Pringles Rosemary and Olive Oil

It’s a bright, sunny day in Paris. What’s that, you say? Something about a hurricane? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m living in the middle of an Annie Liebovitz photoshoot and have received a free puppy and newly minted sack of cash in the mail every day for a week now. I jest, I jest, I’m actually sick in bed and procrastinating on a group project. Glamour = my life, I assure you that. There are a few perks to living in the City of Lights, though, not the least of which is NEW AMERICAN BRAND FLAVORS, said the Moderately Attractive, yet Paunchy American. (Redefining the stereotype, I say!) Yes, while “lightly salted” inexplicably passes for a sensation back home, stores are filling the shelves with the latest and greatest Euro-flavor of the month, Rosemary and Olive Oil Pringles.

And yes, don’t adjust your TV set, that image of two nonsentient, yet seductive Pringles-brand Pringles chips getting down and dirty on the package a la Romeo and Juliet is one hundred percent not photoshopped. At least, not by me. Pringles wants you to know that this will beat out oysters, raspberries, Ferrero Rocher, flavored condoms, Four Loko, and crude Snoopy-shaped molded peanut butter cups as THE Valentine’s Day snack of 2013. Prepare to get it on, saddle-shaped potato snack style.

Well, needless to say, the bold advertising and graphics had many things raised in my bedroom that night, not the least of which were my expectations. Simple flavors like rosemary and olive oil are easy to make and hard to screw up, so I expected Pringles to go big or go home crying and playing “Mean” by Taylor Swift on repeat. I’m pleased to say that these chips delivered unexpectedly well. The thing that I dislike most about Pringles is Pringles themselves, unfortunately, but the well-seasoned crisps, entwined in the throes of starch-based ecstasy, are bold and vibrant with distinct olive and rosemary flavors.

I was most impressed with the way that the olive oil was infused into the chip. While it was definitely bolstered by garlic, onion, and parmesan, undercutting the simplicity of the featured flavors, there was a musky, buttery undertone and distinctly briny aftertaste of olive oil that was impressive, given how devoid of grease these typically are. There’s a sour, slightly bitter bite not unlike Sour Cream and Onion Pringles, but with a sweeter complexity.  

The rosemary, in addition to the sugar preceding it in the ingredient list, softened the strength of the savory flavors and added a bright tough of sweetness to the chips. Definitely classier than your average Pringles, though the iconic shape would make them difficult to use as a bait-‘n’-switch appetizer in lieu of bruschetta.

Foodette in Gay Paris: Foodette Meets Kouignette

Bretagne is best known for three things: sweets, cream, and butter. When these combine, the result is magnificent. One of the most classic treats of Bretagne is the Kouign-amann, the love child of a croissant and French toast. When made well, it has a crispy, crackly outer layer, shredding into thin pieces of sugar and dough as it hits the teeth, with a custardy, flaky inner core, sweet and buttery.

Even better than the Kouign-amann is the Kouignettes, the miniature version of the pie-sized platters below. After all, it’s not every day that you can house an entire pie’s worth of buttersugarbread in one sitting, so the miniature (often flavored) ones combine the versatility of a cinnamon roll and the moderation of your cardiologist (not). I prefer these for their variation and petite size. While on a trip to Bretagne this weekend, I picked a few up at a well-known bakery and chocolate shop to taste back home. There were five- but I asked them to leave one out of the bag for research purposes. Just to be sure they were good.

I picked up praline, salted caramel, almond and chocolate, pistachio, and orange cointreau. For the most part, the store had classic flavors mixed with more regionally-inspired ones, like the cointreau and caramel (another Breton specialty) but I really wished they’d incorporated Calvados or caramelized apples into one of the cakes. Regardless, they were all very tasty, with chewy, crispy outer edges, slightly waxy, and soft middles. My favorite was actually the pistachio. I’m a sucker for those crumbly, nut-butter-esque fillings like marzipan, and this was nutty and brilliantly green to boot.

