So there are a few Sadaharu Aoki pastry shops in Paris and I was lucky enough to have visited one of them! They sadly, are one of the snooty ones where photos are not allowed so you will have to make do with pictures of their pastries! They offered a lot of different pastries and a lot of them had Japanese flavors substituting traditional French ones. I’m pretty sure I read they won the best pastry shop in Paris for last year. This was a fun shop to visit because it was so familiar yet different than all of the French ones you will visit. They are one of my inspirations for wanting to make traditional French pastries with an American twist. For example many people know this but peanut butter is hard to come by in any French dish. It makes sense, it’s very American. But I think the love of nuts in Europe would easily translate to a love for peanut butter! It’s beyond delicious you Frenchies! Embrace it!
So I ordered two pastries from Sadaharu Aoki and no macarons…I know…what was I thinking? I didn’t have this all planned out. I just kind of went out exploring. I got an Ispahan inspired one and another than I have no idea what to call it. I’m sure in my quest for pastry knowledge I will run across it’s name but for now I will call it the pink ball pastry 🙂 The pink ball pastry was one of my favorite pastries I ate in Europe! It was crazy good! I’m pretty sure the green stuff was a matcha (finely ground green tea) cream. It was sweet but I love sweet and I think it was appropriately sweet for a pastry. It was such a pretty color and the green and pink were so bright and contrasting! I am definitely a fan of Sadaharu Aoki! For me this pastry was perfect! The little macaron shells also provided a really nice texture contrast because the pastry was essentially a big ball of cream and mousse and other fluffy light airy things. The bottom however was a DELICIOUS moist, slightly chewy biscuit or sablé! I just thought it was well thought out and very well executed and the flavors were spot on perfect! I REALLY loved this one!
When in Paris I bought so many pastries at one time I had to have our hotel put them in the fridge! At every meal we would go to the hotel and pick up a few pastries and bring them with us to eat 🙂 It was fun though to travel around Paris taking pictures of pastries with places like Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, La Défense and others in the background. I think it kind of is the perfect way to showcase them…in their native environment. You know it just kind of puts them in context. I remember we were waiting for a friend we were supposed to meet on this bridge. He never ended up showing because his flight got cancelled.
So here’s the other pastry from Sadaharu Aoki I bought. I think it was an Ispahan inspired one. I saw a lot of similar ones in France. I am not sure if Ispahan is a specific version of a general variety of pastry that looks like this or if the Ispahan is the original and these are all variants. An Ispahan is a pastry Pierre Hermé invented that is rose, litchi and raspberry flavored. It looks very much like this one although it has a litchi in the center rather than this cream and it has no blueberry on top. I wasn’t as crazy about this one. I’m not sure what kind of cream was in the center but it was a more muted flavor….I hate to say bland because it was still very good and I enjoyed it, just not as much as the pink ball.
I think the macaron biscuit on the top and bottom should have been softer, it was a little hard but keep in mind…these people are famous pastry chefs, everything they make is delicious! If I complain it does not mean at all the the pastry was bad! It just wasn’t as perfect in my opinion as the pink ball pastry. So yeah not much to say about this one. It was rose and raspberry flavored but the cream in the middle was just too muted for me to know what it was. I don’t have a “trained palette” lol so my mouth can’t pick up on minute flavors. It was good but I would get something else at Sadaharu Aoki. This doesn’t match up. Doesn’t feel very well thought out, just kind of like they decided they had to sell a pastry that looked like it so they slapped it together. Nothing very original about it. Also we are back at La Défense in this picture. I at this pastry alongside the one from Art Macaron I talked about in the earlier blog. Just wait until you could how many pastries I ate at La Défense in one sitting! It was intense!