Exploring and Enjoying Parisian Bakeries: Sweets, Desserts and Much Much More
There is truly no way to do justice to the depth and variety of delectable goodies available at a good Parisian Patisserie in one article. You will find an often overwhelming selection of tarts, chocolates, pastries, cookies and macarons (which seem to be everywhere these days). Some will be familiar to you, others will be new and they are worth seeking out. Think variety and you will not be disappointed.
Tarte Aux Fruit or Fruit tarts are commonly found in both individual and large. The quality is very reliable even in less than great bakeries. Choices include mure (blackberry), citron (lemon), fraise (strawberry), framboise (raspberry) and poire (pear). Many tarts will mix fruits for design and color. Fillings range from simple glazes to rich creams. The best ones run simple like this:
Eclairs. I confidently wager that Paris has the best eclairs on earth with a variety of fillings including chocolate, coffee and vanilla creams. Take a moment to read my review of Patiserrie Stohrer and then consider going there. It was that good, the bakery is a throwback to Paris in the 1700’s and Rue Montorgeuil and the area around it are worth the trip.
Macarons. These small almond based cookies or cakes with creme fillings have conquered Paris and apparently the world. But honestly, is it worth waiting hours in line for one at La Duree? Better to pick some up at their stand at CDG airport on the way home and wow your friends. Macarons come in a cacophony of flavors and colors and are not in any way to be confused with coconut Macaroons.
Creampuffs are called Choux. The name means “little cabbage”. If you can find them, try a Chouquette: small puff pastries without filling covered in sugar. Sort of a French donut hole.
Opera. An intense rectangular chocolate mousse cake covered in dark chocolate and often decorated lushly even featuring gold flake on occasion.
Canele. This Bordeaux specialty has a distinctive caramel burnt sugar flavor and unique shape. They are dense almost chewy perfect along side a shot of espresso.
Chocolates. Many bakeries will feature a display of chocolates to add to the party.
Recommendations in the neighborhood:
There are two pastry shops worth seeking out close to the Yellow Flat. First is La Patisserie De Reves located across the Champ De Mars on Rue De Bac. A visually engaging combination of classics and innovation that is really quite spectacular. About 20 mins walk. 93 rue du Bac, 7th, +33 1 42 84 00 82. Métro: Rue du Bac. lapatisseriedesreves.com
The second is Desgateauxetdupain, an easier walk and again a lighter and innovative take on traditional cakes. 63 boulevard Pasteur, 15th, +33 1 45 38 94 16, desgateauxetdupain.com. Métro: Pasteur. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 8am-8pm
Though not in the neighborhood, Bontemps Patisserie, a young and dynamic new bakery in the Marais is turning out heavenly cookies called sable’, a cross between shortbread and sugar cookies with a crumbly nutty texture. Small drops of intense flavor made with a fine delicate hand.
bonempspatisserie 57 rue de Bretagne in the Marais+33 1 42 74 10 68 Metro Arts et Metiers.
For a completely different experience try these two patisseries, unusual in terms of both flavors and experiences with very different lineage.
While you many not think of Algeria as home to baked goods, consider visiting La Bague De Kenza. Think dates, almonds, baklava, rosewater and honey. Order an assortment. 233 rue de la Convention, 15th, +33 1 42 50 02 97. Métro: Convention. labaguedekenza.com
Sadaharu Aoki As obvious by the name, this Japanese owned patisserie turns out exquisite chocolates that must be seen to be appreciated. Located at the border of the 6th, 7th and 15th districts. 35 rue de Vaugirard 75006 +33 01 45 44 48 90 www.sadaharuaoki.com
As always, enjoy!