Ever heard of Beard Papa's? It is a Japanese import that specializes in, yes, you guessed it, cream puffs. Because it is a chain, I hate to admit that they produce a rather high quality product. But they do. They even use organic vanilla beans.
Perhaps they manage to produce such a wonderful product because of their narrow focus, the cream puff and not much else (though they do seem to experiment with a few other dessert items). The light, golden puffs are filled to order so as long as you eat your puff immediately it will have just the right amount of crunch which encases the ethereal custard filling... vanilla is the standard flavor and they feature a weekly flavor as well. I have noted strawberry and chocolate.
I discovered Beard Papa when Izzy was tiny because it just so happened that they opened up shop around the corner from his first pediatrician's office. I always made sure to stop by to treat myself after enduring Izzy's pitiful screams while he received the "pin cushion" treatment. When he got old enough to catch on to what I was snacking on, I would buy two of them and I would feed him while we made our way home on the subway. I can still envision the vanilla cream smeared all over his mouth.
Since we have switched pediatrician's we hadn't had a cream puff in many moons, until last weekend. It was our snack on our way home from the city, after a long day. We actually sat in the back of the shop (which is nothing to write home about) and ate our puffs there. Izzy savored every bite and we even contemplated getting a third but someone has to know when to stop..right!?
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