I arrived home from my 5 Days in Paris laden with cookbooks on pastry, chocolates and dessert, and yes, I even bought a French one, even though I cant speak the language. But how can you resist when Monsieur Genin is prepared to share his citrus tart recipes in the sweetest little cookbook you have ever seen. So I shall be translating with my trusty language translator as soon as I can.
The trip was a gastronomic delight of smells, tastes and visions of the finest pastries, the most delicate tarts, and chocolates made by the great chocolatiers. While Eric worked, I walked the streets of Paris, visiting patisseries, boulangeries, and chocolate shops , and because everyone has to eat at some stage, and I know he loves sweet things , it wasn’t that hard to entice him from his work, into the amazing shops and cafes that make up the Paris food scene. And besides, eating is so much more enjoyable when you can share it with someone.
I always research the cities I am about to visit, so that I can fit as much as I can into my trip, as time is always limited, and this trip to Paris was no exception. My mission was to photograph as much food as I could, and get a whole lot of tasting in as well.
I am a huge fan of David Lebovitz, one of the great pastry chefs of San Fransisco, who now writes amazing books on desserts , ice creams and chocolate, has written pastry apps for iphones, and lives the sweet life in Paris – so his recommendation to visit Jacques Genin’s salon de thé (tea salon) surpassed all expectations.
We had to wait in a queue as there are only a few tables in his beautiful shop and tea salon, but the displays of chocolate ganache tarts, galettes, chocolate and coffee cream puffs and la tarte citron (lemon tarts) together with the most beautiful chocolates and pate de fruits (fruit jellies) makes the wait oh so bearable. He is renouned for his chocolate chaud (hot chocolate) which was definitely on my list. It was rich and bitter and arrived in a teapot, and was so thick it was almost difficult to pour, but I managed to extract every drop , even though I needed some serious help in finishing it.
133, rue de Turenne (3rd)
Métro: Filles du Calvaire
Hours Tuesday-Sunday 11am-7pm; Closed Monday
I had organised a Chocolate and Pastry tour with the beautiful Myram from Meeting the French
in the upmarket Saint-Germain-des-Pres. We spent 3 hours with her visiting the chocolate and pastry shops of La Maison de Chocolate, Pierre Herme, and Pierre Marcolini as well as one of the most famous bakeries in Paris, La Poilane .
The chocolate shops look more like jewellery stores than chocolate shops, and Myram told us that it is not frowned upon in Paris to buy just 1 or 2 thumb nail sized chocolates. This is obviously why French women are so thin. Each delicate chocolate is either filled with ganache or praline of varying flavours and displayed with the style and class, that only the French can do. Myram was absolutely charming and being the daughter of a pastry chef, was an expert on the art and history of chocolate and pastries in Paris. What a great way to spend an afternoon in Paris.
Address 3 Rue scribe 75009 Paris
Hours Mon- Sat 10.30 – 7pm
Unfortunately I was not allowed to take photographs in most of the shops – but here is a chart on the different types of pastries that are available in every boulangerie in Paris.