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Eat this Word: Vol-au-vent



October 05, 2009


vol-au-ventWHAT? French pot-pie. "This entrée is pretty and good, without a doubt," famed French pastry chef Carême is quoted in Larousse Gastronomique as saying. "It is almost always eaten with pleasure for its extreme delicacy and lightness, but to cook it perfectly demands the utmost care." Carême should know. He is credited with inventing the vol-au-vent, a puff pastry box (with lid) that usually encases a savory mixture of creamed vegetables, meat, fish, or chicken. The name itself means "flying in the wind" and refers to the lightness of the pastry. Not as long ago as you think, it was the height of culinary fashion in America to dine at a stuffy French restaurant run by an enormous French chef who frequently yelled at his staff. What would you have been eating? Vol-au-vent, bien sûr. WHERE? Doug Psaltis and Cedric Tovar's Beard House dinner WHEN? October 6, 2009 HOW? Brandade de Morue Vol-au-Vents > Brandade-Filled Puff Pastries