Five questions for Milford pastry maker Patricia Zermeno
Born and raised in the city of Torreon in northern Mexico, Patricia Zermeno came to Milford several ago with her husband and young daughter and began baking and selling her French pastries – Parisian macaroons, canneles and other small pastries she made in her home kitchen under the name La Petite Cuisine.
You can find her and her pastries at the local farmers markets, including the Milford Winter Farmers Market.
Her scones are on display at the Vias Cafe (the former Cider Mill) on Route 101 in Amherst and her macaroons at
the Cozy Tea Cart in Brookline. She also delivers to a couple customers each week. Here are edited responses from a phone interview with Zemenos last week.
Q. How did a Mexican woman get into French pastry making?
A. By the time I went to college I was very interested in food and beverages, and I started learning French and became interested in everything French, including cuisine. Through the Alliance Francaise, I went to France and lived there for eight months and was in contact with many people involved in French cuisine. Back at home in Mexico I taught French and made little gifts of French pastries for family and families.
Q. What is a Parisian macaroon?
A. There is no coconut. They are made from almond flour, egg whites, with a filling of ganache or jam. The most popular is chocolate raspberry with chocolate ganache or hazelnut spread.
Q. How did your baking become a business?
A. Five years ago we moved here and my daughter and I joined a French speaking group and I brought my pastries for potluck meals. They kept pushing me, telling me, “Do this for a living!” So a couple years ago I started with the Wilton farmers market and people really liked my pastries and said there is nothing around here like it.
I was invited to the New Boston Farmers Market last year and then the Milford winter farmers market. I was just invited to the Bedford market next year.
Q. How is French pastry different from American sweets like doughnuts and cakes?
A. Most French pastries are not huge. They don’t overload you. They’re just a little sweet to have after dinner. Most recipes are very simple. No preservatives, no food color, nothing artificial. With three or four ingredients you can make something nice.
Q. What’s next for you?
A. I would like to open a French pastry shop. People at the markets are always asking if I have a shop where they can come in to grab a bite.