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Delight of the Casbah

Catégorie : Report
This feature will evolve every day between January 10th and 17th! Here is a preview of all the wonders of the “Delight of the Casbah” that will arrive as we go along. For the first day of discovery, I had the same feeling as a child on Christmas morning! A real Ali Baba’s cave. I was able to taste a “baklawa” with almonds and …. it was a marvel of sweetness. A fine pastry with just the right amount of sweetness and a fresh, crunchy toasted almond on top… I would like to thank Monica without whom all this would not be possible and of course Moh Said who received me today (January 10, 2011) and opened the doors of his store and all the secrets it contains. 

So here I am this time and for the next week, in Saint Denis at the “Délice de la Casbah”. The biggest of the two stores that Moh Said has (a third one is coming to Barbès!) is at 62, rue Gabriel Péri. 

It also serves as a tea room.

Moh Saïd presents me today some fritters just out of the frying. A smell that brought me back to my childhood when I had the chance to go on vacation in North Africa with my parents. 

Of course, I am here to learn some of the secrets of oriental pastry. Moh Said uses only Algerian almonds and unlike other pastry shops that are not very careful about the quality of the finished product, he guarantees the taste of his delights by using only 300g to 400g of sugar for one kilo of almonds. 

You can imagine how excited I was to know that I was going to learn some of the recipes for all these wonders! 

Taking advantage of a rather quiet period after the holidays, he accepted to receive me. For him, as for me, it is important to pass on the know-how that so many generations before us have taken time to develop. 

For the eyes as well as for the palate, these pastries participate in making us travel.

I’ll let you discover a few beautiful pastries before knowing a little more in the coming days! Like the “fingers of the bride” below.

But I especially invite you to come and discover for yourself this delicious pastry that is really worth the trip (I’m not saying that for all that it does for me, but because it is truly delicious!) While waiting for the one in Paris at Barbès, here are the two addresses:
-62, rue Gabriel Péri Saint Denis, RER Saint Denis or Metro line 13 Basilique de Saint Denis
-27, rue Auguste Delaune Saint Denis, RER Saint Denis

A few “montecaos” to whet our appetites. 

And a mountain of sweets to enjoy with tea. 

First day:
Fatiha teaches me the art of making perfect montecaos. Flour, sugar, a little almond powder and oil…

The girls have finished the “kesra” dough and will even teach me how to roll the dough in the palm of my hands. 

And here is the chef Hakim who is kind enough to teach me his art. 

Like the “almond slippers” which seem so simple but still require a little trick.

Here I am with my batch of montecaos ready to go to the store. Because I’m always busy and I have to learn quickly so as not to disrupt the smooth running of the pastry shop. But I’m doing well. 

From tomorrow, the gazelle horns!

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