The orange cointreau ended up being a hit back home, with a much more restrained sweetness and huge chunks of candied orange rind. This was the Kouignette that brought out the best of the salted butter, giving the pastry a natural creaminess. The chocolate and caramel-based flavors fared less successfully, to my surprise. There lacked a balance in them that the pistachio and orange pastries had, a dulled acidity that overwhelmed the pastry, resulting in a sugar-heavy, somewhat boring flavor.
The almond and chocolate was so chewy that I found it difficult to tear apart with my teeth. These might have been better warm, but lacking the microwave to do so (#parisproblems) I ate them cold. Their sticky, thick texture was indulgent, but ultimately lacking the balance that would have made them more satisfying. However, the idea of sticking different flavors into these sweet pastries entices my curiosity. I’ll have to try making these when I get back to the States!

Monoprix Tiramisu au Speculoos

I know, I know, and I apologize in advance. I am actively trying to make speculoos the new pumpkin spice and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s everywhere in Paris! It’s completely unavoidable. Soon, I wholly expect to see the homeless men by the Metro selling corn cobs out of a gas drum topped with speculoos butter. And I will likely buy them.
This is an amazing dessert hybrid, a store brand product made by Monoprix. Tiramisu and speculoos, as they say, “un gout bilingue.” Miss Love and I had a version of this on the train to Bordeaux, and I was ecstatic to see it grace my little grocery store with its exotic presence. Bilingue it is- it perfectly encompasses the best of both desserts, neither one encroaching on the noble territory of the other. It’s composed of a quasi-tiramisu base, with an espresso-flavored mascarpone cream layer topped with bittersweet cocoa powder, covering my absolute favorite part- in lieu of ladyfingers, the entire bottom quarter consists of a speculoos cookie and espresso paste

This is genius, I cannot express this enough. Two ingredients mushed together make all the difference. It’s gritty, strong, and spicy, and is easily the lynchpin of the entire dessert. Did I mention that this comes with speculoos cookie crumbs? This takes Yo Crunch and makes it the laughingstock of the refrigerated dairy section. Take that, yogurt!

While not completely perfect- the mascarpone is a little too sweet and runny for my liking, the interplay between the wet and dry speculoos cookie sections is amazing. Light and crispy meets sweet and dark, with enough shared elements to resemble a beautiful cookie duet. It is absolutely delightful.

Le Jardin d’Orante Pomme et Speculoos Applesauce

After a busy few days, I’m back in the saddle again, so to speak. I have spent most of my week at school and at SIAL, a biannual international specialty food show that just happened to be in Paris this year and at this time. I wish I could tell you that I planned this all in advance, but I am just not that smooth. And I didn’t plan the Salon du Chocolat taking place next week, either. Needless to say, it’s been hectic, but amazing- I have so many wonderful new products to show you!

For starters, there’s this thing. A burgeoning food trend in France (can anyone tell me if this has extended to the rest of Europe?) is slapping speculoos on pretty much everything, as I’ve mentioned. I have never been so happy, or so secretly ashamed, to tell you that literally 13% of my refrigerator contains speculoos-infused items. This coming from the girl who “forgot” to buy toilet paper this week after seeing a 2-for-1 deal on mint-flavored water. Pathetic, but I wear it with pride.

This little number is the Le Jardin d’Orante’s applesauce receptacle, nothing new there, crammed with exactly one speculoos cookie as per the package’s diagram. I wish all ingredient lists came with rebus-like easy math. The applesauce is thick and sweet, your basic Mott’s-esque flavoring, with a smooth texture and slight pulpiness.

The problem lies in the speculoos. It’s not chunky and doesn’t make its presence known from a textural sense. It’s a lot like flavored water or seltzer- the essence of the flavoring is incorporated into the base, but it’s indistinguishable in appearance from its non-screwed with equivalent. However, I can’t in good faith attribute any of the resounding complimentary flavors- cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and ginger, with speculoos. The cookie itself is greater than the sum of its parts. Without that inimitable texture and crunch, it’s just spiced applesauce. I applaud the ingenuity on part of Le Jardin d’Orante, but if I’m craving applesauce and cookies, will stick to the old-fashioned, albeit gross method of mashing them in applesauce with my bare hands.

