How Éclair Became the Height of Dessert Fashion
Dessert fads change as fast as clothes fashions as today's hipsters and wannabes become ever more globally connected. If macaroons were all the rage in 2012 and cupcakes in 2014, now is the time for the return of the venerable and messy éclair.
Invented in the early 1800s by the French celebrity chef Antonin Carème (1784-1833), it used to be called "doigt de chef" or chef's finger to its long narrow shape. But the name changed to éclair, which means flash of lightning, as it was so delicious that it was eaten in a flash.
More recently French pastry chef Christophe Adam elevated the sickly-sweet cream-filled treat to new heights. His boutique L'éclair de Génie opened in Paris in 2012 and became an instant hit, and now he has shops around the world from New York and Tokyo.
On Monday he opened his 15th outlet in the Gangnam branch of Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul.
A Shinsegae PR person said, "In the past, éclairs were a simple dessert, but since Adam showcased over 160 different flavors and beautiful ornate designs, it has become a global trendsetting dessert."