Local. Organic. Sustainable. Adjectives that bring to mind the goodness of food. Food that tastes good. Food that is good for us. And food that is good for the Earth. However, one environmentally friendly attribute that doesn't come into consideration much with regards to food purchases is reusable. Nevertheless, Culver City based bakery, Platine Cookies is looking to change that with its pot de crème, a luscious treat that comes in L.A.'s most adorable and highly reusable container.
Reusable containers for food are not new or even all that nostalgic. Several brands of milk are sold in glass bottles and prepared mole-loving households suspiciously all have the same water glasses. In reality though, most reusable containers are returned or end up in recycling bins. Although they charge a small deposit for the ceramic cups that hold their pots de crème, when we asked Platine's Chef/Owner Jamie Cantor how many customers return them, she responded, "Almost nobody." Then quickly added, "But lots of people tell us they have a collection of them and use them at home.
We count ourselves among the collectors. A collection of white ribbed bottom cups that has been growing exponentially since we first tried Cantor's pot de crème. There is a rich chocolate version available year around and she also rotates flavors like a boozy butterscotch. Our most recent favorite was a seasonally inspired special, buttermilk custard with strawberry compote.
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In comparison to the chocolate pot de crème, which has a velvety whipped texture, the buttermilk custard acts more like a veil to the chunks of barely cooked strawberry. With this flavor combination, one would expect that the tanginess of the buttermilk might serve as a counterbalance to the accented sweetness of the strawberries. Instead, it works to highlight both the berry's natural sweetness and depth.
Like most of Platine's desserts, the pots de crème are diminutive in size. Unlike the others, when the pot de crème disappears all too quickly, we are left with something that can beget more deliciousness. We reuse our cups in various ways. They're great for condiments used in dipping. They make attractive olive pit holders for parties. During the summer, we keep them in the refrigerator for whenever the mood for limoncello strikes.
In fact, they have come in so handy that there have been times we have been looking for one, only to find them all already in use. But after whatever moment of frustration washes over us, we happily realize that it just means another visit to Platine for a pot de crème. All for the good of the planet, of course.