Yesterday I found myself with a free hour in my work schedule and decided to treat myself to a gouter - that's French for "snack". Bien sur my gouter of choice is generally my favorite patisserie of all time, the stupendous millefeuille. If you are unfamiliar with my love for the millefeuille, you can check it out here and here.
Basically, they rock my world.
So, milling around the 13th arrondissement on avenue des Gobelins, I found Banette, a bakery on the corner that happened to have a millefeulle. There was a bee flying around in the meringue jar and the frosting on the millefeuille did look a bit too...set, however, I decided to go with it anyways, and for 2 Euros and 30 centimes, it was mine.
I sat on a stool and people watched as I began what I thought would be an experience equal to that of heaven or at least a hot shower after a day in the snow. Instead, this is what I got:
Soggy crust, close to curdled, lumpy, tasteless cream and stale frosting. Quelle catastrophe. Out of principle I finished the frosting, but I left the rest and went back to work thoroughly disappointed.
Fast forward to approximately 10pm - Copain and I had just finished a lovely dinner at Les Caves Saint Gilles in the Marais (more on that great resto coming soon!), when BAM!! FOOOOOD POISONING!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's just say, it wasn't pretty.
Banette - you are banned from my food repertoire! Never shall I cross your threshold again! The millefeuille is a sacred piece of craftsmanship - its crispy crust, vanilla-infused cream and rich rum icing are to be savored! You are an embarrassment to the French boulangerie tradition.
When I posted my ill-condition following the ingestion of the millefeuille on Facebook, my fellow-expat friend L commented the following: Steer clear of Banette I say. Last time I had one of their croissants I was convinced that it had been imported from Costco.
When Copain learned that I had gone to Banette he said something along the lines of - mais pourquoi Banette - tout le monde sait que ce n'est pas bon! (Why Banette? Everyone knows it's bad!)
Did everyone know this? Am I just out of the boulangerie loop? From now on, I'm sticking with Huré.