La Bigarrade, Paris, France

A difficult afternoon was tempered by an elegant night, in no part due to my dinner companion and the effortless service at La Bigarrade in Paris. I had mixed feelings about maintaining the reservation. That was the morning my grandmother had passed away, but we ultimately decided to go in her honor, toasting her with sweet wine and tender seafood. It was a dinner I won’t quickly forget, and an experience I don’t regret.

La Bigarrade is located in the Batignolles area of the 17th arrondissement, not too far from the scenic Square des Batignolles. A tiny, but bright and vibrant restaurant, we made reservations to try out their grand tasting menu as part of a dual bacchanal to celebrate both Miss Love’s visit to Paris and my 22nd birthday.

We opted for the wine pairing and found it quite manageable, definitely moreso than the all-out blowout at wd~50 and Rogue24 (review to come), with clever pairings designed to be consumed with multiple courses. This format of tasting was both economical and multi-faceted, as it allowed many scents and flavors of the wines to emerge when interacting with different courses.

We started with a bread course of Neapolitan olive oil and a light, airy foccacia. Simple, yet palate cleansing as it was meant to be.

The first two amuse bouche courses, served side by side with a 2011 Anjou (whose producer I have regretfully forgotten) were delicious and springy. The first, a delicate melon, paprika, and chevre gazpacho with a little olive oil, was floral and piquant, something I could have enjoyed in a much larger quantity. The accompanying razor-thin slices of avocado, shredded tuna and crab meat, and smoked sea salt with cilantro was a rich, saline homage to Chef Yasuhiro Kanayama’s Japanese origins. The sweetness of the Anjou played well with the smoky, briny flavors in the fish and creaminess of the cheese.

Our second amuse bouche section featured a Kumamoto oyster with champagne, vinegar, (yes, you read that correctly) Tobigo, and applesauce. This was an impeccable example of the versatility of the chef. The entire bite was infused with an effervescence from the champagne and the roe, and a host of tangy flavors from the various acidic elements of the dish. The applesauce added an essential, quirky sweetness to the dish. The second amuse bouche was a potato, beet, and red onion dish. Not the most inventive, but visually pleasing and comfortingly monolithic in its flavors, like a cold borscht. The earthiness of these flavors brought out the more musky side of the Anjou.

The seafood course came next, a beautiful blue lobster tail in a white bean puree, brown butter, and grapefruit sauce. This tasted like a lighter, more modern take on the “classy” cruise dish of the 60’s, Lobster Newberg, a dish my grandmother may have enjoyed on a vacation as a younger woman. This dish, however, was not laden with butter and heavy cream. The nutty brown butter was deftly cut by the individually riced grapefruit flesh particles, a task completed with the precision of a surgeon, lending a sweet acidity to the dish. With our second wine, a 2008 Julien Meyer Riesling Muenchberg Grand Cru from Alsace, it was perfectly paired. This Riesling had a classic halbtrocken flavor profile and sweetness, tense and honeyed with a slightly smoky finish.
We followed the delicacy of the lobster with another fish course, lemon-infused sole with thin shavings of cauliflower, brown butter, fresh thyme, and mollusks. Despite a second round of brown butter and citrus, this didn’t feel repetitive. It was crisp, vegetal, and tender on the inside, with a salty bite from the mollusks. We enjoyed this with a 2010 1er Cru Mersault-Blagny from producer Sarnin-Berrux. Notes of acacia, bitter almond, and a delicate oakiness made this one of our favorites of the evening.

Our third savory course deviated from Franco-Japanese dishes to a decidedly Southwestern flavor profile. Sous-vide pork with a corn, arugula, and soapy oaxalis salad sounds innocuous enough. However, the chef undercut the bold spices with very subversive, clever Asian flavors and ingredients within the dish, like peanut oil and lemongrass. This was one of the most delicious pork dishes I have ever enjoyed. Crisp, fatty, and smart. This was paired with the heady, masculine 2007 Domaine Lucien Boillot et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin  “Les Cherbaudes”.

