Bonjour, bonjour! Ca fait trop longtemps!
As I hope anyone reading this by now knows, I recently had the most unbelievable experiences in Paris earlier this year in May and have been attempting (and sadly failing…) to document specific experiences via this blog. It is my first attempt and summer was a busy time, but now that I’m back in school and got a rhythm the upkeep of this beauty should become easier and more punctual. 🙂
As I hope you all also know by now, I had a list of things I wanted to do while in Paris. Being the insane foodaholic that I am, one of them was manger beaucoup des pâtisseries! For anyone who doesn’t know what that means…it means eat lots of delicious baked goods and pastries! My absolute weakness is always dessert or any baked good of any sort – I had many une quiche délicieuse and way, way, way too many baguettes….if that is in fact possible…I’m still trying to decide!
So allow me to (attempt to) share with your the variety of deliciousness that I experienced. For the sake of being efficient, I will start with my “goal” photos – the pastries! – however as the post progresses you will see non-pastry related deliciousness that I felt absolutely had to be shared, regardless of its non-pâtisserie status. Unfortunately, many of the pastry-family foods I devoured were devoured in my hotel bed late at night and I don’t consider the images of them clear enough to put up here…I will say that raspberry financiers became one of my absolute favourites and that I (surprisingly) did not like canele!
Now, feast your eyes…unfortunately not our stomachs! 😦
Macarons from Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris: I can’t believe that I didn’t eat any of these delights until my last day (though probably better for my health!). This shop was around the corner from our group’s hotel and I bought a dozen as a thank-you gift for the lady I was moving on to stay with in London for a week – she was French so I thought this would be fitting! The two pictured here are green tea and chocolate..I ate the citron one before this photograph…all unbelievably out of this world! Definitely the best I’ve ever had! This place also had flavours like Wasabi, Black Sesame seed and other unusual flavours, as well as the traditional ones, as it is owned and run by a Japenese pastry chef!
Apple Tartlet: Dessert at one of the “prix fixe” lunches with mes filles belles. Not the best pastry…but the filling and concentric beauty got lots of points with me!
My mother is part French…this is her favourite dessert..needless to say it has also been mine for years…I’ve never eaten so many Creme Brulee’s in such a short space of time – and somehow it still wasn’t enough!
Hazelnut and Coffee Gelatto in a homemade waffle cone: YUM. All I can say. YUMYUMYUM. One of the most fun things food-wise is that the man who coordinates our course has what he considers his favourie gelatto shops (this place being one, right around the corner from our hotel!) however another photography-related professor at our university is French and swears by other shops being the best! Needless to say we had gelatto almost daily to try and settle this debate…I think I’ll need to eat a whole lot more before I make that decision! At least we had a good excuse to eat so much gelatto (somewhat) guilt-free! 🙂
Happily, this was what I saw in about 80% or more of the bakeries and patisseries windows. Sadly, I never got to eat one of these almost-arger-than-my-face meringues. 😦 Excuse to revisit Paris? I think so!
Another window-display in a pastry shop near Musee D’Orsay. Sadly (or not?) I was on my way to meet two very good family friends for lunch at a restaurant called Les Climats (see below!) and did not venture in.
A close-up of the meringues at the shop near D’Orsay.
Yes, this was my breakfast one one fine day. A raisin-swirl and custard pastry, the BEST dried apricots I have ever had (ever!), and this mango nectar. Sadly we didn’t have a fridge accessible to us in the hotel so I had to drink this entire Litre of nectar in a day! So damn good…but soo much sugar, even for me! Oh well…when in Paris, am I right?!
Tomato Tartiflette: Transitioning into the nonpastires is this savoury little guy – undeniably one of the most delicious baked goods I ate, savoury or sweet! Merci beaucoup Seine Saveur for providing me many a breakfast be it this guy, a delicious baguette embedded avec jambon or desserts for breakfast!
Chicken and Spinach Triangle Wrap Thing: I feel like I’ve said this so many times in this blog..but this was DEFINITELY one of the best things I ate (and surprisingly it was savoury!). On the day our group travelled to Versailles, there was a Saturday market along the street our hotel was on..obviously we explored! A friend and I bought this to share upon arrival to Versailles…it did not even survive the first half-hour of the train ride. I’m not even sure of the ethnic background of this delicious beast, but it was somewhat of a cross between naan bread, pita bread and a tortilla wrap, housing the most succulent lemon-chicken and spinach. I went back on my last day to get one and had the feta and spinach one…if possible, even better! I suffered withdrawal symptoms from these for months after!! I just hope that if I ever go back, that market stall is still there!
