I head to Ladurée every day around 8:30 for my morning croissant. So when I got up last Sunday and sauntered over, I wasn’t too happy to remember a little too late that they don’t open ’til 10 on Dimanche. Plan B was then put into effect, which was to trot along to Gerard Mulot. I grabbed a croissant, a step or two down from the Ladurée standard, and selected a nice fruit tarte — specifically the “Tutti Frutti”. I’m not sure if that was a nod to the Little Richard song or them co-opting a bit of the Italian language. Regardless, I was just in the mood for something more refreshing than filling, and this tarte seemed to fit the bill.
There’s a nice assortment of fruit here: raspberry, strawberry, mango, plum, nectarine, kiwi . . . and then the pineapple hiding in the back behind the apple. It’s shy. All of it was quite ripe and tasty. Fruit quality can be a little hit-or-miss in the world of Parisian pasty, so it was nice that a fruit-focused creation was on target. And their arrangement of the various pieces was clearly made with an artistic effort, even if handled a bit less than skillfully.
While the bounty of Spring atop the piece was delicious, the tarte itself was . . . mmm . . . What’s the word I’m looking for? Ah, yes . . . gross, or as the French would say, dégoûtant. Texturally, it was sufficient, but there was some odd, almost chemical essence to it. Let’s call it L’Eau-DuPont (a double entendre reference to the chemical company and the proximity of Gerard Mulot to the various Ponts of the Seine), a unique essence I hope never to experience again. Why are they selling this? And who buys it more than once?
So, unfortunately, this is a Parisian pastry to admire aesthetically, but to avoid actually ingesting. But don’t let this discourage you from visiting Gerard Mulot, as he does have many wonderful pastries. This one just happened to be of disturbingly poor quality.
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