Saturday, 9 February 2008

Tres bon: La Gourmandise

By Justin

Knowing a French person, despite its many disadvantages, can sometimes come in useful. Mark (one of the co-authors of this blog) has been hanging around with a French girl for many years now. You might even call her his girlfriend. I certainly do. Anyway, they know that I am a pig, so cake, pastry, and pie are like catnip to me.

This is where La Gourmandise comes in. Presumably the only genuine French patisserie in Aberdeen, it is just round the corner from Mark and Claire's place. They suggested I try it: I fell in love. Run by a Prenchman and his daughter (or improbably-young girlfriend, or random French person), this is a little shop with a small range of products. But what products: baguettes (including filled ones for lunch), croissants, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins, brioche, eclairs, mille-feuille, various tarts, croque monisieurs, petit-fours, and some lovely chocolate-almond-pastry-twist things.

I have not been disappointed yet. The pastry is delicious: a lovely texture and almost savoury tang set it aside from lower quality supermarket fare; the pain au chocolat and pain aux raisins are outstanding and go perfectly with my coffee on Saturday and Sunday. The baguettes are excellent, and are going stale after the first day, which to me is a good sign of a home-made product without preservatives. And the tarts, whilst pricey, are lovely as well: I have tried both apple and apricot, but there are a few other varieties as well. Buy by the slice if you're not feeling extravagant.

So thank you Claire, for being French and thus able to vouch for the quality of this shop, which is one of the better "secret" places in town. The fact that you have an aunt who produces fois gras is nice as well...

La Gourmandise
63 Thistle Street
01224 625974

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