term and can only be used by bakeries that employ a master baker or patissier.  I went recently to Vanille Patisserie recently which is owned by 2008 World Pastry Champion, Dimitri Fayard, so it seems to follow that rule.  Walking into the shop reminded me of the patisseries in France.  There was a wide assortment of very beautiful pastries.  There were tarts, petits fours, entremets (mousse cakes), and brownies, but I was there for the Macarons.  Macarons are essentially meringue sandwich cookies that are brightly colored and come in a wide variety of flavors.  They are very light and delicate and it amazes me how much flavor they can contain.  I bought a dozen macarons, all of different flavors (and colors).  We had Strawberry Lemongrass (yellow airbrushed with red), Rose (light pink), Raspberry (dark pink), Earl Grey (blue), Lavender (purple), Chocolate Banana (yellow dusted with cocoa powder), Caramel (dark tan), Coffee (tan), and Nutella, Stout, Chocolate, and another that I don't remember that were all brown.  While they were all light, sweet, and delicate, they all had distinct flavors.  My favorites were Caramel, Coffee, Earl Grey, and Lavender.

These are a great treat and there were still some flavors that I haven not yet tried so I will definitely have to go back.  Luckily, they are pretty close to where I live.      

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