Monday, November 11, 2013

Echire Tokyo エシレ・メゾン デュ ブール: Artisan Butter from France

If you baked frequently or read about croissants in Japan, you may be familiar with the Echire Butter. The status of Echire as of the internationally renowned butter brand is equivalent to Godiva in the chocolate world. 
As the popular choice among Michelin star chefs, Echire started as a cooperative dairy farm in the Village of Echire, in Western France since 1894, which means more than 100 years ago!!

According to Amazon Online: 

A famed artisan French butter, from the milk of cows of the small village of Poitiers and La Rochelle. 
Known as one of the best butters in France, Echire butter is served in the finest dining establishments (which is why the French covet this butter and keep 85% of the production within France). This sophisticated butter won AOC protected status (like Roquefort Cheese), and is produced mostly by hand. Beurre Echire is characterized by a light texture and lightly salted, subtle flavor.
The best way to savour their premium butter is of course, through CROISSANTS--the most difficult bread to master well with the Nth number of repeated folds of butter.

When it first opened in 2009, their croissants always sell out fast before noon. But now, rest assure that you don't have to queue to get them. Three types are available: Traditional, Demi-Sel (salted) and Doux (sweet). I always prefer croissants to be hot from the oven so I was afraid that it would not be as crispy. But it was so crunchy and buttery even when not reheated. Things can get messy so just bite straight from the paper bag and let the flakes fall inside. 

Rest assure that the Doux is not sweet at all for "sweet" is just a substitution for unsalted butter.  Another must try is the Financier ¥315 that has a very attractive dark brown sheen. The Madeleine ¥315 is delicious too but I prefer the financier as it is less cakey and sweet, though the Madeleine has a pleasant lemon undertoneThe Pistachio and Raisin Danish ¥473 meets all my ideal criteria of a good sweet danish. It's airy, extra crunchy especially when one bites into the nutty surface.And the dough amazingly resisted from turning soggy despite holding vanilla custard in the center.  So good it deserves a close up shot.However, while the baked goods are brilliant, the chilled pastries are not. The Millefeuille ¥735 was overly saddled with a thick layer of sticky icing sugar, just like a person who puts on excessive make-up.The Deux Cream ¥630 fared slightly better, but it is actually nothing more than a semi-dry biscuit sponge, buttercream and raisin.Perhaps the ice cream might do the trick regardless whether it is summer or winter. Three flavours (Butter/Caramel/Butter and Raisins) and as usual, I go straight for the Caramel ¥525. Echire butter takes up 21% of the ice cream volume and hence explains why this qualifies as a true rich indulgence. Honestly, the prices of the pastries here are expensive. One financier already costs more than a Pierre Herme macaron. Plain butter sables and galette cookies are available and I could imagine how good they are. If you are contemplating to give one item a try, it is definitely the croissant. Otherwise, get the butter as a spread for a luxury breakfast.  

Echire Maison Du Beurre
(Only shop outside France)
エシレ・メゾン デュ ブール 

Marunouchi Brick Square 1F 
Tokyo 100-6901, Chiyoda Ku Marunouchi 2-6-1
Opens 10am-8pm Daily
〒100-6901 東京都千代田区丸の内2-6-1 丸の内ブリックスクエア1F
営業時間 10:00~20:00(無休) 
http://www.kataoka.com/echire-shop-about.html
 
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