A while ago, I wrote a post on my French blog describing my food trips while studying abroad in Paris (can be found here: http://rebbitwritesat.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/les-desserts-en-france/). In particular, I talked about desserts. As a girl with a voracious sweet tooth, the Parisian scene was up my alley for some of the best bonbons to hit my mouth. 😛
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my French post had received great support from you all, my audience; because of it, it inspired me to make an English translation of the post on this blog, for those who don’t know the French language or for those who just want to come back for an extra slice of heaven. It doesn’t matter; without further ado, I present my list of desserts that I ate in Paris. Bon appétit! 🙂
1. Crepes. Yes, I had savory crepes, but it’s the sweet ones that hit the spot. 😛 You can buy them on the street, in the kiosks where a vendor makes it in front of your hungry eyes. I definitely recommend the Nutella and banana crepe: hot and chewy, simple and inexpensive. I ate so many of them whenever I went strolling. Snacking on crepes all day, every day. 😉
2. Profiteroles. Just what is a profiterole? Basically, it’s synonymous with a cream puff, but the one that I ate in Paris was more…sumptuous. What do I mean by this? Well, mine had ice cream in the center, instead of cream. And the pastry was smothered with chocolate. LOTS of it. Oh là là…
3. Mille-feuille. Yum…mille-feuilles…so many layers of crumbly, creamy goodness. It’s also known by the name of “Napoleon” (don’t ask me why it’s called this). I’ve had it twice when I was abroad: once at the Fontainbleau (at a pastry shop which was reputed for making the best crepe in all of France. I admit, it was damn good.) and at the restaurant with a friend, consisting of raspberries and everything heavenly. 🙂
4. Macarons. Now, if you know me in person, you would know that I love love love macarons. They’re small, gorgeous, and hella difficult to make. But the taste is incredible: crunchy on the outside, giving way to a soft, chewy center. I bought them several times, at the famous ones: Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. Expensive, but the quality and the selections justified the price. If I were to choose, though, I would say that I prefer Ladurée’s over PH’s. The peach macaron was out of this world. ❤
5. Eclairs. Usually, I’m not a huge fan of desserts containing cream. But after I tried the éclairs from Fauchon, I’ve changed my mind. My God, I still dream about the caramel éclair: soft, with a salty caramel glaze on top and tons of caramel cream in the center. It had cost six euros, but I didn’t care; it was freakin’ worth it.
6. Chocolate. I’m talking specifically about the chocolates from Joséphine Vannier here; it’s a small, low-key chocolate shop located in la Place des Vosges. My host mother had recommended it to me, and so I went. The chocolates were small, but they burst with crazy flavors like coconut, green tea, even currant, which I’ve never had before! First-time experience. Of course, expensive as heck, but the taste, oh my god, the taste: I bought ten pieces and finished them within two days! When I returned to JV the second time around to buy some for my family back home, they were closed! For the holidays. I cried. 😥 Sad, but at least I had the opportunity to try the chocolates. I vow to return some day!
7. Croissants. Pretty general, pretty standard French pastry, but let me be more specific: I’ve had 1) pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant): fresh, inexpensive, and accessible everywhere you went. 2) rose ispahan: a special croissant that is sold at Pierre Hermé (same place for macarons). Rose-flaked exterior, raspberry jam filling interior. When fresh, it knocks your sock off. 😛
8. Paris-Brest. I bought this beauty at La Pâtisserie des Rêves (“Pastry Shop of Dreams” beautiful title!). It’s a cream puff (I realize that I ate a ton of cream puffs in Paris!) formed into a ring shape. Inside, it contains praline cream, which I love. It was marvelous; the Paris-Brest truly took me to the clouds~
9. Clafoutis. Just what is this mysterious clafoutis? Think of it as a sweet quiche. And correction: I never bought a clafoutis in France; instead, I made it. I baked it. I bought the ingredients and I made it for my host mother and roommate one night. It was a cherry clafoutis: I made the batter and pitted each and every one of the cherries by hand. The result? Not bad! And after I returned to the United States, I made some more- for my family and friends.
10. Baklava. Okay, before you kill me, I confess: baklava is not a French dessert. BUT, France makes bomb-ass baklava. Paris is a multicultural city, and especially has a large Arab community. You can find plenty of stores that sell these ethnic confectioneries just about anywhere. I purchased baklava at an open-air market, and man, I really do believe that the French make it better than the U.S. Sorry, but…it’s true. 😛
– The Finicky Cynic