SO let’s see how long I can keep this up…blogging. With a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a MONTH in Paris, I thought it would be a good time to really start some serious blogging. Hopefully WordPress will help too. (Tumblr has been great in letting me pictureblog…but that’s the lazy way out.)
Here I am on my 1st day (well, 2nd if you count yesterday, but I landed at 5:30 so didn’t really get anything done) in Paris, having Fromage Blanc with Raspberry Compote and Kinder MAXIKING (yes it required capitals) which is a crazy chocolate bar with, to quote the package, “le caramel, pour le fondant et le plaisir” in the center, “la mouse de lait, pour la fraicheur et l’onctuosité,” and wrapped in les éclats de noisettes; pour le croquant.” Not a very classy breakfast, but it’s the best I can do when most stores are closed on Sundays in non-tourist areas. (edit later: found out that Le Marais is a few blocks away…and everything is open there on Sundays. And there’s a bakery open next block too.)
This is the supermarket I found open:
I also found GIANT NUTELLA. Which I really wanted to get as souvenirs back home…but it’d probably make my luggage overweight. =[
The chilled area is also LOVEEEEEEEEE x 1000….I wish we had these in ordinary supermarkets in HK…instead we have like…actually I don’t even know what we have anymore. I mostly go to citysuper, where these kinds of chilled desserts sell for $10-$20+ HKD for ONE cup instead of the whole package.
Later this afternoon:
Went out for a walk because I wanted to go shopping, but even H&M and Zara and all those other big companies are closed. Rainy day too. Ended up in the Rue Montorgueil area, and thankfully the food shops were open!! Let’s see what I had on my first day…
Welcome to Stohrer, the oldest patisserie in Paris (51, rue Montorgueil – 75002). According to their site, Stohrer was the patissier of Princess Marie Lesczynska (how do you pronounce that anyways?) of Poland, who followed her to Versailles when she married King Louis XV of France. 5 years later, he opened his own patisserie at Rue Montorgueil. I gotta say Princess Marie is a girl of my own heart…I wish I could have my own patissier to follow me wherever I went!
Stohrer invented the baba au rhum, and that’s what I got (well, a variation of it, the baba chantilly), along with my first canelé in Paris. I struggled with whether or not I should get the millefeuille as well, but decided against it as the Baba Chantilly was huge, and so is the millefeuille. I guess old-school cakes are bigger than the puny ones we make nowadays. Especially the ones in HK (i.e. Tony Wong, Paul Lafayet)…honestly can eat 3 of them at one time and still feel unsatisfied. So goodbye Stohrer for now, I’ll be back for sure (actually their savoury things interest me too)…
Actually I meant to go to Boulangerie Kayser or Paul on the same street, but both were closed for Sunday, so this boulangerie it was. There were loads of people lining up for their dinner baguette, and I did the same. I got a ficelle and tore off the top to munch in the street as is tradition..miam miam. Time to go home! Passed by Pain de Sucre on the way home and got a macaron caramel beurre salé from Pain de Sucre, an AMAZING patisserie on Rue Rambuteau VERY close to where I’m living (along with a dozen other amazing shops). And a saffron marshmallow which I devoured on the way home…
My appetizer was the macaron, which was a very different texture than the Laduree/PH/JPH ones. Less crunchy, more chewy. I have to say I actually like the Laduree caramel macarons better…but there are some who enjoy this much more and I guess it’s just a matter of personal taste. The ficelle was good….with a thick crusty exterior which was bien cuit, to my taste, and a chewy interior. The pate de campagne was a bad idea and I should have bought something fresh from a deli or something…this was from a supermarket. Tasted like…blech. Ended up eating the ficelle on its own which was really really satisfying.
Now for the main show:
Haven’t had a REAL canelé for a longgggggggg time, but this was pretty good, with a caramelized flavourful crust and a moist, sweet, custardy interior. Huge, too. The baba chantilly is a brioche, soaked in rum, and topped with whipped cream and berries. There are other versions like the ali-baba filled with pastry cream or the baba au rhum which is just brioche with rum. This thing was SOAKING in rum…I found it too strong and only had 2 bites before giving up…finished off the whipped cream and berries before throwing it away. 😦 it wasn’t boozy in a nice way either…like tiramisu is. Imagine a sponge soaked in rum which oozes out the liquid when you squeeze it…this was like that. Not for me….
Well, that was my first complete day in Paris…hopefully better foodie luck to come!