Today is Pi Day. While I understand this is a mathematical situation, just the word Pi makes me think of something else. So I ask, when was the last time you had a great piece of pie? Even better, let your mind expand to all things that are pies. Taking it farther, what about all things that are round to eat?
I started to think about all the things in our lives that are round and delicious. Some are favorites of mine, some are popular in general.
To get into the spirit of Pi Day, I went off in search of dessert. Near our home is Zoe’s Bakery, a temple of delicious baked everything, though these are rather sophisticated European pastries. Tarts, chocolate cheesecake, individual shortcakes, pecan pies, and all manner of exclusively dessert round things are here.
We got a coconut tart which is less elaborate than it used to be, but still good. It was dense and creamy with a nice flaky crust. I don’t have a pic of my favorite tart in town, the densely dark chocolate tart at Trenasse at the Intercontinental Hotel. It is really flaky on the bottom and ultra-rich on top, with that luscious mouthfeel that lingers on your lips.
I moved on to Tournesol, a bakery/lunch spot in downtown Covington where we got a Kouign-Amann and a Quiche Lorraine, or so I thought. The Kouign-Amann was great, and I don’t even like things like that. Hailing from the Brittany region of France, it is a simple butter cake, but not, heavily dusted with sugar. It seems to be a rolled pastry, which can be easily pulled apart. The mild flavor of butter blends delightfully with the sugar. This is simple and wonderful.
I was really disappointed in the quiche, which had to be mislabeled, or I read Lorraine when it said Florentine. This was definitely a Florentine pastry, which included onion. Stringy over-caramelized onion is very unappealing to me wherever I see it, and this was no exception.
From here my mind wandered to other savory round things. I am a pizza fanatic, and I thought about my favorite pizza in town right now, the muffuletta pizza at Meribo in downtown Covington. With a great crust and superior ingredients, I may prefer to eat this delectable combination of deli meats and cheeses and olive salad this way rather than on muffuletta bread unless that muffuletta bread is part of the Katie’s or Francesca muffuletta…the best in town.
I thought about other fun things that are delicious and round, like stuffed artichokes, though I’m still searching for a great one.
And most people are gaga over the pita loaves at Shaya and Tavi, but unless they are loaded with lamb ragu and fried chickpeas, ho-hum.
But the pita did get me thinking about other round bread that comes to your table to welcome you. The seeded boule at Tchefuncte’s at lunch is the best-tasting baked dough anywhere, and we are also pretty crazy about the cornbread with bacon butter at the new Desi Vega’s Smokehouse and Tavern in Mandeville.
So back to the reason for these musings: Pi Day. The Pythagorean Theorem helped ancient mathematician and astronomer Archimedes of Syracuse calculate the area of a circle back in the third century, but it wasn't until 1988 that physicist Larry Shaw declared it a special day. This date was selected because 3,1, and 4 are the first three digits on the road to infinity. Coincidentally, today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, and we're just assuming he liked pie. Who doesn't?