Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Du Pain et Des Idées

One of my predominant goals for this semester remains to stake out and sample as much as I can from the myriad of boulangeries, pâtisseries, and salons de thé dispersed throughout Paris; however, my other predominant goal now is to actually write about them, after la dégustation! You see, I tasted plenty last semester, really. But, after all the tasting I was left with hardly any time for blogging. But, here I am today to share with you one of the absolute best, and my all-time favorite, boulangerie in Paris, called Du Pain et Des Idées. I owe my discovery of this gem to none other then Clotilde Dusoulier's (of Chocolate and Zucchini) Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris, my bible here in the City of Lights. As Clotilde points out, their selection is indeed quite limited so as to assure a high quality of output. Well, Monsiuer Christophe Vasseur, the boulanger, succeeds like no other. Whenever you're looking for something other than an ordinary baguette, this is the place to visit. Of course, their baguette is of very high quality. But beyond that, M. Vasseur's Pain Pagnol, a naturally-leavened loaf which tastes very much like sourdough but is actually several notches above, still remains my preferred non-baguette bread, perfect with a hunk of cheese, as an accompaniment to soup or salad, or with just a nice slather of butter :) His house-specialty Pain des Amis is also extremely popular and makes a nice change to the baguette every so often. If you happen to be in Paris right now while the galettes des rois line the shelves of Parisian boulangeries and pâtisseries, make sure to grab the one at Du Pain et Des Idées while it lasts-simply sublime, a flaky puff pastry filled with sweet, creamy almond paste with a hint of citrus flavor. However, my absolute favorite of M. Vasseur's products remains, and will always remain, his escargot rhum-raisins, his personal take on the classic pain aux raisins. Traditionally made with brioche dough, filled with pastry cream and raisins, and shaped into a swirl, I am typically not fond of this viennoiserie. Not only do I tend to find it too sweet for my taste, but I just do not care for the texture of brioche. However, M. Vasseur solves both problems with his escargot rhum-raisins here. First of all, it is made with puff pastry dough as opposed to brioche dough, which for me already improves it about a hundred-fold. Furthermore, it is just barely sweetened, perfect for my taste in the mornings. The vanilla pastry cream is delectable, and, although I am generally not a fan of rum flavor, the just hint of rum pairs perfectly with the raisins and vanilla, thereby elevating this creation to a level equivalent to pure bliss. Just to put things in perspective, despite the fact that Du Pain et Des Idées is located by Canal St. Martin in the 10th arrondisement of Paris(in the east), I do not hesitate for one second to drag myself out of bed early on an almost-daily basis to trek practically across the city from the 17th arrondisement(in Paris Northwest) just to savor this delight first thing in the morning-about a 20-25 minute trip total by métro including a five-minute walk to the boulangerie itself. I know, you must think I'm crazy, as do many of my friends. But, just give it one try, and you'll immediately see why. Even if it does not become your daily boulangerie, if you are in Paris, Du Pain et Des Idées is a paradise simply not to be missed by any gourmand. Just hop by early in the morning for an escargot rhum-raisins, and pick up a loaf of bread (which you can buy in halves or quarters) to relish with dinner that night. Regardless of whatever else happens during the day, you will go to bed in a very happy state :)

L'Escargot Rhum-Raisins
Les Galettes des Rois
Pastry Selection
Du Pain et Des Idées
34 rue Yves Toudic
75010 Paris
01 42 40 44 52
Monday-Friday, 6h45-20h
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent or République


Swathi said...

These are delicious pastries, i love to try them. Look like i have to visit France for that. Nice post Ameya.

Post a Comment


Blog Template by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates