Monday, November 14, 2011


Oh wonderful Colorado. Great views. Great weather. Great beer. It's nice to be home, there is no doubt about that. But while there are so many wonderful things about Colorado one of them is not food. Well, let me rephrase that, one of them is not fancy food. Delicious burgers, pizza, subs, and finger foods abound this Rocky Mountain state. But whenever I was going to go out for a nice meal, there were really only a few places that I felt were worthy of my money. And now that I'm back from Paris, I think I'm even more of a self-righteous snob. Did I catch something?

The truth is that once you live in a city where great food is plentiful it's hard not to feel a bit spoiled. France takes their food extremely seriously. They have multiple food laws that American's would scoff at. One of which being that not all bakeries in one town can be closed on the same day. At least one unit must remain open so that the Frenchies can get their daily baguette. That's how important fresh bread is to them.

And when three different pastry shops on the same street have a regular line out the door, you know you are in a land where sweets are respected, not just used and abused. Last night I ate a good ol' fashion cake from a "French" bakery in Denver and let me just say, I think I've been ruined! This was a pretty good cake to tell you the truth, but it just didn't excite me the way that French pastries do. Sure I may eat a slice for breakfast, this cake was fluffy, the frosting was delicious, but there was something about it that just didn't bowl me over. French pastries have a cleanness to them and often subtle complexities that make you feel special just for eating them. How is yellow cake with chocolate frosting ever going to be able to stand up to an entremet of dark chocolate biscuit, praline, hazelnut mousse, chocolate mousse, chocolate glacage, and a sheet of Valrhona chocolate to top it off?

Something I hope to bring to the world when I finally open my undeniably enchanting shop, is a harmonious mixture between French and American pastries. I want to bring to the table what they both have to offer. Traditional American flavors done in the style of a French pastry. There's a reason I chose to go to France for my internship and it's not the healthcare. They make damn good desserts, and they've been doing it for years upon years upon years. For goodness sake, Vatel invented whipped cream! Whipped Cream! Do you know how big that is? It's essentially the wheel of the pastry world. That's huge!

Don't get me wrong, I love American desserts. What's better than a slice of hot apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream on top? Or how about a nice plate of brownies with a cold glass of milk? That's the thing I love about American pastry. The truly good ones stand completely on their own two humble feet. There's nothing particularly fancy about apple pie. And brownies don't exude any flare or pizazz. But they are so delicious, so comfortable, that they are two of my favorite things in the world. So perhaps instead of becoming a snobby French ass, or remaining a judgmental American, I'll try instead to see the beauty in both worlds. Bring some sort of harmony to this dichotomy. Not only do I think it will be exceptionally fun, but I also think it'll be delicious to boot.

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