Tag Archives: Stohrer

I’m Not Contemporary Enough

25 Apr

Last day of my Easter long weekend, and a busy day like the rest of my weekend! Woke up bright and early and headed to the first stop of today’s itinerary……..Eglise Saint-Eustache. Unfortunately, it was closed. Since it’s right next to Rue Montorgueil, I headed over there for some breakfast.

Stohrer's pastry case...well, half of it

Stohrer's pastry case...well, half of it

Stohrer again! This time my target was one of their éclairs…they’ve been voted as one of the best in Paris. I got a vanilla éclair as those aren’t very common. Let’s just say I’ve had better….the choux pastry was tasteless, dry, and the creme was kind of tasteless and too sweet too. I think my neighbourhood bakery makes better éclairs.

Pasteis, which wasn't very good...even KFC's is better

Pasteis, which wasn't very good...even KFC's is better

I also had a pasteis (de nata), which wasn’t very good either, much like the one I had at the Bastille market. I guess I shouldn’t complain as it’s my own fault for having a Portuguese pastry in a French shop?

So my next plan was to head over to the University area to check out the sights there. On the way, I passed by Saint-Chapelle, and noticed that the lineup was REALLY SHORT! Like 10 people short. It’s usually at least 3 times the length. I then decided not to miss this opportunity and lined up. I’m glad I did so, as the church was so beautiful.

The beautiful stained glass windows of Eglise Saint-Chapelle

The beautiful stained glass windows of Eglise Saint-Chapelle

I literally stood in the middle of the hall for a few minutes just to take in the beauty of it all. This was one of the smaller churches I’ve been to, as it’s mainly just for pilgrimage, holding the relics of the Passion, including the purported Crown of Thorns of Christ. Apparently, King Louis IX paid more for the relics than building the church! After being awestruck by the church, I headed next door to the Conciergerie, which was the Medieval royal palace of France. Later, it became a prison during the Revolution. I got to see the cell where Marie Antoinette was kept.

Then, finally, headed to my prior planned destination.

Took a look at the universities and the areas around it. Then I went to the Musée Cluny, which is actually the Museum of the Middle Age. The lady at the ticket counter was very nice and let me go in for free, even though supposedly only under-26s from the EU could do that! =D The entire building is very cool….built in the 14th century!! :O It used to be the town house of the abbots of Cluny. The entire structure was also built on the ruins of Gallo-Roman baths dating from the 3rd century!!!!!! Mind-boggling.

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A Day with an Old Friend

16 Apr

Today I hung out with my friend from Vancouver who moved to Paris. Her parents are French, and she moved to Vancouver when she was 18 months, then moved back to France 3 years ago. What a lucky girl! We went to lots of places, including the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides where Napolean is buried, L’Arc de Triomphe, Galleries Lafayette etc. She also brought me to less well-known places, including some far off arrondissements and the covered passages. (Photos to follow…too lazy to edit them now.)

After the long, long walk throughout half of Paris, I needed my nourishment! As our walk ended at Rue Montorgueil, I headed there for more amazing food shopping. I wish we had something like Rue Montorgueil in HK!! I guess our wet markets are something like that…where you can find veggies, meat, and bakeries all in one spot. But everything is so much more “gourmet” in Paris sob sob.

First stop: Stohrer. This time I took a few photos of the interior. As you can see, the ceiling is beautiful. The guys working at Stohrer are also very cute and très sympa aussi. I think I mentioned that before? Heh. They immediately switch to English if they sense that your French is moyenne. Of course, for someone who wanted to practice her French like me, that could be bad 😛

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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!