Tag Archives: Nutella

Bastille Market

24 Apr Breton galette for meeeeee

Today I planned to wake up early to head down to the Louvre before going to Versailles (yes again) to watch an equestrian performance at the Grand Ecurie. Unfortunately, I’m just not one for waking up early and I woke up at 8:45, which would mean huge line-ups at the Louvre, especially since it’s Easter. I was planning to go to Sunday mass at Notre Dame at 10, and I didn’t think I would make it if I went to the Louvre. So I headed out for some early morning wandering instead…

All-You-Can-Spread at Le Pain Quotidien

All-You-Can-Spread at Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien is a chain store selling organic breads in “naturally” decorated cafés with lots of wood panelling, communal wooden tables, and lots of bread. But that’s not what made me happy. I ordered a croissant au beurre for here, and what was ON the table made me happiest. ALL YOU CAN SPREAD spreads!!! They had Brunette (hazelnut butter), Noisella (nutella dupe but organic), Blondie (white chocolate spread), Noir (dark chocolate spread), and various jams, but who cares about jams when you have unlimited chocolate spreads? Ok, just kidding, their cherry jam was excellent paired with the dark chocolate spread. So, for 2.20 euros, I had a croissant as a side dish to my million different kinds of spreads. And also went through my guidebook (which I only started reading today. Yes, my last week. lol) trying to decide where to go.

Easter Sunday Mass at Notre Dame

Easter Sunday Mass at Notre Dame

I decided I would head over to the Île de la Cité a bit earlier in case there were lines at Notre Dame, and thank god I did, as the lines were SNAKING. Ah spring break. Fortunately, I got into the cathedral just as the Gregorian mass was about to start, and attended my first mass in…many years (not since I switched high schools from a Catholic one to a secular one I believe). It was calming, and I must admit I sort of missed it. 🙂 Not to mention the venue was gorgeous and it’s breathtaking to imagine mass a few hundred years ago here. The picture above is of the English mass, after the Gregorian mass, which I snapped as I was leaving.

My next stop was the Bastille market across the street from the Opéra Bastille, a starkingly modern structure in contrast to everything else in Paris. I actually read about the market in the guidebook this morning, and I’m glad I did. Or else, I would’ve missed the chance to experience an outdoor market!

Bastille Market

Bastille Market

It was bustling and lively. There were stalls selling all kinds of things: raw meats, rotisserie, fresh oysters, Breton specialties, North African goodies, Greek deli items, Italian stalls, cheap clothing, shoes, fruits, vegetables, Chinese food, Bob the Paella guy (I think it’s a franchise), breads, LOTS of cheese, Portuguese food, and street musicians. Oh, and underwear. Yea. Kinda reminded me of 女人街, except the food they sell is a lot classier.

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Le Debut

3 Apr Canelé et baba chantilly from Stohrer

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:

franprix

Franprix, 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. =[

Nutella

Giant nutella!!!

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.

Chilled area in franprix.

Rivals Citysuper...but SO much cheaper!!

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…

Stohrer's Sign

My awe-filled gaze at Stohrer...

Stohrer's Storefront

Stohrer's storefront...so enticing, but so is every other bakery's storefront in Paris.

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 History

Look...it's even designated as a historical site by the government of Paris!

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)…

Stohrer

Goodbye Stohrer! Next stop is...

Boulangerie Les Petits Carreaux

Another boulangerie/patisserie of course.

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…

Today's haul

Today's haul: Goodies from Stohrer, macaron caramel beurre salé from Pain de Sucre, ficelle, and pate de campagne

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:

Canelé et baba chantilly from Stohrer

Canelé et baba chantilly from Stohrer

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!