This book just arrived on our doorstep. Less of a cookbook, more a book of ideas and inspirations, Paris Patisseries: Histories, Shops, Recipes will make you want to hop on a lane to Paris. French pastries, to my mind, are an acquired taste. As a child they always seemed too creamy and complicated for me. I much preferred classic American desserts, layer cakes, cookies and brownies. Still do, truth be told. I loved the idea of Napoleons and eclairs so much more than I loved the actual pastries. Somewhere along the way I grew up and met a few major patisserie aficionados. I learned that all French pastries are not the same and some are in fact incredibly delicious. As a turning point I can remember going to Payard in New York with a few friends. It had recently opened and we walked out with two boxes of assorted pastries. We sampled them all and proceeded to finish only our favorites. It was quite an experience and one that finally convinced me that I do like French pastries. Admittedly I bought the book for Alex, although I have to admit that I was drawn in by the beautiful creations and their accompanying descriptions. Maybe someday we'll make it to Paris...until then I have my books.
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