January 2, 2012

National Cream Puff Day

"My opponent called me a cream puff. Well, I rushed out and got the baker's union to endorse me." - Claiborne Pell

It's National Cream Puff Day!

I used to live in a town where there was a ridiculous amount of bakeries (churches, banks, and parking lots as well). I'm not totally sure, but I think the abundance of bakeries stemmed from when the French-Canadian settlers wanted their Saturday afternoon bean supper, but didn't feel like cooking it themselves after a grueling week of work (because baked goods are the best chaser to pea beans in brown sauce).

Everybody who's a local has a favorite bakery and a favorite item from that bakery. For many people that's the profiterole, also known as the cream puff (or choux à la crème). They're flaky pastries that are baked, quickly cut in half to prevent deflation, then filled with cream and topped with chocolate (I've even seen caramel on them, too). There’s really nothing innocent about these little caloric bombs of love... but they’re just so delicious!

Cream puffs have been around for ages. A more romantic food legend says that Catherine de Medici, wife of Henry II, had a serious sweet tooth. When she relocated from Italy to France, she brought her pastry chef with her (when your travel accessory is your pastry chef, you know you're doing life right). And he brought his recipe for cream puffs with him.

She sounds like a girl after my own heart.

Happy Cream Puff Day!