The French Revolution is a small lab opened in Bucharest early this year.
Let’s image that you enter a pastry shop to buy an éclair. With cream or chocolate?, the shop assistant would ask. Admit it: these would be the only 2 options to choose from. Unless you want éclairs from the French Revolution, a small lab opened in Bucharest early this year, which offers a wide variety of éclairs. It all started when George Pop and the Panaitescu brothers, George and Florin, decided to revolutionize the éclair together, turning this apparently banal cake into a masterpiece filled with cream. George Pop:
George Pop: “Actually our idea of business is very simple: to make the best éclair in Bucharest. Once we will have managed to do what we intended in the first place, that will be enough: we want everybody to know that the best éclair in Bucharest can be found at the French Revolution and that our cake sets the standard.”
Starting an éclair revolution is no piece of cake. The idea occurred to George Pop, a former image consultant passionate about culinary art, after he spent 2 months in the kitchen of a big hotel in Bucharest, where a French cook taught him how to make the perfect éclair. But before inventing or reinventing a cake, any pastry chef needs to observe a golden rule: never overlook quality. George Pop:
George Pop: “First and foremost, éclairs need to contain butter, the pâte à choux or the choux dough has to be made with butter. In Romania, however, given the lack of butter during the Communist regime, éclairs were made with oil, a recipe that remained unchanged up until now. And that is not OK, neither from the point of view of taste or health-wise. Our cake contains natural ingredients: milk, butter, eggs, flour and sugar. Actually we use a cream recipe that does not contain flour, which is quite fashionable in France, because it is dietetic.”
The éclairs made at the French Revolution in Bucharest contain natural Bourbon vanilla and mille-feuille style fondant icing, fine coffee cream, caramel cream, pure pistachio cream, lime cream or even coconut cream. Every day, 100 up to 500 éclairs are baked in the French Revolution ovens, all being sold upon order, for Bucharesters to relish fresh éclairs. The number of customers is on the rise, says George Panaitescu, who combined his expertise in sales with the éclair making art:
George Panaitescu: “We have many connections, through our customers. We also managed to sell our éclairs in most companies in Bucharest, and I believe that was of great help, because very many customers called or e-mailed us to congratulate us for making such delicious éclairs. This made us very visible, and we could overlook the online part, in the sense that we did not create a photo portfolio, flyers, booklets, magazines, and so on. We have many faithful customers, namely companies, that buy cakes at least once or two times a week”.
Made of natural ingredients, of the best quality, such as French butter or sweet cream, filled with flavor-infused creams to obtain a stronger and refined taste, the French-inspired éclair reinvented in Romania has the upper hand on the pastry market, despite its high price, which is two times bigger than that of a regular éclair. George Pop is back at the microphone:
George Pop: “We, Romanians, unlike the French, do not have the cult of quality cakes, the people are not educated to make the difference between good and bad cakes. We, at the French Revolution, have tested all the éclairs on the market, and we can tell the difference. And people will soon be bale to make the difference too, I’m sure”.
And for the revolution to be complete and the customers satisfied, the French Revolution opened, in early April, a small shop in downtown Bucharest.