Since arriving back in Paris on Wednesday, I’ve been overindulging in everything: pastries, croissants, hot chocolate, marshmallows, poppy syrup, caramels, macarons, fine coffee and more. Starving myself nearly 40 pounds thinner than I was at the end of September has paid off in spades, my friends! There is nothing sweeter than looking at a closet full of pants – absolutely none of which currently fit – and knowing that my only aim in life is to shamelessly grow back into all three waist sizes they represent. Morgan Spurlock was but an amateur. This is ‘Super Size Me’ done properly.
Before inhaling any of the new pastries I’ve been coming across, I’m of course photographing them for future entries here. But I’ve only just begun that process for 2012, so it will actually be Monday that kicks off the latest and the greatest of 2012. Today is “merely” the last of the 2011 photo sessions. Though, knowing I had to end that series with a bang, I saved one of the best for last. So let’s dig into the Feijoa by Café Pouchkine.
If you’re thinking, “This looks like the most sophisticated Jell-O based creation I have ever seen.” . . . well, that’s one way to look at it. It’s actually much more swank than that. Working from the inside out, we have an inner channel of Feijoa – aka pinapple guava – which more of less tastes like a pleasantly funky mélange of both pineapple and guava. Surrounding that is the darker red strawberry-hibiscus gelée layer. Less sweet and more subtle than you might imagine, it’s a taste delight. And then all that rides atop what seems to be a purer strawberry gelée and a very tender base that came off as being delicately anise-flavored.
Their combined forces are a sensation not to be missed – but perhaps a little more subdued than would tickle the fancy of most folks. Personally, I enjoyed the nuances quite a bit, but you might want to opt to another piece in their case if you want a full blast of sugar and/or a tastebud assault. That said, the little wafer above (which looks to me like it has a face on it – or maybe I’m insane), will pleasantly sully your tongue with both a sugar and a flavor overload.
The gold above is beautiful, but it’s gotten me to thinking that more shops should start using white gold (Palladium), too. I mean, sure, plenty of places use silver leaf to adorn their pastries, but wouldn’t it be awesome to instead have a pastry finished in white gold?
Much like the mystery of how Fig Newtons get their cake-wrapped fig center, will the world ever know how the feijoa here in encased in gelatin? No, I think not.
So, yes, if you enjoy sophisticated, lightly sweetened pastries and are looking for a unique treat, I’d give the Feijoa an enthusiastic thumbs up. While I didn’t put it on my Top 38 list last year, it’s definitely a contender in early 2013, when I do an even more expansive countdown of Paris’ finest pastries. And, knowing how much I love chef Ryon’s work, I’m 99.9% sure it won’t be the only addition from Café Pouchkine.