Imagine a world without bakeries. What does that leave us with? A sad, lonely world where people lack the liberty of taming their taste buds with the sweetness of a custard cream puff.
During my stay in New York over the summer, my of cravings for sweet treats were amplified with the surplus of bakeries. Every time I passed one, I couldn't help stealing a glance at the pastries on display. I would be compelled to enter for various reasons: the smell of fresh baked goods and hot chocolate brewing at the back of the shop, and the sight of dainty treats sitting on the display counter.
Beard Papa's caught my attention one afternoon. Located on the Upper West Side, just a few blocks from Central Park, it was a small, cozy size and situated beside a cheese shop. I'd had Beard Papa's a few years ago and I'd always liked the cream puffs. It was a familiar shop in a foreign city.
I wasn't very hungry, but I went in anyway because my mind compelled me to enter. I'd gone in for a vanilla cream puff, but I saw the cute paris brests smiling at me from the display counter and I decided to get a chocolate-coated paris brest as well.
Come to mama!
Half of the chilled pastry was shelled with frozen chocolate, leaving the other half exposed beneath the thin sheath of paper that contained it. The inside was filled with rich vanilla cream. The marriage of chocolate and sweet vanilla produced a luscious taste that made me want to buy a box of eclair paris brests to go. But I thought about the long subway ride home and decided against it.
The original cream puff was filled with the same sweet vanilla cream that laced the insides of the previous pastry. The only difference was the texture... and the lack of chocolate. It was a crispy puff, sprinkled with powdered sugar. The inside was hollow expect for a generous pool of fresh, chilled cream. That left me feeling bloated.
The cream puffs come in a range of flavors, including green tea, dulce le leche, pumpkin and more!
Read the reviews of other satisfied customers here and head over to your nearest Beard Papa's soon!
Photographed and written by Carissa Gan.