In Paris, pastry chefs of Syrian, Moroccan and Algerian origin are using their creativity to combat the "stereotypes" surrounding traditional desserts. The success of these upmarket places is evident, especially during Ramadan.
"Today there is a real work that has been done to highlight French terroirs, or Italian, or even in wine in California, etc. But I found that the Moroccan terroir had nothing to envy to these other countries and that it was not highlighted enough. This is a bit of a challenge for me today. And I started with the gazelle horn, because it's the pastry that is the best known in France today, in any case of oriental pastries in the very broad sense of the term." saidSara Boukhaled, founder of the French-Moroccan pastry shop Maison Gazelle.
According to Myriam Sabet, pastry chef and owner of Maison Aleph, traditional Maghrebi pastries are one of the most famous desserts in the world not just because of their varied and irresistible taste but also because of their forms.
"The first time I posted a photo of the little nests on social networks, I didn't even have a page, nothing at all. During the night, the photo had really gone around the world because of the time zones. I posted it in the evening, and in the morning I woke up, there were thousands of likes."
Many think Maghrebi pastries are ideal for those with a sweet tooth while others find the taste quite original.
"It's the first time I've found original cakes: the shape, the small size... In addition to flavours that we don't necessarily have, we have mixtures of flavours. And above all, very little sugar, you can really feel the ingredients," said Jean-Marc Gaudet, retired, regular Diamande customer.
"Here I love the little oriental pastries with the salted butter caramel with a little whipped cream on top, it's really too good. I also came once because they were in the top 10 of the galettes des rois, they had a speciality, it was a chocolate-pistachio galette des rois I think, it was really good too, but it's especially the little pastries that I love, with the fleur de lait cream that they make to take away in a little pot, that's great" saidAlfred Barny, PE teacher, regular customer of Maison Aleph.
These pastries are popular during Ramadan, after a day of fasting, shops set up specifically to sell these popular treat during the holy month. They are also available year round.