mercredi, décembre 14, 2005

05.12.13: Rebel desserts, with a cause

The idea when I left the US was to develop and feed an obsession for wine and cheese. Seemed pretty straightforward. About as difficult as standing at 5th & Lex and developing an obsession for taxi horns.

Instead, I am becoming enamored with desserts.

To be sure, I have sampled some pretty nice wines and cheeses so far -- some downright extraordinary.
  • Exhibit 1 -- every damn fromage from Auvergne - Auvergnians are maniacs about their cheeses, and I think they have a point. More on this another day.
  • Exhibit 2 - wine & cheese show in the Marais a few weeks ago. (Metro ligne 1, St-Paul) Met this very ambitious vigneron from Languedoc who has concocted some very sexy wines in the last few years (syrah, cabernet, carignan, grapes grown on the side of a volcano).
    Made a commitment to visit his domaine next year for a major dégustation.

But the desserts here are can be just downright intriguing.

So, check this one out from MusicHall (Metro lignes 1 or 9 to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, walk about 3 blocks north, and oh yeah, they have a few street names here I can sort of pronounce correctly).

Le Havane:
carpaccio de poire au sirop de tabac, et ses fines meringues croquantes garnies de parfait glacé à la réglisse

Not sure I have this completely figured out, but should be something like this: thinly sliced pear, served with a little crunchy almond biscuit with licorice ice cream and tabac soaked in caramel.

Tabac, as in tobacco. Kentucky's finest. For dessert. ("I usually only have a cigar after a good meal", he told the hostess.) No kidding. They take some tobacco leaves, soak them in a very sweet caramel syrup, dry them out (I assume in a little dessert tobacco barn with La Poche Poste painted on the side) and then stand them like little gothic buttresses to create the parfait arrangement. Interesting mix of acrid tobacco encased tenderness. A very nice set of flavors to finish a meal with, and to precede un café.

France is a lot like La Havane. Visually very attractive, a little bitterness coated in sugar. Just the proportions change day to day.

(Oh yeah, the photo at the top .... we went down to Boulevard Haussmann the other night to enjoy the Noël window displays and outside lighting at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.)