Bonjour fellow foodies! I know I haven’t written in a while but know that there are good things coming your way. I spent all of last month in Paris and if you’ve been following the Fat Cat Eat’s Facebook page, you’ll know that I’ve been busy eating. Now that I’m back home and finally have some time to write, I’ll be posting about all my Parisien favorites!
Here is how I prepared for my food pilgrimage:
- I filled a notebook with a list of patisseries and boulangeries to visit
- I also made sure that I had Alexander Lobrano’s Hungry for Paris to guide me to the city’s best restaurants
- Most important of all- I signed up for unlimited wi-fi to help me navigate around Paris (best idea ever)
- And lastly, I vowed to eat only one pastry a day.
Although it seems as though my soul purpose to travel to Paris was to eat French food, I was actually in Paris to learn French. I took an intensive French course at the Sorbonne for 5 hours a day for a month and earned a handful of credits! Since classes ended at around 4:30 PM , I had a small window of time to jump on the metro and get to a new patisserie everyday. With a little luck, I found friends who were just as enthusiastic to wander the city to search for pastries as I was. Many times we would arrive at a pastry shop after looking for it for half an hour to find that they were closed for the day. But I was in good company and if one pastry shop door closed another opened (my favorite pastry shop, Pierre Hermé, was always there to offer us refuge.)
Anyway, lets start with the ambassador of French pastries: the Croissant- A treat for many, a daily staple for others, either way the work that goes into making a fresh Croissant should not go unnoticed. When I was fourteen I spent a day learning how to make Croissants with my sister and after a few hours of puff pastry perfecting, we swore to never attempt to make them at home. While I was in Paris I also got a brief history lesson on the Croissant from my Turkish friend, Merve, who explained that the shape of the Croissant was shaped after the Turk’s Islamic emblem (the crescent moon). So, with my basic education on Croissants, I was ready to search for the best Croissant that Paris had to offer.
My research told me to make a trip to Des Gateaux et du Pain for an exceptional Croissant. This one made Paris Patisseries’s “Top Parisian Croissants” list and scored one of the highest in the category. I hopped on the metro early one Sunday morning to get to Pasteur station, and from there I let my GPS take the lead. When I first walked into the patisserie, I thought I had accidentally stepped into an Emporio Armani. There could have been clothes on the sleek, black, shiny walls and minimalist shelves, but instead they displayed beautiful loaves of baguettes. (Unfortunately they didn’t allow me to take pictures inside.)
After marveling at the wall, I turned to my right where a display of cakes and golden pastries were lined up like leather goods. I headed right over to order their much talked about Croissant and sat down at a nearby bench to dissect it. As you can tell from the pictures, the outer layer was golden, buttery and flaky but had a strong structure that protected the airy, puffy, light and buttery center. Oh Butter… you can never have too much of it and you can tell it was packed into this Croissant. So there I was sitting alone on a bench, face tilted to the sky with my eyes closed and savoring this pastry. Every bite was heavenly (magnifique!) until I realized that my Croissant wasn’t warm. It didn’t bother me too much because it was still magnificent at room temperature, but how much better would it have been had it just come out of the oven? Even without the ideal conditions this classic Croissant au beurre was beyond anything I’ve ever had in my life and remains the best Croissant I had during my month in Paris!
Keep posted for my top patisseries in Paris!
Des Gâteaux et du Pain
63 Boulevard Pasteur, 75015 Paris, France
+33 1 45 38 94 16
Wed-Mon 8:00am to 8:00pm
Closed on Tuesdays