“The fine arts are five in number, namely: painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture, the principal branch of the latter being pastry.”
Antonin Carême (1783-1833)
When three food writers come together to discuss the art of Parisian Pastries for an hour, you can bet that most people in the audience will be planning an excursion to the best pastry boutiques Paris has to offer armed with a list, a map and an empty tummy. Or, maybe that was just me.
In the span of 3 hours, I got back together with Pierre Herme (we broke up in June due to my impending addiction to the Isphahan croissant), re-connected with Laduree (we parted ways in June due to lethal doses of macarons) and found new love with Ble Sucre. Please see photo exhibits A-D:
Isphahan: a combination of rose jelly, raspberries and litchi. I ate them almost everyday, until I had to quit. Still, she is the most amazing croissant I’ve ever had.
Considered the most modern and innovative patissier, Pierre also makes the best macarons in Paris. With crazy flavor combinations and special edition macarons which are available for a limited time, he’s certainly one-of-a-kind.
House of Laduree (as I like to call it), born in 1862, is one of the oldest pastisseries in Paris. Furthermore, the art of pastry is one of the oldest crafts in France which lends the explanation as to why the French are so obsessed with their pastry.
Laduree holds a very special place in my gastro-heart as its windows could rival Cartier for the lavish colors and decor. It is a jewel unlike any other. Willy Wonka has nothing on Laduree kids.
*This fig tart was so fresh and luscious and just a pleasure to look at. The French do know beauty.
This is one of my favorite flavors – bergamot – also seen in Earl Grey tea. Look at the color…vivid…the taste? Tart and sublime.
My last stop was a small and rather new pastisserie & boulangerie in the somewhat out of the way, 12th arrondissement – Ble Sucre.
Highly suggested by David Lebovitz, Ble Sucre is located on a very charming street off of Square Trousseau. The shop is is owned by Fabrice Le Bourdat who trained under Gilles Marchal of Hotel Bristol, clearly this was not going to be an epic fail.
Though known for the madelines, I chose to break away from the mold and eat their violet gateau. Floral and velvety, this little piece sat in my fridge for 2 hours before I could no longer resist her temptations – and that was after eating the macarons, fig cake and croissant.
Paris can be everything and anything to anyone: beautiful, cold, chic, unrelenting, delicious, extravagant but there is one thing we can all agree on: it is, most certainly, sweet.
21 rue Bonaparte
Metro: St. Germain-des-Pres
72, Rue Bonaparte
Metro: St. Germain-des-Pres
7, rue Antoine Vollon