If you plan to be in Paris in September puleeze eat a Mirabelle! One of the great joys of Paris is eating seasonally, but you'll have to go to the morning marche to get the hang of what's in and what's out.
These are so tiny plan on eating quite a few if you're hungry.
On the other hand you'll notice the price can cascade from 1euro a kilo (if you're at marche d'Aligre where they'll insist you taste one) all the way up to 7,95 euros a kilo (2.2 pounds - that's a lot of Mirabelles. Get the jam jars out.
The window of opportunity is small for these babies.
They first appear in late August from the Lorraine area (the Metz Mirabelles have a distinguishing touch of red to them). If you should go to Nancy and why not, just an hour or so away from Paris, Mirabelles will hit you over the head in every form possible. Tartes, Eau de Vie, preserved in liquer, confiteur of course and hard candies and even marshmallows. Yellow, yellow and more yellow prevails in Nancy. I wish I'd known there was a 2-week celebration in Metz end of August with much dancing in the streets, floats and Mirabelle dessert contests. I'd have been there in a flash.
Luckily you can find Mirabelle tartes in most boulangeries.
Boulangerie au 140 (140, rue de Belleville and a favorite of Trish Devine) is the cousin/sister of haute couture patisserie de l'Eglise around the corner. *Note they won best baguette in 2001. This is an award that never goes away.
Also look around while you're on line for your tartelette. A 3-day Edith Piaf festival is just on the horizon in Belleville. I've yet to visit her little museum here. Too much to do! More to come on the fete I promise.
Patisserie d'Eglis was closed at 8:55 so I ran to marche Pyranee for some plumes.
The church is appropriately reflected in it's doorway.
Later on I came back to see if they had any Mirabelle tartes. They did! This is unusual. Most of the 'haute couture' patisseries for some strange reason do not have seasonal fruit desserts other than the standard fraise et framboise. I've yet to figure this out. Tons of chocolate and whipped cream - always yes. Seasonal fruits - rarely?!
A comparative analysis begins.
The boulangerie tarte wins the days for crunchier more caramelized crust. The fancy tarte is almost a 'crumble' but not quite. The shortbread crust is excellent but not as crunchy. The fruit on both are running neck and neck winning :)
Plums or pruneau are pretty divine this time of year in France so please don't miss out. On The left you have the almighty and nearly unpronounceable Quetsch (a combination of kvetch and wetch) ready to eat right out of the paper bag. On the left the lovely green Reine Claude, a tad larger than the Mirabelles.
Also equally unpronounceable and requiring long cooking, the Coing(pronounced like a duck's quack but without the K).
I'm seeing Girolle mushrooms are in. But wait they are NOT from France. Wait a bit on these plus the price is out of sight as are the very French, fresh walnuts at 9,95 a kilo.
What to wear when eating French plums?
This squirrel cardie of course (even if it is English). I've yet to encounter a live French squirrel but at the Agriculture Salon they said French squirrels are noted for their shyness. Maybe a few could come to New York and mingle?