Finally, we finished strong with a rare roasted pigeon with grilled mushroom and tamarind mash and a pear and potato sauce. The visual presentation of this dish made me think we were being served steak frites! This was a savage, meaty dish with bold flavors and a clean, aromatic fruitiness from the pear. Very well-balanced, and classic when paired alongside the 2008 Chateau Massereau Bordeaux.

The cheese course was simple, yet astounding, immediately bringing me back to lazy summer nights enjoying simple dinners on the back porch with Miss Love back home. It was incredibly vibrant and summery, featuring a chewy Brebis cheese, a chevre round, and a dab of the best mustard I have ever had, sweet and tangy. This was served with a small glass of dolcetto from Italian producer Bera Vitorrio.

We then started our rollercoaster ride of sweet treats, commencing with a trio of miniature desserts, all interconnected with similar flavors and sensations. A pineapple granita, fresh and icy cold, segued to a brilliant, tangy pink grapefruit gel underneath a fizzy basil-mascarpone lime cream. This second dessert may have been my favorite course of the entire evening, so perfectly was it prepared. This was followed by a basic and bold preparation of sliced figs in a white vinegar gelee.

Cardamom ice cream with a brown butter crumble followed alongside a butternut squash creme brulee, two sweetly autumnal desserts.

Tiny, tender hazelnut financiers with crispy chunks of fleur de sel made for a marvelous transition to our chocolate dessert and mignardises.

Our final dessert was simple, yet nostalgic: a chocolate torte with a smear of white chocolate and pink peppercorn. Spicy, sweet, and prepared in a way that let the natural flavors of the chocolate stand out.
The last bite of the night with the last swig of wine: tender vanilla dacquoises with a sweet Chantilly cream filling. The perfect ending to a wonderful evening. The food was artfully prepared and the service impeccable. Our waiter spoke to us in French, offering to slow down or repeat information at any time, and noticed later on in the evening that I was surreptitiously taking photos and told me not to hide my camera- that photography was fine and encouraged!

The unique flow of this dinner evoked so many memories, taking us through the seasons and years in a time-lapsed tour de force. It was sweet and melancholy given the circumstances of the visit, a bittersweet encapsulation of the passage of time in small bites. It truly astounds me that chefs whom I’ve never met, servers I’ll never see again, could evoke such precision and kindness in their cuisine. In this sprawling, lonely city, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.

Foodette in Gay Paris: Delicacies in Languedoc-Roussillon

I am working on a couple of big restaurant reviews this week, so I’m keeping today’s post short and sweet. Here are some more of the things I’ve been eating in Paris, as well as a selection of the food I ate while in the Languedoc-Roussillon region last weekend.
Delicious pasta carbonara.

Last week, when Miss Love was here, we took another day to peruse the Louvre and stopped for a snack at the miniature Angelina cafe (Le Café Richelieu) in the center of the museum. We shared two pastries- one classic, the acclaimed Mont Blanc, and one quirky, an apricot and pear tart with caramelized pastry and a lemon-thyme caramel on top. I don’t think I’d ever tried a Mont Blanc before, and this was definitely the place to try one. The noodly hazelnut strands on top and the fluffy, neutral whipped Chantilly cream and meringue base were delicious and perfectly balanced, with a clean, nutty flavor.
A creamy, delicate center.

The apricot tart was interesting, but not quite what we expected it would be. The caramel was more of a gelée on top and the fruit encased inside, like a terrine. It was certainly a unique presentation as it came off looking like a savory dish. All of the elements were well-prepared- the pastry was crispy and sweet, the fruit was fresh and tender, and the flavors were congruent, but the caramel gee was a little strange to get used to.
Later on in the week, I picked up these sweet, fresh marshmallows from an outdoor market. They came paired in a few different flavors, but the bag I picked up had loopy strands of anise and violet ‘mallows. 

