Snacks have it all

Born in the 90s, brunching has lost none of its freshness. Restaurants will be eternally grateful to brunchers for saving their Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes, which no longer appeal to anyone other than seniors eager to enjoy a family outing. Brunches are incredibly easy to fix and profitable, all the more as tables are rarely for two… Yes, brunches tick all the boxes. Over time, they have turned Asian or festive, with champagne and even caviar in grand hotel restaurants.

Another “in-between” moment is emerging: the afternoon snack, which is slowly becoming a part of our daily routine. Its first appearance was in luxury hotels, billed at the price of a meal. The idea was to offer access to pastry chef creations. Cédric Grolet’s fruit-shaped cakes at Le Meurice were a big hit, as was François Perret’s drinkable madeleines at the Ritz. A way to treat yourself with a branded dessert without (over)ruining yourself. A bit like fashion accessories. In Paris, the Rue du Nil has become the Avenue Montaigne of designer food.

The health crisis has accelerated the trend. Season 1 of Covid was indeed marked by the return of home-made food and family snacks. Taking a break was necessary during these very long days. As a result, spreads are multiplying. They are signed Michel & Augustin, Bonne Maman, Poulain, Milka or Nestlé Dessert and they all intend to dethrone the king Nutella. The press also informs us of the return of the marble cake (the new babka) in homage to the late Papy Brossard as well as grandma’s cakes. This is a change from brownies, cookies, muffins, donuts, cupcakes, cheesecakes and other interplanetary bubble wafers. After years of conceptual sweet creativity, it’s time for some good old-fashioned recipes. The revenge of the cake tin.

Everyone will read in it the sign of a need for comfort and regression in these troubled times, or the return to a form of simplicity, a marked taste for sharing and passing down and maybe even an ultimate expression of the vintage wave that is sweeping through our lives. There’s one thing for sure: sugar has a bright future ahead of it.

So What ?

The days of molecular gastronomy seem long gone. Now it’s time to focus on the tried-and-true. Provided that they remain Instagrammable and that we can associate them with a beautiful story…

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