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You have undoubtedly had other cream puffs in your day - damp, irregular spheroids of pastry split and filled with shelf-stabilized whipped cream - but the Beard Papa model is a different object altogether: crunchy where the standard cream puff tends to be elastic, round where the others are squat, injected to order with amplified doughnut custard flecked with tiny seeds, and dusted with powdered sugar. There is a distinct aftertaste of browned pie crust in a Papa puff where you usually encounter a vague, sweet smack. But as with a proper bagel, there is a tempered chaw under its thin, friable skin, and a subtly rich jolt of egginess that seems to rush straight to the pleasure center of the brain. Papa puffs are undoubtedly delivery systems for astronomical quantities of saturated fat, but the only thing it is possible to do after inhaling one is to immediately start in on another, until the box is empty, your stomach is full, and your sugar crash can be felt clear to the other side of the Tehachapis. If Papa puffs were any more addictive, they would be illegal in 38 states, the bearded, pipe-smoking mascot would be as suggestive as the Zig-Zag man, and puff-dumping codicils would be the subject of G7 trade negotiation.
Agra. Balti, in theory at least, is a kind of Kashmiri curry with roots in the Islamic cuisine of northern Pakistan, cooked and served in handled metal pots that resemble miniature woks. In practice, the word balti has come to mean almost any... More »
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