Monday, March 30, 2009


Laduree, Pierre Herme, Poilane, Berthillon, all famous for first class French treats. What fun we had sampling the highlights from each of these shops.

Paris must have hundreds of patisseries and chocolat shops throughout its charming little neighborhoods. It seemed as if there was a boulangerie, patisserie, fromagerie, around every corner.

We tried macarons (french spelling), eclairs, tarts, cakes, salted butter caramels, baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat, crepes, and ice cream.

It was too cold to buy cheese and have a lovely picnic in the park (although apparently not too cold to eat ice cream), so we didn't try any chunks of cheese, but the baguettes didn't really need anything extra.

Pierre Herme

First the macarons. I mentioned in a previous post that macarons had achieved cult status in Paris. I'm not kidding--there is even a National Macaron Day (March 20th, if you're interested). Macarons are brightly colored little pillows of almond powder, sugar, egg whites, and icing filled with flavored cream. My favorites were the lemon and caramel. We tried macarons from the two most beloved shops: Laduree and Pierre Herme. We both prefered Laduree but to be fair it may be because we ordered odd flavor cominations from Pierre's shop.

Citron Tart from Pierre Herme

Poilane is famous for its gorgeous round 8 pound loaves slashed with a P on top. We split a loaf and packed it in the suitcase to carry home. I have loved having sliced Poilane bread with butter for breakfast.

Poilane's store front

We paid a couple of visits to Berthillon's, located on the Ile Saint Louis, to try the caramel au buerre sale (salted butter caramel) flavor I had read so much about. The flavor was sold out the first time we went so we had the regular caramel instead. Oh my. It was delicious. The depth of flavor was surprising. We had to return to try the salted butter caramel.

On a bright sunny day lines of ice cream loving customers waited for scoops from any shop that sold the famous Berthillon ice cream.

We went directly to the original shop and waited for 30 minutes. I got the last two scoops of the salted butter caramel ice cream.

Hands down the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Both flavors. I loved both the regular glace Caramel and the Caramel Buerre Sale glace. The salt added is the fleur de sel coupled with salted butter.

Denise Acabo happily posed with us in her darling little A l'Etoile d'Or shop.

The last place on our list to track down was Denise Acabo's A l'Etoile d'Or candy shop. Denise is a charming character wearing braids and tartan plaid skirt. I had read that you must pay her appropriate respect before she shows you around her little jewel of a candy shop. We did and we were treated to a little tour of the best of the best.

I have never spent that much money on candy (in fact, I am not converting the Euros to dollars for that very reason). Of course, she sells what is considered the best Caramel-Buerre-Salé (salted butter caramels, the obsession continues) by Henri LeRoux exclusively at her shop in Paris. So we had to buy a few of those.

We also bought a few of the exclusive and expensive (of course) Bernachon chocolate (don't ask me what we were thinking, we must have been buzzing from a sugar high). I haven't even tried it yet--but since Bernachon is only one of a few chocolatiers to make its chocolate by hand I am guessing it will be excellent.


  1. Great post -- love your photos (esp the one of you and Linda)! And may I just say the salted butter caramels from LeRoux are worth every euro! BEST caramel I have ever tasted, hands down.

  2. WOLD!! Oh my goodness!(this is Amy (Chamberlain) Crandell by the way) I am soo happy I found your blog, looks like you've been doing some traveling how fun!

  3. You don't have to RUB IT IN!!! Just kidding!