I fear that I may be slapped with the P.C. warrant after this post but there are words that make me laugh, sometimes hysterically, when I hear grown men say them.
Imagine this. A full red-blooded man perhaps with a cowboy swagger and even an five o’clock shadow with a deep tenor voice (I like to imagine Eric Bana’s) asking where the foyer is located so he could leave his duvet cover scented with a lavender sachet for the birthday soiree serving cream puffs.
So I am left with my head scratching about Beard Papa’s. Who or what is Beard Papa’s?
Beard Papa’s is a Japanese company that has a few hundred franchised stores in Japan and is expanding into the U.S. Their trademark product are cream puffs. The mascot, who I assume is Beard Papa, looks like a grizzled old man wearing a knit cap with a smoking pipe hung jauntily from his mouth. Beard Papa’s face is splashed all over the stores coordinated in happy yellow and blue tones.
This Beard Papa has quite a following in the food-blog world, too. It was only a matter of time before I tried one myself and I didn’t have to venture far.
In Anaheim, nestled in the corner of a Westfield mall (next to See’s Candies and across the way from an Orange Julius) is Beard Papa’s. I can only wonder what the locals think when encountering the Beard Papa’s sign and trying to make sense of the store name. (“Beard Papa’s” seems to be an unfortunate case of Engrish, grammatically incorrect translations from an Asian language to English and often humorous.) But they only need to look past the sign to the piles of pastry shells ready to be filled.
And filled they are — right in front of you as soon as you place your order. There is an option for the plain vanilla-filled cream puff ($1.95) or the chocolate-topped eclair puff ($2.15). Specialty fillings rotate on a daily basis and include green tea, caramel, strawberry, coffee, pumpkin and chocolate. Other products include mochi ice cream, fondant au chocolate, mango ice shower, cheesecake and mont blanc.
Upon first looking at the prefilled pastries, they look dainty and cute. But once in hand, they are a monstrosity due to the overwhelming amount of custard filling. Two hands isn’t enough to keep the cream puff together and further coordination is needed to prevent spilling of the precious interior. The taste is silky and the pastry is a pleasant accompaniment to the custard. In addition, I spied what looked like vanilla specks in the custard. Imagine that, real vanilla. The previous OC fair cream puff is now just a bad memory.
This is a cream puff that is habit-forming, addicting and — might I add — even manly. Even in the midst of this shopping paradise, my only suggestion is that the name “Beard Papa’s” be changed to something more masculine and non-Engrish. How about “Puff Daddy?” I hear that name is available again.
Beard Papa’s locations can be found here.