Friday, April 9, 2010
the dessert that had us coming back for more
Julie loves me to death but she's still wondering... when am I leaving? Julie has lived in France now for 4 months, and although she enjoys the odd (well, not so odd) glass of wine, nibble of cheese, baguette, pain au chocolat and croissant; she doesn't actually gravitate towards desserts. That is, she didn't gravitate towards them... until I arrived.
Julie understands my dedication to this blog; how I feel that I owe it to all of you to come here and truly experience France - which means that yes, I have been enjoying my pain au chocolat along with my café au lait; that I have sipped my vin rouge while I nibbled on baguette, but I also believe that French pastries are meant to be sampled. No buts about it even if you butt expands because of this belief!
This afternoon is case and point. As previously blogged, we stopped in Lalinde while enjoying a drive through the picturesque countryside. As we strolled down the cobblestone streets, I automatically wandered into the local boulangerie-pâtisserie. Oh what a sight! We know that I loved loved loved my pâtisserie in Biarritz, and this one really isn't comparable... except that, the pastry that we bought is actually the best thing I have eaten in France.
It was sitting right next to the cash register and simply titled "our specialty" - so we took that as a sign, paid the 2.10 euro for it and went on our way (to that cream filled, cheesy delight of a pasta meal described in my lactose intolerant entry). Near the end of our afternoon drive through several medieval villages (with pit stops along the way to climb up to churches and soak in the scenery) we decided to sample this specialty... it had a walnut placed on top of it, so we figured that it was some sort of walnut pastry, otherwise we had no clue.
OH MY GOODNESS!!!!
Both of us (YES, Julie the "I don't eat desserts" girl) could not stop gushing over it as we savoured each bite, licked everyone of our fingers, and appreciated the incredibleness of this treat. A pastry dessert that we could only compare to a sugar pie - but it's not. The centre is filled with a thick syrup (I'm sure cream was involved in that process) and ground walnuts. The pastry crust was then brushed with a glaze of syrup...as beautiful to look at as it was to eat.
And that's when we realized... no pictures! The blog wouldn't be written. People would miss out on my sharing this experience with them! We couldn't do that to everyone; and so we decided, that for you dear blog reader, we would sacrifice our waistlines and stop in Lalinde on our way home and pick up another one of this desserts.
Let me tell you... we returned to the pâtisserie and there were only 2 left in the entire store!!!! What luck to have been able to purchase another one. Sitting right next to it in the display case was another "specialty" - this one titled "tourtiere"... strange since at home tourtiere is a savoury meat pie; but here in Lalinde it's a tart that is covered in powdered sugar, filled with coarsely chopped nuts and brown sugar.
I am positive that the speciality aspect of both of this desserts is the pastry that holds them together. Full of butter, this pastry dough melts in your mouth (I swear, upon impact it simply dissolves), but is baked to that crispy perfection, firmly holding the centre filling until you are ready to bite into it. In a word... bliss.
Julie has ended up in bed with an upset stomach... it seems she reacts to too many desserts the way I react to cheese and dairy products... it's not pretty. What a girl doesn't do for a blog and a whole lot of laughs!