Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Chocolatiers and pâtisseries of Paris

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Macaroons from Pierre Hermé

Macaroons from Pierre Hermé

Living a block away from Pierre Hermé and being restrained was perhaps the hardest thing I had to do in Paris. The first thing we tried was a small box of macaroons – jasmine, vanilla, cassis, rose, various chocolates, balsamic vinegar, pistachio, orange – if I had to recommend one, it would be cassis. Each was a bit sized piece but even in that single bite sized piece, there were three distinct textures and flavors, one that of the soft cookie on the outside, the second that of the tart jelly on the foot of the macaroon and third that of the rich, sweet and soft cream filling.

Mille-feuille (napoleon) was the one we just had to go back for the second time. It is a layered pastry with rich layers of soft chocolate and flaky layers of puff pastry – if you a need a reason to believe in Pierre Hermé’s genius, then this is it. They also had a bread advertised as chocolate bread but really was a chocolate croissant – a perfect take out lunch accompaniment.

Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki, is a few blocks away from Pierre Hermé and within walking distance to Jardin du Luxembourg. We had him bookmarked because he was mentioned by David Lebovitz. The shop, like Pierre’s, had a clean and glassy look of that of a jewelry shop. The theme was Japanese flavors such as cream mixed with green tea, sweetened black bean, and bamboo flavored white chocolate made into Parisian pastries such as macaroon, napoleon etc. We, the denizens of San Francisco Bay Area, are perhaps spoiled by Citizen Cake. The innovative pastry chef of San Francisco can make dessert creations out of avocados and tomatoes and make them yummy. Also, green tea and black bean are common flavor here due to Bay Area’s rich Asian heritage. In a nutshell, Aoki-san failed to knock our socks off.

View from Jean-Paul Hevin's boutique seat

Butter biscuit with cassis jam

Then there is Jean-Paul Hévin. Unlike the other two shops, JP offers a good spot to take a coffee break when doing the customary walk up or down Rue Saint-Honoré. I had an order of their cassis filled butter biscuit, my husband opted for a chocolate cream pastry and we also brought back a chocolate bar – all excellent. Sweetest of our experience was at Eric Kayser after a long day at Louvre. They had stopped serving for the day but they served us all the same, made us feel welcome and let us rest. These are only to name a few. There is a pâtisserie in Paris every two blocks. We sat outside Ladurée on Champs-Élysées and watched the world go by, stared at the patisseries by Gerard Mulot after lunch and wondered how Parisian stay thin and marveled at the aisle full of Valrhona chocolates at Bon Marché.

Written by Som

December 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm

One Response

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  1. […] surprised if you turn down the dessert. But we had to consider the rest of the afternoon and other patisseries that will lie along our […]


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