07 September 2008

biscuits roses de Reims

une biscuit rose de Reims

Biscuit rose de Reims - what is that, you wonder? Why, it is a sponge cookie. A delicious dunking cooking for champagne. I prefer to dip it in milk. It is airy, pink, and dusted with a lovely layer of powdered sugar. It's made in Reims, a city in the Northeast region of France that is very famous for its champagne. In fact, only champagne made from Champagne may be called champagne - all others must be called sparkling wine! The French protect their local specialities very seriously, no imitators are allowed!

un sachet de biscuits de Reims

My obsession with this cookie began here. I was searching for a simple cookie recipe to make, and this was perfect! Except, what was this biscuit rose de reims ingredient? A cookie to make another cookie? I wanted to try this cookie! And I didn't want to use a substitution, so in vain I searched Whole Foods, World Market, Spec's, and Central Market for this mysterious biscuit of reims. All ended in failure. It is a very rare product in the United States indeed! I came very close to ordering a box online of 12 for 6.00 - but the 10.00 shipping discouraged me. After all, I was going to France, couldn't I just wait a few months?

And wait I did. The moment I found myself at a supermarket (E.leclerc, in fact) I found them and happily nabbed them! My first bite into them... pure happiness! I dipped them into milk... perfection! They soak up all the liquid and stay in one piece! They don't fall apart! These are strong cookies! In fact, that is what biscuit means - twice baked - for extra soaking strength. They also taste very good not dipped, as they are airy and light. But why eat them plain when they are made to be dunked?

Before my trip, I stumbled upon another post by paris breakfasts. I was hooked even more! There was a factory and a boutique for these cookies!? I set aside Reims as a potential day trip for when I went to France.

Toward the end of my France trip, I had at the time spent 8 long days in Paris by myself. I was not sick of the city, but I needed a break. Just a little time to breathe. So I planned two day trips: one to Rouen and one to Reims. Rouen is another story. A few days before I was going to go to Reims, by French penpal Tiphaine called me up and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was planning on going to Reims. And she told me that she would like to come with me - and she would drive! And I could also spend the night at her house. I was hesitant at first because I had booked for a hostel and had to catch a train the day afterwards... but I accepted anyway!

I made my way to Etampes, a small village close to where she lived, and off we went to Reims. Or, tried to. Her car began to make funny noises and so we called the trip off. On the way back, we took a detour to Vaux le Vicomte. (That's another story, of course). So Reims never happened. But it's okay - I have la prochaine fois - the next time! In the end, she took me to Carrefour, a giant supermarket, where I bought 4 sacks of these cookies to take home. I gave a pack to her family, and we had a lovely dinner with, of course, champagne and biscuits roses de reims at the end ! Reims the city did not work out (and just as well, as the factory was closed for the august holiday), but I still experienced the cookie, champagne, and most importantly, the friendship! (One day I will write a more detailed Tiphaine entry - she is very special and I am so glad to have met her, but I need an entire day to write about my experiences with her!)

trois biscuits de Reims

And now, back in Texas, I am down to one precious sachet of these cookies. (one pack went to my cousin.) When they run out, I will just have to wait until la prochaine fois when I can buy more. I am sad just thinking about the day I have to eat the last cookie :(


Jemille said...

I'm sure we're not the only two addicts of Biscuits Roses de Reims, but I was surprised to read your great blog about your love of this unique cookie.

I came upon in Tuesday Morning, the discount retailer. I have a cookie and candy tin addiction, and thought it was a lovely tin, so I bought it. If I don't like the contents, I just give them away.

Like you, I was amazed at how incredibly delicious they are! I, too, love them in milk.

This summer, we just hosted a young lady from Troyes, in the Champagne region. When she unpacked her suitcase, she presented me with a lovely sack of the cookies.

I told her they were my favorite, but I'm sure she just thought I was being polite. I tried to find the tin, but it hasn't surfaced yet.

Have you tried Gerlineas? I think they are biscuits dietetiques. Most American cookies are too icky sweet, but these are great - and even have protein from soy. I like the Citron-Vanille. They are great to keep in your car when traveling around in case you find yourself marooned on a holiday or Sunday and nothing's open.

I don't like beer, wine, coffee, or chocolate, so I would have starved to death one day in Laval if I hadn't found an ice cream parlour open. I wished I had brought my biscuits along with me!

I have posted a few blogs on ajc.com about cheap-chic souvenirs and other travel-related subjects. I mention the exact type of biscuits in it.

Bon voyages!

cathy said...

@jemille: yay! another biscuit roses lover :) i haven't tried gerlineas, but now I will have to. thanks for the recommendation! i actually have not had a reims cookie in a few months, but it's okay because I will be in france soon where I can happily munch on them daily!