When a friend had a party recently, she had it catered. The table was laden with round platters filled with what looked like Chinese spring rolls cut in half. Inside the translucent rice wraps, however, were very different ingredients from those usually found in the Chinese version. Everyone loved them and wanted to know where they came from. “Picky Spring” was the rather unappealing answer.
Originally an online delivery and catering service, Picky Spring has now opened a small restaurant in the 17th arrondissement. The same friend and I went there the other day to sample more flavors from the extensive menu. It also gave me the chance to ask the owner about the strange name. “Spring” is an obvious reference to spring rolls and to the idea of freshness. “Picky” was chosen to imply that the ingredients are very carefully chosen according to high standards and to differentiate the name. Welcome to the world of the Internet.
Everything he said was true. Each combination of ingredients tastes fresh and bright. At the party, one of the most popular was the Swedish roll, with smoked salmon, Philadelphia cream cheese, fresh dill, red onion, sweet pickle, cherry tomato, lettuce and, for texture and – in honor of the Swedish open-faced sandwiches, smörgås, that inspired them – bits of pumpernickel bread.
Among the others we tasted, we particularly enjoyed the Cajun chicken (chicken marinated in Cajun spices, Granny Smith apple, red pepper, cucumber, Romaine lettuce and alfalfa sprouts) and the blue cheese (Fourme d’Ambert, radicchio, beets, pears, lamb’s lettuce and toasted hazelnuts).
Each spring roll comes with a dipping sauce, among them jalapeno mayonnaise, balsamic teriyaki sauce and mint chutney. They can be mixed and matched with the different rolls.
The dessert rolls were especially surprising. The apple pie, made with baked apples with cinnamon and coconut sugar, along with vanilla chia pudding and pistachios, really tasted like apple pie. The chocolate dessert, with chocolate chia pudding, fresh banana and very little sugar, came with a brilliant (and sweeter) chocolate dipping sauce so delicious that I had to finish it off on its own.
A great advantage of these modified spring rolls is that they are finger food, eliminating the need for plastic cutlery. The company has gone to great lengths to ensure that the ingredients are healthy and well balanced and the packaging environment-friendly. Most ingredients are organic and seasonal, and all the rolls have a low glycemic value of less than 39.
After lunch (we had three rolls each), my friend and I both felt perfectly satisfied but not stuffed, a very pleasant feeling indeed. We were also pleased that we had eaten a lunch that was tasty, unusual and good for us. Even picky eaters will leave feeling healthy and happy.