National sweet tooth notwithstanding, Parisians have never embraced what they call "pâtisserie orientale," which includes Middle Eastern as well as North African pastries, even though they are smitten with the savory side of the Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan cuisines.
Part of this is prejudice. Many Parisians think that pâtisserie orientale is just too sweet.
But they have probably never tasted B. K.'s splendid ghribia, a mound-shaped cookie made from semolina flour, butter, and just a touch of sugar that melts on the tongue like a pecan sandie only wishes it could. Or the dziriate, a demitasse-size dainty filled with almond paste, honey and rosewater, that is more heady than sweet.
"It's trendy to bring a box from B. K. to someone's house when you are invited over to dinner, instead of chocolates," Florent told me as I paid for my outsized package of goodies, which I later bestowed on my appreciative hostess with an in-the-know flourish.
The article will only be available for a limited time but there are also three recipes:
Dziriate (small pastries filled w/a rosewater-honey ground almond fillilng)
Cornes de Gazelles (small pastries filled w/ground almonds flavored with cinnamon and orange water)
Other pastries mentioned without recipes:
ghribia -- a mound-shaped cookie made from semolina flour, butter, and just a touch of sugar
makrout — soft, Fig Newton-like cakes made from semolina, honey and dates
Chef Zadi is mentioned as a consultant on adapting some of the recipes!
Parisian Maghreb Pastry Shops mentioned:
La Bague de Kenza ("BK", an Algerian pastry shop w/several locations including near the Bastille and in the 11th arrondissment)
Pâtisserie Malika (Morrocan pastry, Boulevard de Ménilmontant in the 20th arrondissement)
Cookbook: Les Douceurs de Kenza by L'Hassan Rahmani and Samira Fahim (Minerva, 2005).
Edited by ludja, 29 March 2006 - 10:14 AM.