Monday, March 29, 2010

Ou est la boulangerie?

Ah Paris.....

City of lights. City of lovers. But most importantly, city of delectable baked goods.

The detail and time put into the pastries in Paris is amazing... and noticeable. I've never had sweets as tasty as in Paris.

And we got our macarons! Two different times actually. This is a picture of the first time. We bought a sampler pack, walked to the river and sat for a snack. Little Evie (brother) didn't like them very much but my mom and I were in heaven!

This next pastry was an accidental favorite. We stopped by a shop on the way back to our hotel to get a bite for dinner. It was a walk-up, walk-away shop. So we were kind of rushed as there was a long line and they were trying to move people through quickly. My mom, Evan and I got our sandwiches, then at the last minute my mom asked for a pastry for dessert. She pointed at one and got the one next to it. There was really no time to attempt to break the language barrier and sort out the confusion, so we went with it. And boy am I glad we did. This little guy was so tasty! Each of the pastry parts was filled with a vanilla cream and the caramel disk parts were a hard crunchy candy, it was delectable!

The next morning my mom and I set out for a museum. Of course we had to stop and get some bakery first. We walked into an amazing store that was set up more like an expensive jewelers than a bakery. Beautiful, pieces of art protected from the public by glass. We selected to treats to take with us, but they didn't have coffee, so I tucked them in my bag and we went of in search of coffee.

Finding coffee was interesting in Paris. There are all of these amazing bakeries, but none of them sell coffee, and the only "coffee" shop you can really find is a Starbucks. And you can bet your bottom puff pastry that we were NOT going to a Starbucks in Paris. The people who were drinking coffee were sitting at one of the many cafes dotting the streets of the city. But I wasn't sure if you could get to-go coffee from these cafes. So, realizing both of us desperately wanted coffee, we decided our pastries could wait and stopped into a cafe for a "French breakfast."

What is a "French breakfast" you ask? Well, it's simply the most brilliant idea in the world:

A French breakfast includes a slice of pound cake, a baguette, butter, jam, coffee and orange juice. I know, carb overload! When the waitress set everything down I thought, we're never going to finish this.... silly me!

After breakfast we continued our way to the museum. Along the way stumbled upon a bakery that multiple friends had suggested, Laduree.

This is an amazing place that could not be passed up. Of course we had to go in, and of course we had to purchase something! We bought some more macarons and that purple delight on the right side of the picture below.

Since we had just eaten breakfast, I threw these guys in my backpack as well. I said, "Mom, I probably have almost $50 worth of pastries in my back pack right now. No more pastries until we eat something first!"

We finally made it to the museum, which of course was closed on Mondays. And it was Monday.

So, we sat on the steps and pulled out our treats. This was the one I got at the first bakery of the day. I had no idea what it was, but it was pretty, so I thought it must taste nice.

And it did. I'm not sure what kind of berry it was made with, but it was scrumptious!

My mom had selected a custard tart. Very tasty as well.

After walking around a bit, we decided to stop at a cafe on a tiny island in the Seine for lunch. We had a cheese plate and wine. What else do you have for lunch when you're in Paris?!

It was heaven.

We toodled around Paris for the afternoon, stopping at parks, people watching and enjoying each others company.

For dinner... more pastries! Here is a picture of the black licorice macaron that I bought at Laduree. It was unexpectedly delicious. Not a strong anise flavor, but just enough to be interesting.

And my mom's beauty was a violet religieuse. This was also exceptional. And I just discovered that I have a cookbook that contains a recipe for this. We'll see how adventurous I get!

This is a good peek at how we ate our way through Paris. Good thing it's a very walkable city and we did tons of trecking around to different sights. We had a wonderful time and I'd love to go back!

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