Edible Nonfiction: Today's pick
Les Petits Mitrons by Mylène St-Pierre
"You will go into les Abbesses and find Rue LePic. Then, up the street towards Basilique Sacré Cœur. Find a pastry shop called Les Petits Mitrons. Purchase a savory and a sweet pastry. Then, find a spot offering a view of la Basilique."
A man I had been briefly dating was introducing me to Parisian food, with a little treasure hunt. He was back home, in Montreal, while I was in Paris. Thus far, I had savored a delightful chocolate croissant at the top of a Ferris wheel, offering a romantic roof top view of Paris.
In Montmartre, I climb rue Veron; rue LePic is 20 meters away. I smile broadly. The pastry shop is at the corner.
The smell of butter, sharp cheese, caramel and berries invade my senses immediately. "Je peux vous aider mademoiselle." The shopkeeper has flour in her hair, flour in her eyelashes, and flower beneath her fingernails. "Oui Madame; un feuilleté fromage bleu et noix de Grenoble et une pattisserie aux trois baies." We smile, exchange pleasantries and euros.
I climb ave. Junot and find a quiet little nook at the foot of la basilique. I delicately take the savory feuilleté out of its box. I gingerly bite into it: butter, blue cheese, delicate wild mushroom, walnuts, cream, perfectly balanced. The hairs on my arms are standing upright, my taste buds in an altered state. Lazily, I reach for the sweet pastry, too stunned by the savory feuilleté to clearly articulate a thought. Notes of butter, sugar, cinnamon and berry dance on my tongue, fill my mouth with its essence. I look up at the basilique and take a moment to inhale the warm air. I am convinced, at that very moment, that I will never taste anything so unique again.
Mylène St-Pierre is from Verdun, QC