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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beard Papa Cream Puffs

Woe is me.... the Beard Papa located near Grand Central (on 41st and Madison) is now history as I discovered this past Sunday. It was actually located in a place called Cafe Zaiya and has been there for years. I loved to stop by every once in a while to pick up a regular or a green tea cream puff, or even one of their eclairs. Now I'll have to take the subway to one of their other locations in the city and there aren't many of them.

For those of you who don't know Beard Papa, it's a Japanese cream puff chain. It's logo is recognizable to us as it resembles the Gorton's Fisherman. What made Beard Papa one of my favorites was the they way the cream was made. Generally, Asian bakeries tend to dial down the sweetness level in their cakes and creams and Beard Papa is the perfect example. The cream has a lighter consistency than a regular Italian cream puff. It isn't as sweet and tastes milkier. The other tasty aspect of their cream puffs was the pastry shell. They bake it in the store and it had a thin and flaky yet firm consistency. Italian cream puffs tend to be chewier and more eggy. The best part is that the cream is injected when you make your order, which ensures the life of the pastry shell. All of this deliciousness could be had for $1.75 to $2 depending on the filling.

For now, I guess I'll have to settle for the store-bought cream puffs at some local Japanese supermarkets. They are surprisingly good, but not as good as Beard Papa.

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