Paris’ panini pop-up
Parisian sandwich company Le Pressing have created eight gourmet paninis, including the Benjamin which combines aubergine dip with fig, basil and blue cheese. (Kim Laidlaw Adrey)
The humble panini has been given a makeover by Parisian sandwich company, Le Pressing.
Continuing the French capital’s recent trend for high-quality street food (notably burger trucks like Le Camion Qui Fume and Cantine California), Le Pressing is now shaking up the simple toasted sandwich, bringing their food cart of gourmet paninis to brick and mortar locations around Paris.
Their tour around the city, which runs until 24 March, will take over the kitchens of contemporary, casual and reputed restaurants such as modern Table Ronde (14 and 15 February); trendy Chéri Bibi (rue André del Sarte, 75018; 1-42-54-88-96) (23 and 24 February); and the healthy, vegetarian Bob’s Juice Bar (23 and 24 March).
The team behind Le Pressing felt that the panini – a staple of the European street food repertoire – had lost its way over the last couple of years, particularly in France, and wanted to inject some innovation and quality back into this breaded snack.
So with the help of star baker Gontran Cherrier, who provides them with artisanal bread, and various chefs who lend their names to each recipe, Le Pressing has concocted a concise menu of eight made-to-order sweet and savoury paninis. In the place of gelatinous cheese and greasy ham are fresh, high-quality ingredients such as 12-month Comté cheese from the eastern Franche-Comté region and Italian ham with truffles.
Try such creations as the succulent Benjamin (named after celebrity chef Benjamin Darnaud of Wanderlust restaurant fame) which combines aubergine dip with fig, basil and Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese on a grain bread flavoured with curry powder, or the sweet Gontran – named after baker Gontran Cherrier – which incorporates bananas with hazelnut and praline spread and lime juice on brioche bread. And during the tour, the resident chef at each of the restaurants will create their own recipe to add to the menu.
Kim Laidlaw Adrey is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.