Warm Goat’s Cheese Salad: Any time my Paris ladies and I get to talking, at least one of us moans “I just want a warm goat’s cheese salad goddamnit!” Actually. No joke. We had one or two that were not as good as others…but we did not experience any decidedly “bad” goat’s cheese salads. If you ever go to France YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS. It is mandatory, more than frog’s legs, more than snails. THIS is where it’s at. Every. Single. Day.
Tomato, sheeps milk cheese, basil salad: The french just love salads…even without the greens. This salad was so light, so fresh, so darn perfect. Are you also beginning to notice this cheese trend? Yeah. Climb on that train, It is ALL about the cheese! Goats cheese, sheeps cheese, white cheese, blue cheese – eat it all, you will not regret it! (Unless your lactose-intolerant…that’s the only excuse you can use to get out of cheese-chomping!)
French Onion Soup: Yup, that’s right. CHEESE ON SOUP. Every soup should have this. I am a huge sucker for this bad boy, such a great comfort food – especially on a rainy Parisian day!
Grilled honey-glazed pork with potato: This was deliiiiicious. Also, please can we admire the artistic-ness of serving me my baked-potato with a spoon stuck right in there? #genius
Beef Bourginon: Another classic. I was quite skeptical to order this as I’d witnessed a few friends have not-so-great experiences, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed mine! I will say I clearly was not having the most coordinated day given the awkward cutlery and splashed broth everywhere…..at least my food was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Croque Monsieur: Yet another French classic, this delicious and quick meal is a ham and cheese toastie…with more cheese on top and set under a grill. I’d seen some other places, but as it happened the place right next door to our hotel had a really amazing one topped with Emmental cheese on their menu! Paired with un demi-bouteille de vin, of course! 😉
Bread And Wine – aka what every French meal should include! 🙂
Cheesy Brioche – Amuse Bouche: As mentioned briefly above below a meringue-counter photograph, I said I met family friends for lunch. These ladies are amazing and look after me in Toronto like my own mother and they love spoiling me sometimes! This was one of those times. The restaurant we went to, Les Climats, is just behind D’Orsay on a small tucked away street…I considered it a hidden gem. Definitely the fanciest meal I had in Paris, and definitely some of the most delicious things I ate came from here!
To start – these cheesy brioche amuse bouche! We know I love cheese and baked goods..put them together and I’m in love!
Amuse bouche number two! I’m extremely sad to say I can’t remember exactly what this was. I’m quite sure that the base was some type of smoked fish – I believe it was herring or trout – and this foam was some sort of roast vegetable foam. The flavours were some of the most powerfully packed I’ve ever experienced. Plus, we got to have our fancy waiter pour the foam out table-side..that’s always exciting!
Salmon, Pea Puree and Fingerling Potatoes: My entree. UN-believable. Definitely the best fish I ate while in Paris (and I love fish, so I ate a LOT of fish!). Cooked to perfection, seasoned to perfection, presented as perfection. Served over green pea pure and with fingerling potatoes, roasted until just barely golden, soft and sweet. Très délicieux!
Strawberry Meringue: Now, maybe it’s because I was longing after those meringues I’d walked by, I’m not really sure..but I got my meringue! Again, the falvours in this dish were excquisite – yes, I’m aware I’m just talking about strawberries and meringue but you wouldn’t understand unless this entered your mouth. These strawberries were some of the naturally sweetest and strawberry-est I’ve ever tatsed. Paired stuffed in a classic meringue shell over this squiggle of simple and delicate soft vanilla meringue, nothing else was needed. Light, fresh, summery, perfect!
Cheese Plate Dessert: Last but not least, this is the cheese plate that one of my friends ordered instead of a sweet dessert. I was truly torn between my sweet-tooth dessert and this plate as I knew that the quality of the cheese here would be impeccable (as it was!) not to mention the homemade crostinis! But alas, cheese plates were widespread throughout so I did something different that day!
Okay, so if you stuck with me this entire way – AND read all the captions – you are either (a) very bored or (b) a gigantic foodie like myself! 🙂
That’s it for now folks. I hope to see you back and I promise I will try to be back sooner than this, though I don’t think it will be too hard…I’m going home to my island paradise for a WHOLE TEN DAYS! and I can’t wait to share what my home country is like. Hint hint….I’m planning a blog post including some of my all-time must-dos that happen every time I return home so stay tuned!