meet the mentchikoff man! he’s a very specific type of snowman that comes from chartres, a town in the eure-et-loire department of france, about 96km/60mi southwest from paris. and about a 1h30min drive from evreux. i think. i fell asleep, so i don’t really remember how long it took to get there.
i love playing with my food… physically on the plate, and digitally when i draw on them. but oh do i miss my tablet! i’ll talk about mr. mentchikoff later. first, let’s go on a little tour of chartres. (but its not a really good tour, sorry.)
we’ve been having a lot of days like this in evreux. cloudy and rainy. SUNSHINE. cloudy and rainy. SUNSHINE. sunny.RAINY. cloudy. SUNNY. rainy. SUNNY. ………. and that’s in one day. my body can’t keep up with all these fluctuations! i’m hoping sunny will take over and just stick.
i do have a small comment. the prices at this bakery were a bit high, and my friends complained a bit about it. i didn’t know anything about the bakery to have a good concrete argument, but i’ll write what i think here.
i think it’s a good thing when food isn’t dirt cheap. when it’s dirt cheap, the quality of the ingredients suffer. perhaps the butter is lesser quality. perhaps apple jam is used as a filling rather than real apples. perhaps things aren’t left to properly rest, so they can make more – but the flavor is less developed. perhaps the people hired are paid less and don’t care as much for the quality. who knows, there are a ton of reasons why one bakery is more or less expensive than another, but in a very very broad sense, price sometimes does reflect quality.
and i’m okay with supporting a bakery that spends more money on its ingredients so that i can have a better pastry.
it’s a good thing they don’t know how much i spend when i visit certain patisseries in paris… because the prices in the chartres patisserie was nothing compared to what i’ve spent before… ahem. i can’t help it! i just love supporting things i love.
they are chocolate (actually a mix of chocolate, hazelnut praline, and butter) enrobed in a meringue as white as snow. but not just any snow – russian snow. in 1893 there was a craze in france for anything from russia or russian related thanks to a newly formed alliance between the two countries.
A confectioner by the name of Daumesnil in Chartres decided to create this confection in honor of the Russian prince Alexander Danilovich Menschiv, who happened to apprentice for a baker when he younger. Selling pies in the street, he caught the attention of a general and was introduced to the Czar where he climbed the ranks and became the most feared and powerful man in Russia. Sadly, he fell out of favor, was banished to Siberia, and died in disgrace. Don’t worry, his son later restored the family honor. Otherwise, i don’t think this would be called a Mentchikoff. So happily, we have something delicious to remember him by!
i’d just like to note that paragraph above took me forever to confirm… because what was written on the card that came with my mentchikoffs had info and names that weren’t matching up to any other sources i could find online. so sadly, you can’t always trust what your patisserie prints :(
then i went back to evreux! and ran in J, who was making dinner. who had come back from a weekend spent at home. where she has chickens. who lay eggs. that she gets to eat. and sometimes, the hens lay unnaturally HUGE eggs! i caught the word “twins” when she was explaining why, but i don’t know anything about hen raising to understand why.
sorry to be an awful tour guide. i really deviated, but i just can’t help it. thankfully, google images is wonderful so you can see what the town of chartres looks like if you are curious.