Thursday, May 19, 2011

Patisserie Orientale - Brussels

Walk purposefully without intent scanning your surroundings. Let your brain naturally process incoming images. You're not blind to anything, seeing everything. Great food finds are made this way. Then when purposefully trying to find your serendipitous discovery again, is it hidden?

This was my Patisserie Orientale experience in Brussels. Found it by accident Saturday, tried to find it Sunday and couldn't, gave up and then rediscovered it.
 A patisserie could be your ordinary French bakery, but the Orientale elevates that concept. Look below at the colorful dessert mounds. Dates, figs, almonds, walnuts, pistachio, and more are featured here. This is the place for nifty dessert creations.
 Here are Saturday's selections back to front. A bird's nest with almond "eggs", an almond and pistachio carrè fantaisie (fancy square), green pistache & amande bourse (meaning bag), and l'orange corne de gazelle (horn of gazelle). My favorite was the bourse for taste and design. Second was the square dessert for the fruit sweet underlayer.
 Sunday's adventure led me to a larger tasting. Workouts were in my future. From top left working clockwise we have a twisted pastry with sesame seeds and a syrup (possibly date?), pastry stuffed with crushed nuts and date or fig paste, almond date hearts with some framboise in the filling, amande and mandarine bourse, pistache and noix de coco rocher (boulder), and a packaged dessert of crushed petals around a dense date and pistache mixture (bonus citrus notes).
These selections were based on color and potential ingredients. Afterwards, I wanted to magically transport this place back to Porto then to Colorado. Winners were the twisted pastry especially with the bring you down to earth sesames, the bourse thanks to the amazing mandarine flavor, and the rocher (ahhhh... coconut).

Patisserie Orientale is located near the Grand Palace at #19 Rue du Marche-Aux-Herbes GrasMarkt. Prices are €2.50 per 100 grams.

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