I would have to say the proof is in the puff. Beard Papa's to be exact. This cream puff packs a tasty punch. The origins of this lovely mound of delight started in Osaka, Japan. The word has spread and so has their real estate. I found a store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (on Broadway in between W 76th and 77th Streets) and so glad I did. The sign outside is what pulled me in. Who would boast such a thing, world's best cream puff? Bold, Brazen, Bonkers??? Perhaps. I have had a lot of great cream puffs in my day, so it was impossible to pass up the opportunity to have the worlds' best. My fascination with cream puffs started in fourth grade, reading a story about a court jester juggling them. In the story, the cream puffs were light as a feather, with a sweet creamy center, juggling them was easy, floating through the air with the greatest of ease. The Jester juggled at least a dozen.
Eating them was as much fun as juggling them, or so the story goes as best as I can remember. I like cream puffs for much the same reason, light savory outside and a sweet creamy inside. Most kids were probably interested in the juggling, not me.
Beard Papa's cream puffs are delicious. Don't know if they are in fact the world's best, but they are exceptionally excellent. I think what sets their cream puffs apart from others, is in the simplicity of them. Quality double layered choux pastry dough, made and baked in the shop, the cream, a vanilla custard, is infused into the puff when you order one, so the cream puff is fresh. It doesn't sit in a refrigerated case, getting soggy. Bitting into a Beard Papa's cream puff is wonderful with its crispy savory outside and cool custard oozing out of the center. Be prepared with a napkin to help catch the over flow or just lap it up with your tongue. They are a bit messy, but that adds to their charm.
|Puffs going into the oven.|
|Puffs, loads of freshly baked puffs, oh my.|
|Custard being infused.|
I had two of these puffs in the span of six days. The first time I had one, it was just a puff with the custard, the next time I ordered a puff with the dark chocolate on the top. What a nice addition to an already delightful treat.
|A puff with a light dusting of powdered sugar.|
|Chocolate eclair puff|
|Keeping it simple.|