IT’S NATIONAL PEARS HELENE DAY!
We just cannot get enough of Auguste Escoffier, it seems. Whoever designed the food holiday calendar definitely had this guy in mind, considering that we’ve had 3 holidays in 3 months – and there’s another next week – of dishes he invented!
This time around, Escoffier put together a dessert to celebrate an operetta by Offenbach, “La Belle Hélène,” about Helen of Troy and Paris. You know, face launching ships and all. But the key to Offenbach’s style was satire/parody, which I guess appealed to our french Chef of the day. He just couldn’t stop naming dishes after things that he liked, but I would imagine that his wife probably wouldn’t like him naming so many things after other ladies…
Anyway, poire belle hélène is very, very similar to Peach Melba. You poach some fruit in vanilla-y syrup and then serve over ice cream. Only this time, the fruit is pears, and the sauce is chocolate.
They were pretty good. We think we like the raspberry sauce on peaches better than chocolate on pears. And maybe SP‘s poaching left something to be desired, but it just didn’t achieve the level of awesome that we expected. I guess we’ll just have to travel to France and have a descendant of Escoffier make some stuff for us.
Tomorrow is National Artichoke Hearts Day!