This is why I get so picky about other shops’ work. If Aoki can produce a piece like this, why does Blé Sucré peddle this crap, and why do they think this is somehow cool to sell? The above is a piece of art, and the pastries in those links are most definitely not the work of pastry professionals. I swear some patisseries should just take stock every morning, and assuming they hadn’t produced enough that was truly presentable for the day, they should hang a sign on the door that says, “Closed. Our work sucks ****. Please go elsewhere, until we get competent.” It would certainly spare a lot of people wasted time and money. Sorry, but it’s true.
Yes, I understand there’s bound to be a chasm in the quality of work, from shop to shop. The larger operations have too many inexperienced people working without involved guidance from the chef patissiers, and some of the acclaimed smaller shops are just hyped mid-grade operations. So, yes, of course, not everyone can produce such a stunning Tarte aux Fruits Rouges!
My notes say that the this little guy could easily give other shops’ tartes “a spanking”. Crowned with fruit so perfect and ripe that it looks plastic, the flavors run a delicious gamut – from sweet berries to tart currants. The crème patissiere a la pistache and crème frangipane beneath are quite pleasant, albeit with a hint of that “curious” flavor that sometimes weaves its way into frangipane. I found the pate sablée shell fairly mild – very present amongst the flavors of the fruit and frangipane, but not pushing them aside. Oh, and strawberry macaron garnish? Yum.
One day I’m going to have to do a post or a two-parter called “Beauties & The Beasts”. I’ll assemble photos of all the loveliest-looking pastries and photos of the most tragic. After I a tear apart the shoddiest work, with no holds barred, perhaps my pastry rage will be at least temporarily pacified – at least enough to go a few months without mentioning the likes of Arnaud Larher and others whose **** infuriates me.
I also might need to just steer clear of some of the best shops for a while and try to forget their excellence, while I indulge in some of the more humble works of other boutiques. Given that there are plenty of patisseries with delicious work that looks homely, I think that might need to be my plan of action for a least part of the impending 6 month Parisian pastry binge. But I digress…
Yes, consider grabbing Aoki’s Tarte aux Fruits Rouge. It’s hard to imagine a red fruit tarte more beautiful, and it’s a joy to gobble down. The next Aoki pastry I show you guys, however, will be what I believe to be his single greatest work. So stay tuned for a caramel tarte that’s sure to redefine the very notion of scrumtrulescence!