Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Best Mini Pastry I Ever Ate

I went to Nice this past March and really loved it - ocean, sun, warmth, fantastic Chagall museum. The only problem was the abundance of tourists, even during the first week of March.

I also loved the food! I love mediterranean flavors and everything in Nice was fresh and delicious. I went to the market at the Cours Saleya on Saturday morning and all of the vendors were packed with the freshest local produce, huge piles of marinated olives, sundried tomatoes, and gorgeous flowers. I loaded up on goodies for lunch - fresh strawberries, soca (like a chickpea crepe), some kind of sandwich from a bakery, and then of course had to search for desert. Desert hunting is serious business, and I found these beautiful little mini pastries that were three for some reduced price.


I'm actually not sure what these are called in French, I want to say it's something like corne, but they are actually an Italian pastry that I know of from Boston as a lobster tail but looks like it might be called a sfogliatella. Basically it's a flaky, crispy pastry shell that is usually around a ricotta cream mixture, but any pastry cream will do. You can get enormous lobster tails but these were about the length of a thumb. I chose a variety of flavors: traditional ricotta, chocolate, and a chocolate hazelnut cream made at the bakery.

Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how good that chocolate hazelnut cream lobster tail was. WOW. The filling was so much more decadent and luxurious than nutella, and the pastry as a whole was the perfect amount of sweet and crunchy and creamy. I would go back to Nice just to eat this little pastry again! Well, that and the sun and ocean and the rest of the yummy food. But mostly the pastry. You can bet I will buy a lot more than just one of the chocolate hazelnut flavor next time!

If you are interested in my food woes, I have a second post below. Yep, two posts in one day - I'm bored.

7 comments:

Zhu said...

I don't even know how they are called myself! For some reason, they look like bottereau - the word is stuck in my mind but I could be wrong.

au soleil levant said...

I looked up bottereaux, and they do look similar and have a similar shape, but it seems from the recipes I saw that bottereaux are more like donuts, and these lobster tail guys are a crispy pastry crust around a creamy filling. I think the inspiration is definitely the Italian pastry, since Nice was Italian until only about 150 years ago. But bottereaux sound delicious!

Monique said...

In my city of Antibes - Nice's neighbor - we had a chocolate lovers festival the winter I lived there. Since it's on the Italian border, it was mostly Italian pastries. They had baskets and baskets of crunchy canoli drizzles in chocolate, rolled in nuts and filled with more chocolatey cream combinations than you could think up! Oh it was amazing and delicious. I miss European pastries more than anything!!!

Leah said...

I love these new posts and your new header too...I also find it amusing that you specified by saying "mini pastry"...ha! Does that mean we can count on normal-sized, large and ginormous too? :)

au soleil levant said...

Monique - that chocolate festival sounds delicious! The one food item that we really can't replicate in the US is the pastry. I've heard it's because of the butter, but who knows.

Leah - haha, no, I don't think I'm going to classify my pastries by size, mini pastry was more a way of distinguishing this little guy from other pastries like croissants. Gives me more options for more posts about food!

Sevonne said...

Sounds like your sweet tooth can rival mine... I just told Philip we have to make it to Nice sometime soon for some delicious lobster tail treats. We ate so many delicious pastries while traveling in Argentina -- they have these croissants things they call media lunas which are eaten with a cup of coffee for breakfast -- yummmmmmm!

au soleil levant said...

Those media lunas sound great, I'll have to add them to my list!