Gastronomy is the study of the relationship between food and culture, the art of preparing and serving rich or delicate and appetizing food, a style of cooking from particular regions and the science of good eating.
Registered on the UNESCO world heritage, the gastronomic meal of the French people is a social custom designed to celebrate the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups. Such as births, weddings, successes and reunions. It is a festive meal for the guests to practice the art of "Bien manger" and "Bien boire". The gastronomic meal emphasizes the fact of being well together, the pleasure of taste, the harmony between the human being and the productions of nature.
In this story I will tell you were are the best places to find some French specialties, it will mostly be about sweet food.
1954, everything begins at the heart of Paris. Raymond Berthillon who has just turned 30 years old, celebrating with his mother-in-law and of his wife. He was always in search of new experiences, he imagined to put back in service the turbine ice, which he had acquired a few years earlier. He makes his ice cream with high quality products: whole milk, eggs, fresh cream. He buys those at dawn in the halls, at Baltard Pavilion. He raises the sorbet, a product of Eastern origin: Sharbet des Sultans, without cream, pure fruit, pure sugar.
Today it’s still a family business his granddaughter is in charge of the place. I remember when I went there with my grandmother and she used to tell me that she knew a time where he was the only ice creamer of Paris. Even today he is really famous all across Paris and peoples can come and wait hours just to have an ice cream.
First of all you need to know that a crêpe has nothing to do with pancakes, it’s really not the same thing. Crêpe come from the north of France; La Bretagne. It’s was mostly salty, called Galette Sarrasin but today most of the people only eat sweet crêpe. If you want to eat "Galette" and "crêpes" you need to go to a street called Rue Odessa and just nearby Rue Montparnasse. When you are there you cannot miss it all the restaurant are “Crêperie”. If I were you I would take a salty then a sweet crêpes to taste them all. Don’t forget to take some cider, its sparkling wine at apple.
For me the best Crêperie of the street is La Crêperie de Josselin. A really small place where you can eat traditional Galette/Crêpes. You will see that the region Bretagne where the crêpe come from is also known for its salty butter. It is delicious, for dessert I advise a “crêpes beurre sucre” simply with butter and sugar.
Lemon pie is a sweet pie filled with lemon cream. It does not include any fruit. The cream is a mixture of eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Also called lemon curd, it is this cream that gives the pie its taste. The lemon pie is often complemented by a meringue and becomes a lemon meringue pie. This pie is a classic of French cuisine, whether meringue or not. In the XXI century, it is cooked both as a family and by professional pastry chefs. It is served in restaurants, and sold in bakeries, pastry shops and supermarkets. The lemon pie was served to the king at the beginning of the XIX century. She was a symbol of wealth and kindness.
You can find Lemon pie in any bakery or even supermarket. But it’s better to go to a really pastry cook. Although this pie looks really easy to make, the real secret is to put the good amount of sugar and lemon, to obtain the taste that you wanted. One of the best confectioner of Paris is Claire Damon.
Cakes tells stories, love stories, walks in nature, Heart break for a flavor, a tree of voluptuous. A cake is constantly reworked. Always think to be more spontaneity "because nature is perfect said Claire, all that is added is too much". Little sugar, little flour, little or no egg, Claire's cakes are based on personal agreements and technical mastery, and are part of her quest for the essentials.
It is a pastry of Maisons-Laffitte, from Chef Louis Durand, who designed in 1910 this cake in the shape of a bicycle wheel at the request of Pierre Giffard. The shape of Paris-Brest is supposed to represent a wheel in reference to the cycling race (Paris to Brest to Paris). Some pastry chefs also perpetuate the tradition of the great Paris-Brest, buy doing as originally the bike radius with bread dough. They can reach dimensions of 30 to 50 centimeters in diameter.
Paris-Brest is my personal favorite French dessert it is made out of Choux Pastry (just like creamy puffs), but in the middle there is praline cream and almond. It is a pretty simple dessert but you can easily make the different between a good and a magnificent one. What I like about this dessert is that every Chef can try to make one that have a different shape that the others and sometime they also add some secrets ingredients. And at the end you can never find two Paris –Brest that are the same. So you just have to keep eating them all!
So I cannot tell you where to go eat Paris-Brest because the one I prefer is not the one that you will prefer, but there is a place where is made the “best Paris-Brest of Paris”. It’s at “La patisserie des rêves”, literally the pastry of dreams. The chef of this place really like children’s and put in places special pastry for them because it is the moment in your life where you can eat with less consequence.
Voted best Paris-Brest of Paris, this pastry revisited by Philippe Conticini represents a right balance between intensity and lightness. The first greed is that of the puff pastry and streusel which brings a taste and an additional texture. Then comes the cream praline extremely abundant and melting and the heart of pure praline puree that fills the mouth with its intense greed.
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