Sunday, April 5, 2015

Chocolate Tour of Paris (With Pastries, Spring, and Oeuf)

 Before leaving for Paris, I read that Easter was the major holiday for chocolate. Apparently Christmas is nice and all that, but Easter is when chocolate really has its time to shine. Everywhere I went, there were bunnies and eggs in gorgeous window displays. As you can see, it was often hard to get a good picture with the reflections and all that. Here's what I managed.

 Painted chocolate at Jacques Genin, my favorite chocolatier

Jacques Genin

Jacques Genin 

Jacques Genin 

A patisserie in the 3rd.  

The renowned Jewish bakery in the Marais where I 
didn't know what to order and managed to walk out
with a very good, but very American, brownie. 

Pain de Sucre on Rue Rambuteau in the 3rd 

Pain de Sucre. I wish I'd ordered something other than macarons.
Turns out I don't really care for them. 

 *not chocolate, probably. In the 3rd.

 File under "things one must do when in Paris" even though
it's touristy and dumb. 

Georges Larnicol in Saint Germain des Pres. I took home
two kouignettes, which were, like macarons, too sweet for me.  

 Georges Larnicol

Georges Larnicol. That is all chocolate.

Hard to see past the reflections of this gorgeous
chocolatier in the 7th, near the Eiffel tower.  

The outside of the famous Printemps feels appropriate for an Easter round up. 

Printemps again. Printemps means "spring".  

The classic. Glad I went, for the experience. One thing I noticed in Paris
is that the sweets were usually less sweet--they were made with less
sugar, often served with little sugar packets on the side. I never used
the extra sugar. And I never felt sick after indulging in them the way
I do after the sweets I eat here. 

A bakery in Montmarte, which may have been called The Two Windmills.

Tarte citron, which would turn out to be my favorite Paris treat.  

Tarte Citron by Eric Kayser, this locaiton near the Musee D'Orsay. 

The pastry tray at the Salon de Thè at Paris' Grand Mosquee.  

Patrick Roger in Saint Germain. 

Tarte aux Pommes from the famed Poilane, please ignore my thumb.

 Walking around at night. I think this was Rue Vielle du Temple in the 4th.

Du Pain et des Idées, "Bread and Ideas", near my apartment
in the 10th. Some say it's the best bakery in Paris. 

Chocolat chaud done just right at Patisserie Viennoise. 

There were a few students working here, drinking this. It's not far
from the Sorbonne. Can you imagine
this being your study spot? 

When Marie Antoinette came from Vienna, she brought her pastry chefs with her. The
French chefs of the time learned from them. So, at patisseries, there are the regular French 
pastries, and then there are the Viennoise. Thanks Marie!

The outside of Patisserie Viennoise, where the above 3 photos
were taken, down a tiny little street in Saint Germain.
 I found it thanks to a tip from David Lebovitz's
"The Sweet Life In Paris". I'm with him--it was probably 
the best chocolat chaud I had in Paris.  

Henri LeRoux, across the street from the Jardin du Luxembourg. It's worth
mentioning that at this and every other high end chocolatier I stepped into,
I received very warm and helpful service. At places like Jacques Genin,
where the chocolates are displayed like expensive jewelry, I expected
the atmosphere to be snobby. It wasn't--the one exception being Ladurée.) 
It was also completely normal to buy just four or five pieces. Or even one.
No pressure to spring for the 120 euro box.

Cafe Suedois, or Swedish, a bright spot where I spent a 
cold and rainy afternoon. 

My final Parisian indulgence was at Pierre Herme. I happened to pass by it and
had to go in, even though I was over the whole macaron thing by then. I'm 
glad I did, for the beauty of the sweets alone. My picture does no justice. They
were gorgeous little works of art. I couldn't help but exclaiming "Tres jolie!"
Which I thought meant "very pretty!" but doesn't, really, I think. The French
seemed more likely to use "beau" when remarking on beauty. "Trop beau!"

I selected Caramel au Beurre Salé (of course).
The purple is "Envie"--vanilla, violet, and cassis.
Top right is Olive Oil and Mandarin,
and finally yogurt and grapefruit, which I ordered
on accident, but there you go. These were the best 
macarons I had in Paris.

Today the girls are eating all their Hershey eggs and Cadbury cream eggs, which have their place in the canon, of course. But I'm happy to say that later this evening, I will slip into my room and have a little Jacques Genin that I tucked away into a drawer, waiting for me, all the way from Paris.


  1. Happy Easter to you and your beautiful family! Thanks for the chocolate tour. Fascinating about the sweets containing less sugar. Maybe that's why French women don't get fat!

  2. Take me there. Now.
    Nownownownownow. *bangs head on floor*
    Oh. Sorry.
    Happy Easter. How lovely all of that is. Thanks for sharing it. xo

  3. Happy Easter! What a wonderful tour! Your last line brought back memories from long ago when I did research for a well known candy company in the US. I asked women if they ever bought different candy for themselves then their families and I got stories of them hiding the "good stuff" in their underwear drawers while buying regular candy for their families. You proved this is still very much alive!!

  4. It's really outrageous -- those Parisians and their sweets.

  5. This post was fricken mouth-watering!
    I just HAVE to go there!

  6. I'm so glad I read this at 9pm, when my chocolate craving was just kicking in. Thanks, Brittany.


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