To Paris with Love
“When the moon hits your eyes, like a very big pizza pie, that’s Amore”!!! While Dean Martin’s deep baritone voice was singing about Napoli in Italy, I was Amore with another city, in another country. Not very far away from Italy. I talk about Paris. People call this the most romantic city in the world and why not? Who can say ‘No’ when a man drops to his knees and proposes to you with the very beautiful Eiffel tower in the backdrop. No no. That’s not my love story. Hollywood has fed us with a steady diet of romantic movies with such scenes that is sure to melt the stoniest of hearts.
But to me, I found a different kind of love. It’s romantic alright. But my romantic moments were with sweets, desserts, chocolates and pastries. The best that I’ve tasted in the world.
Here are some of my favourites:
Ispahan at Pierre Hermes: A blend of rose cream, juicy lychee bits and dense fresh raspberries, sandwiched between 2 pink macaroon shells. The texture is extremely creamy and fluffy. The right amount of sweetness is brought in by the rose & lychee and the tanginess is brought in by the raspberries. The pretty shades of red and pink are as valentine as it can get. Be sure to enjoy this delicacy with your lover.
Icecream & Sorbet at Laduree: The mini macaroon glaces (mini macaroon with icecream) is not the first thing that one thinks of when you hear the name Laduree. This creamy, fluffy, milk textured dessert comes with a shell on the top giving it a satisfactory crunch. The milk based ones come in light pastel subdued colours while the sorbets are bright and vivid. My favourite milk based flavour is salted caramel and raspberry in sorbets. The pink of the raspberry is so beautiful that it makes me feel mushy and in love. Whenever I visit Paris I must visit the tea salon, Champs Élysées. From the interiors of the place to the food, this place is a must in everybody’s list.
Macaroon at Gerald Mulot: There are 2 kinds of macaroons – Italian and French. They are identified by the way the base meringue is made. Italian macaroons are made when hot sugar syrup is poured while the egg whites are beaten and fluffed. The French variations include beating together meringue sugar crystals and egg whites with no heat involved. Taste wise – the Italian ones are crumbly and fine, while the French ones are less sweet and chewier. The almond flavour is also stronger. While Laduree is clearly the most famous store for its French macaroons, the new, sparkly, snazzy kid on the macaroon block is Gerald Mulot. Their French macaroons are vibrant and so colourful that you just can’t resist clicking countless photos to show off on Instagram. But it doesn’t stop there, one bite and you are hooked. My two favourites are ‘lemon citron’ which has a custard texture filling and ‘fig’ which has a sugary jam filling. Definitely go on a love sugar high with these yummy chewy nibbles.
Financier French tea cake at Hugo & Victor: This strange name comes from the fact that this popular tea cake is eaten as a morning or evening snack by the bankers in Paris. This cake has a rich almond and hazelnut flavour to it. Its hard & crusty on the outside and moist & delicious on the inside. That happens ‘cos it’s first baked at very high temperatures and then the temperature is drastically dropped. The locals are so in love with it, that they will walk miles to get the right one. Believe you me, this delicious nutty piece is as addictive as chocolate. You will experience cravings, one cannot explain. While here, you must also try Pate a tartiner. That is hazelnut paste – a crunchier version of Nutella.
Eclairs at La Masion Du Chocolat: History says that eclairs were first made in France during the 19th century, by a chef, for French Royalty. Truly this dessert is rich in cream and texture. Hollow French choux is filled with different flavours, the most traditional one being – cream. However, the flavours I am talking about are caramel, coffee, chocolate and green apple. My favourite is coffee. It’s center is filled with ‘melt in the mouth’ coffee flavoured fluffy cream that is outright addictive. If you are the experimenting sort, try the green apple. Its pop colour and tangy taste is delish! Other specialities out there are bell pepper, garlic and mushroom flavoured chocolate. Something probably you have never had in your life before.
Chocolates at Patrick Rodger: This shop is a lot of fun to visit. Patrick Rodger makes various sculptures and dramatic displays in chocolate that look totally gorgeous. Each chocolate creation is tastier than the previous. His philosophy is “have flavour that compliments the chocolate, not competes with it”. Some of the chocolates are – silver mounded almonds wrapped in chocolate, zesty notes of lime in chocolate ganache, smoky earl grey tea flavoured chocolate, rum & raisin filled chocolate nuggets. My favourite amongst all available was caramel flavour with a hint of pear. Some of the chocolates come artisticly wrapped in a vivid marble look. These designer chocolates are sure to tickle your tastebuds.
Other famous desserts include a lot of French pastries, crepes, choux, frozen yogurt etc. I will need to go back some day to try all their delicacies.
I will end here by saying I hope you are hungry and your mouth is watering on reading this post. Until next time, Au Revoir!