The French way of life.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
If it were the French, and not the English, who had colonised us, we would have had bouillabaisse instead of fish ‘n’ chips served in our Colonial-era clubs.
The historical wrongs are being repaired, at least in Delhi.
Opened in 2011, L’Opéra, the pâtisserie with six outlets in the Capital, makes classic French desserts like the madeleine and the macarons. The almond croissant, or croissant aux amande, is the most exquisite.
According to Larrouse Gastronomique, the origins of this crescent-shaped pastry dates from the year 1686. It was created in Budapest. The esteemed encyclopedia says:
In that year, the Turks were besieging the city. To reach the centre of the town they had dug underground passages. Bakers who worked during the night heard the noise made by the Turks and gave the alarm. The assailants were repulsed.
In order to reward the bakers who had saved the city in this way, they were granted the privilege of making a special pastry which, in memory of the emblem which decorates the Ottoman flag, had to take the form of a crescent.
At L’Opéra, the almond croissant is priced at Rs 115. It is a sight to behold. The surface of the pastry is encrusted with peeled almonds, paint-brushed with sweetened milk and sprinkled with fine sugar. Velvety softness is secreted inside. Like an underground stream, soft masses of crushed almonds move sluggishly within the flaky layers of the crescent. Depending on the angle of the light, the paste emits sparks of light.
As you bite into the croissant, the mouth is filled with a liquidly sweetness. You tremble as if you have reached the climactic moment of love. Life is infused with (fleeting) pleasures you were longing for.
Where L’Opéra – Khan Market (Shop 5B) 8 am to 10 pm; Galleria Market (Shop SG 022), Gurgaon, 8 am to 8.30 pm; DLF Promenade Mall (2nd floor), Vasant Kunj, 10 am to 10 pm; Ravissant, New Friends Colony, 10 am to 7 pm (closed on Monday); DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon, 7 am to 7 pm (closed on Tuesday); Select Citywalk, Saket Phone 0120-4066888