Over the weekend, I took a trip to Languedoc-Roussilon with my group, to visit Collioure and spend a few days on the coast. It was stunning, and the food was fresh and tasty. This was my first meal after a five-hour train ride, and it was well-deserved and sumptuous- steamed mussels in a Banyuls sauce and strange, wavy fries.

This is a selection of some of the sweets I saw and ate in Perpignan and Collioure. On the upper left-hand corner, marzipan bananas! To the right, you’ll see some delicious pastries called Rousquilles. I am officially obsessed with these. For starters, Rousquilles look like perfect handmade doughnuts, but are structurally superior because they are covered not with a sugar glaze, but with salty, sulfurous meringue. They are traditionally flavored with either almond, lemon, or anise and have a tender cookie base. The number of these that I have consumed in one sitting with tea is less than ten, but more than five. On the bottom half, we have a selection of traditional Catalan pastries, and a gigantic meringue cookie.

This menu was at a little stand in Perignan. I didn’t order anything, but I did take note of the fact that the “complet” preparation, with an egg on top, is available with everything except an omelet. Apparently it’s universally acknowledged that egg-on-egg action is not okay.

I wanted to get this, but did not have the nerves to trust what was basically the grounded equivalent of a food truck’s take on duck confit and foie gras on a baguette with fries on top. Next time.
This was the last meal we had before we left Collioure, in Port-Vendres. Traditional Catalan roast chicken with an olive, onion, eggplant, and basil sauce. Delicious! An amazing vacation, and I’m looking forward to posting some photos from my recent trip to Sauternes as well as some Parisian restaurant reviews.

Ladurée, Paris, France

Paris is too iconic. There, I said it. Walking down the average street in Paris is like walking down a side street in your hometown, a little voice in your ear saying, “Yo, someone was murdered here. I think it was the mayor in 1953. And your high school was where the Declaration of Independence was signed, right there in the place where the abandoned bathroom is. Also, that nail salon? That’s the oldest nail salon. In the world. No biggie, though, you can just walk on by, you boor.” With so many amazing things to check out, I almost feel badly not going to most of them every day. But hey, Monoprix is a classic Parisian institution, too.

The truth is, I would feel kind of miserable if I did many of Paris’s best things alone. Either that, or it would feel like being in a low-budget Bill Murray Movie. “Cobblestones” is my working title. However, when Miss Love visited, we got a chance to do many of the things we wanted to do together. It was amazing! One of those was check out Ladurée, one of Paris’s most famous patisseries, after a leisurely look at a fraction of the Musée du Louvre’s offerings.  
Macaron lovers are typically divided into two camps: Ladurée lovers and Pierre Hermé patrons. Typically, I’m all about Hermé, and Miss Love agreed. That is, until we tried Ladurée’s latest selection. Eschewing the rigidly specific buttercream and cookie combination, Ladurée incorporated many different filling textures and types into their macarons, creating a set of creative and clever flavors.

We went all out and got a giant box to share, full of surprises and fun flavors. Ladurée has definitely gotten more creative lately. Whether that’s due to the influx of foreign tourists and a desire to cater to a slightly younger market or not, I don’t know, but with a bubblegum series, fall flavors, and single-origin chocolate, I was excited to sample their variety. 
So, we started with a classic and it blew our minds. I’m pleased to report that Ladurée’s vanilla macaron is absolutely the best in Paris. How do I know? It’s my go-to palate cleanser when I get one of the weird ones. Yes, I actually do like a little vanilla before I get wild. And let me tell you that I have never had a vanilla macaron- be it strange or straight-edge, as complex and clean as this. Our next two favorites were the blood orange and ginger, which encapsulated autumn in its sharp spiced cookie, like a bittersweet gingebread shell, and its floral filling, and the Rose Baiser guimauve macaron, with a flavor like Double Bubble’s long-lost sister. Not that we’re crazy into bubblegum, but it was so infused with that sugary, pink tang that we couldn’t not gobble it up.
The ensuing varieties were just as impressive in execution. Cassis was jammy and sweet, with a delicate crunch. Green apple was tangy and a little sour, like you’d imagine an adult Jolly Rancher would be. We really liked the salted caramel- the filling was fluid, instead of just caramel-flavored buttercream, and was very smoky and strong.  Strawberry marshmallow had a fun crispy sugar coating and tasted like the macaron equivalent of a Haribo Tagada candy. Licorice was unfortunately bland, and almond marshmallow made less of a splash than we’d anticipated. We were impressed with the palpable differences between chocolate and single-origin chocolate: the latter was complex and earthy, with a dense, rich interior reminiscent of my flourless chocolate cake!

