As promised, for the final day of the Pastry-a-Day Project (which was actually yesterday, but as noted I was just too too full after dinner at Cave de L'Os a Moelle to eat or blog) I trekked over to the Marais to investigate Pain du Sucre. Far too many people both French and expatriate, had insisted it was not to be missed to, well, miss it.
I easily find the shop, on a wonderful stretch of Rue Rambuteau, chock-full of food shops, notably a fresh-pasta-and-deli called Little Italy. Not surprisingly, I once again join a long queue of Dorrie Greenspan and Clotilde Dusoulier acolytes, which gives me time to browse the gorgeous patisserie cases and even chocolates! I also see their famous scented marshmallows.
Finally, it's my turn, and I ask the salesclerk, in my halting French, which is the very best pastry? He answered - bien sur - "all of them." When I asked him to hone in just a bit, he suggested the "Rosemary," a lovely panna cotta with a raspberry and sprig of rosemary on top. I do love me some rosemary, so, intrigued, I bought it, and photographed it in its natural habitat, on a bench next to some hipster twentysomethings daintily eating fro-yo.
Blah blah, too much dinner, blah blah fast forward to today, when I opened the Rosemary for a taste. I had (wrongly) assumed my frigid, unheated kitchen would help the pastry keep its shape; it had definitely fallen and oozed a bit. My bad! It was nonetheless fresh, light and yummy - very interesting. I noticed a few of the Pain du Sucre reviews mentioned their unusual flavors, combinations of sweet and savory, etc. In this case, the rosemary, infused throughout the panna cotta layer somehow manages to taste sweet, certainly blending very well with the raspberry creme layer underneath as well. The crust is flaky, very neutral so as not to overpower any of these subtle flavors. Very unusual! And not in a bad way (you know, like how we Midwesterners say we don't really care for something by saying "that's... different"). A nice way to (sniff) end this project.
But must the project end? Yes, because I've gained six pounds. But must the blog end? Let me rack my brains for ways to fill the page going forward. Maybe each day I'll share one of my favorite things about Paris... which could evolve into general expatriate observations of life once we land in Merry Olde England. Hmmm. Stay tuned.