Monday, June 21, 2010

Saint-Honore Pistache Griotte

Long ago, before I had a food blog, I went to Laduree and got a Saint-Honore pastry. It was a revelation - a gorgeous confection just to look at, and more delicious than almost anything I'd ever tasted, with perfect proportions of crunchy, creamy, chewy, sweet, and sour. I was so inspired that I drew a picture, diagramming each element. Well, that was more than a year ago, and there are just so many tasty things to try in Tokyo that I'd somehow never gone back for another one, despite loving it so much, until last weekend. I was a little worried that it would fail to live up to my memory - or that the other flavors wouldn't be as captivating as that first one, rose and raspberry. Nonetheless, I'm a lifelong pistachio fan, so I decided to take the risk and go for the green.
Well, I wasn't disappointed. It was as ethereal as I remembered - a big, piped curl of flavored cream topping a shortbread base, choux ring filled with tart fruit jam, and three dainty puff pastries, filled with buttercream and glazed with jelly. There had been a rose petal atop that first one; this time, there were emerald shelled pistachio nuts lightly sprinkled over the cream. The fruit was griotte, which is apparently French for sour cherry, and was a perfect foil for the rich pistachio, as well as making a pretty red-and-pale green color contrast.
What's most amazing about this pastry, besides the unique and inspired architecture of it, is how vivid all the flavors are. That whipped cream on top is as purely pistachio as the best gelato I had in Italy, as if the nuts had somehow been concentrated into cream form. The cherry jam in the middle was full of plump fruit, and the jelly glaze was hardly less assertive. The pastry itself is rich with the taste of eggs and butter, and holds its own without overpowering the more interesting main flavors. Everything is perfectly balanced. The only thing left to decide now is which was better, pistachio or rose? And I still haven't tried the chocolate...

Ginza Mitsukoshi 2F
Ginza 4-6-16

No comments:

Post a Comment