Next Up: Strawberries Romanoff

Enough of the technical mumbo-jumbo. My brain is polluted with tensile strength, pseudoplasticity and thermo-reversibility. Time to find relief in some simplicity. Strawberries Romanoff should do the trick. This is one of those preparations you’ve probably seen on a menu but never tried. The hot and gooey death-by-chocolate puddings are always calling, aren’t they? I feel your pain.

I tasted this for the first time at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago (prime classic pastry and dessert territory, or at least it was in the 70′s). My grandmother took my twin sister and I there once a year or so for fancy grownup lunches. One year, I was maybe eight years old, I ventured off the tried-and-true path (the chocolate mousse) and veered into fruit. Our waiter was responsible. He was a distinguished 50-something fellow in a tuxedo who wore a waxed mustache and exuded refinement. As he recited the day’s dessert offerings he hesitated for the briefest of moments at the strawberries Romanoff. As he did so he cast me a knowing glance that seemed to say: children stuff their faces with chocolate mouse. Gentlemen order strawberries. I so desperately wanted to impress him that I ordered them. I didn’t regret it.

It’s been an odd strawberry year here. The early summer ones were candy apple red but not terribly sweet. The strawberries coming in now, by contrast, are perfect. This will go down nicely after a simple supper on a humid evening.

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6 Responses to Next Up: Strawberries Romanoff

  1. Rick says:

    Ooooo Joe a recipe without baking. I am shocked! Surprised! Delighted even! Does this mean that one day you might even make a few cookies? You have disavowed them before in your comments, but I still secretly long for the day when you take them on – even only so that we can see you bring them your inimitable style. What about if I say please? Best wishes as always. Rick

    • joepastry says:

      Hang on now…I’ve made cookies! Chocolate chip, black and whites, macaroons, shortbread and a couple different kinds of bars! That’s not a ton, but you can’t say I haven’t done any. And have I really disavowed them? Doesn’t sound like something I’d do, but then six or seven early morning beers can interfere with my judgement. What specifically do you have in mind, Rick?

      - Joe

  2. Chana says:

    … black and whites …

    I can still hear you, you know.

    • joepastry says:

      Sorry, I was defending my record and lost my head.

      CAKES.

      - Joe

      • Annemarie says:

        Not understanding the “black and whites” thing I searched your blog to find them and found what looks very superficially like “Neenish Tarts”. Here in NZ we eat these tarts with a lemon filling and a black and white frosting, haven’t had one in quite some time, must remedy that. Might make another nice project for you Joe, although I suspect there would be antipodean input/differences between NZ and Aussie.

        • joepastry says:

          I ran into that problem with vanilla slices/custard square, Annemarie! I’d be up for the challenge though. This isn’t the first time I’ve had the request!

          Cheers,

          - Joe

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