I have not forgotten my blog! I am finally “ready” to write the long due second part of my first ever trip to Paris. The purpose of the trip was half for work where I went to a pastry school for a breads course (read about my inspiring experience here!) and half was for just strolling around and a pastry tour! Strolling around the city was so fun because there are so much interesting things to see! There’s no need to mention that Paris is famous for their spectacular pastries. Not only after eating them do I understand why. I am so lucky to have received a scholarship from my workplace to study breads and to go on a pastry tour in Paris with my boss! Not only has she studied pastries in Paris, she has also tasted pastries from all over the city for research. Her theory behind tasting different pastries is to expand your palate and to experience the possibility of different flavours and textures for professional development. Bakeries in Paris are of a different level of sophistication. The standards for pastries are so high, breads are freshly baked everyday and cakes are delicately decorated. Every bakery showed off a galore of different products in their windows, attracting the curious me. We visited so many bakeries, I’ve included the ones that I found most interesting. So, let the tour start! (Click on photos to see full size photos and caption!)
First, we visited Angelina (they have more than one location), one of the older bakeries in Paris, established in 1903. They are famous for their chestnut dessert Mont-Blanc, as well as their hot chocolate – tastes like a very rich and velvety liquid chocolate.
This is La Pâtisserie Des Rêves, which means “The Bakery of Dreams”. They are known for their unique and creative approach to pastries, making them dream-like.
How can one miss the big name in the world of French pastries, Pierre Hermé? The display outside was beautiful like a jewelry boutique. Pierre Hermé is reputable for only using the best ingredients for his products and his unique flavour creations. Like most French pastry shops, pastries also change according to seasonal ingredients.
Chocolate is another big obsession in Paris. We visited one of Patrick Roger’s stores. He is a M.O.F. chocolatier, famous for his amazing artistic chocolate sculptures. My boss suggests that makes some of the best chocolates in Paris!
Lenôtre is a big name when it comes to French bakeries – it is one of the first upscale chain bakeries in France. Their stores are still family-run, and the quality of their products are highly regarded.
Let’s check out Café Pouchkine. This a relatively new pastry shop in Paris (opened 2010), but they are notable for their extravagant Russian inspired pieces. The stores are run from Moscow under a big family of restaurants and bakeries.
After all the walking around, we stopped at Jacques Genin’s boutique. Jacques Genin crafts exquisite chocolates, pastries, and caramels. His pastries are only available for dine-in at his boutique. We sat down to have one of the most wonderful mille-feuilles (only available dine-in). Mille-feuille, meaning a thousand leaves is a very classic French dessert made of puff pastry and pastry cream. It was quite scrumptious – a must-have! The caramels were also the best I’ve had.
This was the only boulangerie we stopped by. Poilâne is known for their world-famous signature 2 kilogram sourdough country loaves – Miche Poilâne, the ingredients are simple: sourdough, stone-ground wheat flour, water and sea salt. Each loaf is handcrafted, baked in wood-fired ovens and differs in size. They are sold by the loaf or slice, which is charged by weight. The store didn’t have many different products as they specialize in their miche.
Last is L’Éclair de Génie. This is a trendy pastry shop that sold specifically éclairs. Inside you can find all sorts of this classic French pastry with very creative flavours and decorations.
Can we finally taste all the things we bought?
What an eye-opening tour! I can’t believe I’ve tasted so many different pastries from some of the best bakeries of Paris in two days! Of course there were other ones we didn’t get to go, but is a good reason to visit again. It is no wonder the French take so much pride in their food culture. Their strive for excellence and innovation makes them ahead of the game in the world of pastries. That sums up my trip in Paris, I would definitely visit again, I have yet to experience enough of the city. So…salut!