aka, this week’s Gastropost mission “Pack your Food”.
I first discovered praluline on The Sugar Walk of the Marais which I took as part of my month at La Cuisine Paris. Billed as “a cultural and culinary tour of Paris’s finest Pastry institutions,” the tour takes place in the trendy Marais area, whose chic diversity has trickled over in to the world of French and international pastries. I mean, what’s not to love? Led by the knowledgeable and often hilarious Bryan Pirolli, the tour takes in about 10 sweet spots in the Marias area. Bryan collects tasty morsels from each stop and the group gathers back at the school at the end of the afternoon to taste the goodies. It’s a wonderful afternoon and I highly recommend it if you have an afternoon to while away in Paris (and a major sweet tooth!)
Essentially a rich, buttery brioche flavored with pieces of pralines (made in-house at Pralus, they feature Valencia almonds and Piedmont hazelnuts coated in rose sugar), the praluline was created by Auguste Pralus in 1955 and the Pralus family hasn’t looked back since. It’s one of the store’s best sellers – with up to 800 being sold on any one Saturday. The pralines roses add crunch, obviously, but the sugary coating makes for a lovely texture on the inside of the brioche – caramel-esque if you like. It’s certainly an oddly beautiful creation and, I am guessing, not for everyone. It is, however, for me.
Last Saturday, en route back from the south of France, I had a few hours in Paris so where did I find myself? At Pralus on rue Rambuteau (75003) of course. Picking up some pink pralines for both myself and Adell Shneer, my friend in Toronto who’s been experimenting with this recipe over the summer. And of course, I couldn’t NOT pick up a praluline, right? But with dinner plans already made, what was I to do with it? I was flying out of Paris early the next morning. And then it hit me. I was flying out of Paris early the next morning. The food options at CDG are not that great. So why not bring a praluline with me for a petit pique-nique?
See how it says “Dégustation à l’intérieur”? Well the tiny store was PACKED with people, just tasting. And tasting again. I guess they needed to check whether it was really THAT good… (Hint: it is. Just buy one already!). Aren’t they pretty?
And then when you do buy one, it’s wrapped all pretty-like. I LOVE bakery and pastry items wrapped up and tied with ribbons… It was THE PERFECT “Pack your Food” item!
The next day, in the early morning light, a certain stripey bag made its way to CDG…
The praluline sailed through check-in and security and Neil and I made our way to our “regular” coffee place in Terminal 2A near Gate 37 (hey, what can I say, we travel through CDG a fair bit, we have our “lieux préférés”). And while someone nibbled their way through the last piece of saucisson (difficult without a knife but needed to be eaten before arriving in Canada), I sat back and basked in the delicious light of the praluline.
And even better?
Because even the “petite” is pretty sizeable, some of the praluline made its way back home with me. Intact. Actually better a couple of days later. The PERFECT “to go” food.
For more information about pralines roses, read this lovely post on Chocolate & Zucchini.
For more information about The Sugar Walk of the Marais with La Cuisine Paris, check out their website.