Ladurée is going leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. With their laser French pastry precision and tried-and-true formula, there’s little that they can’t do with macarons if they decide to get funkier with their flavors. From the looks of it, the bubblegum and blood orange are seasonal additions to the menu, so we’ll report back on their winter flavors as they are released!

Foodette in Gay Paree: Picard Roundup

People love posts about grocery runs to Trader Joe’s. They like to read about peoples’ foreign shopping sprees. Hell, they even tolerate watching asinine haul videos that look as if they were scripted by a bored Uwe Boll during a scene phase. So, in that vein, I thought it would be fun to showcase food from one of the most amazing discount grocery stores the world has ever seen. No pressure, Picard, no pressure. Yes, Picard, no relation to the Jean-Luc franchise, is a store that specializes in one thing and one thing only: frozen food. And they have freaking everything. Frozen cubes of ready-made sauces. Defrostable cakes. Frozen toothpaste. Whole roast chickens. Premade galettes that are definitely better than mine.
And the crazy thing is that all of it is delicious. Miss Love and I went on a grocery run to Picard when we arrived to stock up on staples like meat and appetizers, and we were impressed with almost everything we tried. One of our first meals when she arrived was simple- tikka masala-seasoned chicken and a mashed potato and artichoke heart dish. It was almost too easy- baking the chicken and mashing the incredibly awesome individual potato canelles in a saucepan, whose poppable shape definitely conjured up thoughts of deep-frying. The result? One of the heartiest and tastiest meals we ate, and it took basically no preparation at all. It ended up costing us around 8 Euro for four servings, so it was economical as well as delicious.

We also needed a snack beforehand, so we noshed on these tasty little “steamer-ready!” shu mai with pork and shrimp. We didn’t have a steamer, which I imagine would have been the most optimal form of preparation, nor did we have the hindsight of putting them in the freezer for 24 hours (Picard has a funny habit of giving you defrosting instructions 24 to 48 hours in advance) so we microwaved them with a wet paper towel on top, and they were tasty and tender, especially with the zesty sauce of indeterminate origin.

Because it was Miss Love’s first night cooking at home with me again, we decided to have two desserts. Our first was very, very special, not something you’d expect to see at a grocery store. A frozen pomme d’amour, the French take on the classic candy apple treat, but instead of an apple center, it featured a green apple mousse surrounding an apple gelee, cheesecake center, and speculoos base. All the flavors came together remarkably well, and the visual presentation was breathtaking, especially with the little vanilla pod stem!

We also shared some ice cream that looked delicious and promising- caramel bergamot with pieces of caramel and shortbread. Unfortunately, the bergamot flavor dulled after the first few bites, leaving only sticky sweet caramel, with little salt to balance out all the sugar. The shortbread pieces were also nonexistent.

This is a pizza that we ate the next day for lunch. The ingredient list described it as having 48.9% dough and 51.1% toppings, and I believe that to a T. Seriously, this thing was packed with fresh, tasty vegetable and meat toppings, as well as balls of fresh mozzarella. And speck! Crispy, salty speck ham. The only issue was that it was unwieldy in size- not small enough for one person to eat in one sitting, but not easy for two people to share. If I made one of these again, I might serve it with a salad or something on the side.

