Edit Blog Post
Published: September 30th 2017
Hazelnut Heaven ...
... upon arrival in St Jean de Luz, one of the first orders of business was a visit to a patisserie. The first one we came across was La Grange a Pains, where we found the Ferrero Rocher pastry. How could I turn that down?
Geo: 43.3879, -1.66028
After growing up here in San Sebastian during the 40s, I quickly realized that I needed to leave this place, or risk becoming a bum - beautiful babes, beaches, and Basque pintxos - how is it possible for a young man to succeed in this environment? Being an idealist, I toyed with the idea of building a noodle factory, but as advanced as the skills of the Basque region were, they simply didn't embrace my noodles!
Luckily for the Basques, I at least managed to spread my message of peace and love all over the region, and doing an especially good job of spreading the love to the pretty senoritas bahahaha! It's too bad that the Basques just didn't buy into my noodles, because I had to look into an alternate career, and hitchhiked my way over to a place where they truly appreciate a fine noodle - Italy! Wanting to diversify from noodle making, I obtained my chemical engineering degree in Northern Italy, and eventually settled in Alba, after graduation.
Alba may be known for white truffles, peaches, and wine, but I had come here for one reason only - to work for Pietro and Michele, the father and
St Jean's Beach ...
... strategically, we chose to day trip to St Jean today, since the weather was expected to be cool and cloudy. That way, we were able to enjoy San Sebastian's beaches during the past few scorching days.
son team that started up Ferrero - as in Ferrero Rocher! We clicked immediately, forming a creative powerhouse, quickly becoming the Italian version of the Three Amigos - the incredible combinations of chocolate and hazelnut we came up with would've made Willy Wonka jealous!
It was here, while working for the Ferreros, that I realized the greatest achievement of my life - inventing Nutella. Yup, that's right - I invented Nutella!!! It wasn't as simple as the combination of chocolate and hazelnut that the Ferreros had been trying to perfectly mix for years, as it needed bit of chemical engineering prowess to go along with a touch of peace, a touch of love, and a tiny sprinkle of Buddhist mysticism to create this ethereal treat.
But our relationship quickly soured, as I had wanted to take our collective invention to a higher level - Nutella Noodles!!!! Think of the possibilities!!! Sadly, the Ferreros felt that they had already achieved chocolate hazelnut perfection, and couldn't imagine that it could be improved on, believing that it would only be ruined by further tinkering. So I left Alba shortly after Nutella hit the market in 1964, and went to work for my good buddy Enzo
Famous Espelette Peppers ...
... extremely common in Basque cuisine, they make for beautiful decorations when people hang them from their houses to dry.
in nearby Modena, at his sports car factory - but that is a story for another day ...
I've always regretted my falling out with the Ferreros, and the fact that we never had the chance to reconcile, so it brought a tear to my eye today when we arrived in St Jean de Luz, and I was greeted by the most beautiful sight at the most beautiful patisserie - a Ferrero Rocher pastry!!!! I had left the Ferreros before they came out with Ferrero Rocher, but the pride I felt when I saw the pastry version of their creation brought me to my knees with emotion!
Imagine it - a Ferrero Rocher - a hazelnut enveloped in hazelnut cream, all encased inside of a wafer, then dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with crushed hazelnuts. Is there anything better? Yes!!! And it's the pastry version!!! I crawled inside of it as if it were an igloo and slowly ate my way out, starting with the luscious hazelnut cream in the middle, and alternating between chomping bits of the chocolate and hazelnut crusted top dome, and the shortbread base below. There are only a few things on Earth that can even come
close to attaining Nirvana ... and one of them is the Hazelnut Heaven that this pastry is!
Finally, we had found the delicious French pastries that had eluded us in Bordeaux, and hoped that we would also find the fine French cuisine that had also escaped us there. Unfortunately, we still couldn't quite locate that in St. Jean, but the odds perhaps weren't that great of having an excellent meal here, in one of the most touristy towns in the Basque country. But it didn't matter, as St Jean was still a super cool little town to visit, with or without any good eats.
Eventually, we made our way back for our final night in San Sebastián - everybody was sad at the prospect of leaving this awesome place, and even though we needed to wake up at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning to catch a train to Barcelona, we knew that we had to have one last night of pintxos and drinking in town. In the end, we haven't really had a crazy night out in San Sebastian, but it didn't matter - the typical quiet night here is still spent eating and drinking until well past midnight, so nobody
No Thanks ...
... Amorino is one of the best international gelato chains, and if I found one in North America, I'd be all over it. But in Europe, the sight of one barely registers on the excitement scale, as there are so many better local varieties available.
complained about that. It's just too bad we couldn't experience Nirvana one last time, and find another Ferrero Rocher pastry somewhere ...
Tot: 0.694s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0199s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.6mb