Another tasty appetizer, translucent buns stuffed with whole shrimp and a careful dot of green onion. 

This technically wasn’t from Picard, it was from the Monoprix down the street, but we really enjoyed it. This is a flammekuche, a traditional Alsatian ham and onion tart. 
These salmon tartare cylinders came in packaging almost as difficult to unwrap as a CD package. Luckily, the results were worth the effort, especially when eaten in this bitter orange jam and Dijon mustard salmon sandwich with duck bacon. 

Finally, for our last meal, we enjoyed our favorite tikka chicken again, atop a pile of mixed vegetable quinoa. I normally am not partial to quinoa, but this was a fantastic exception. Three minutes in the microwave and it was hot, fluffy, and stuffed with tender veggies. Leaps and bounds above Green Giant! It was delightful and so easy. Picard is definitely somewhere that I’ll go again, and I can’t wait to see how I can use their other ingredients and dishes.

Pizza Hut Chèvre-Miel

It has been a long and trying week- thank you to everyone who emailed or commented on my post with words of support and encouragement. Many people came out of the woodwork to offer their condolences, and I am forever grateful to have heard your comments and to have interacted with you. Luckily, Miss Love was with me for a substantial amount of time, and we have been having a fantastic vacation together to make up for lost time.

Obviously, with our love for all things meta and bizarre, one of our first dates in Paris, a city resplendent with Michelin star-rated restaurants, gourmet tasting menus, and plenty of delicious cheese and wine, was to eat takeout from Pizza Hut. Because America, and also because chèvre miel. “Chèvre miel?” you say, trying to recall the latest American Pizza Hut promotion with Chèvremielarama, complete with stuffed pepperoni crust and cheese ooze, or the coveted Chèvre Miel Meal for Eight Pack released in 2008, but stop trying. It doesn’t exist outside of France. 
And yes, it means what you think it means. There is goat cheese on this pizza from Pizza Hut, the company that brought you pizza with a cheeseburger crust and space pizza. Baked goat cheese drizzled with honey. And yes, you’re still alive, and Darth Vader was Luke’s father the whole time. Mind blown yet? I should also mention that this pie was presented to me by my server like a bottle of 1982 Lafite-Rothschild, box open, hopeful beam upon her face that I would not scoff and discard such a masterpiece of lactose mediums.

It gets weirder, like some sort of reverse classicist restaurant franchise. Ye Olde Pizzae Hutten circles the pie with stuffed crust Cheesy Fun Bites, attached at the bread like hangnails, surrounding the mother pie like suckling puppies and breaking off if you even so much as look at the pizza the wrong way. Luckily, the pizza part of it tastes pretty decent, even if the crust bites are the Two-Face of a generally well-maintained Harvey Dent pie. 
Seriously, they are both awful and easy to eat, two bites of salt, semi-melted string cheese, and a hasty melange of spices. There is no reason, unless you have a rare salt lick deficiency, to be eating these bites. They lack balance and flavor, merely offering the comforting texture of solids to occupy your mouth while waiting for the molten hot pizza to cool. They’re a little dry, but Pizza Hut has a solution for that, and that solution is more oil. Peppered lubrication in single-use packets, to be precise.

As I mentioned, I was kind of smitten with the pizza part, at least as smitten as anyone can be with a sweaty triangle of various dairies. The components- an herbaceous cream cheese sauce, crispy mozzarella-esque cheese, and thick rounds of creamy goat cheese with honey, were well-balanced, if depressing to look at once free of its crust lesions. With each bite, the salinity and sweetness had a tasty equilibrium, neither one overly cloying or sharp. Ultimately, though, the poor quality of the mozzarella, stringy and tough, made it unpleasant to eat more than a slice or two. The combination is bold for a franchise, and in the right hands, could make for a wonderful pizza pie. However, with Pizza Hut, it lacks the care and higher-quality ingredients to devote to this pie alone. How else can they serve La Louisiane and Big Spicy Texan pizzas? How can they sleep at night?