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What do you think of when you think of Paris? The Eiffel Tower? The Notre Dame? Highly instagrammable streets and bistros? Yes, I do too. But mainly for me, Paris is food. I’m pretty sure that the four kilo’s I gained this year are from visiting this city a little too much. Ok, not visiting. Eating a little too much when visiting 😉. Pain au chocolat here, macarons there, a nice bottle of red for afternoon drinks paired with a ‘planche mixed’ and a galette for dinner. I could go on and on. But, let’s stick to 10 foods you must eat in Paris. And it’s not all about croissants!
Pain au chocolat
I have a serious addiction with pain au chocolat since I was a child. I could eat this every day, all day long. And I’m not even a serious chocolate lover like most women are. There is something magical about the combination of the creamy rich chocolate inside a fluffy and buttery pastry. Just writing about it makes my whole mouth fill with saliva. Oh and if you have the choice between a regular or xl size. Always go for the largest version there is 😉.
This list would not be complete without macarons. Instagram is full of photos with beautiful coloured macarons and they are typically French. I have to admit. It took a long time before I had my first macaron. I always assumed that they would be sweet AF and hard on the outside. What was I thinking?! They are a little crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside with a buttery cream in between. The best macarons are indeed from Laduree and my favourite flavours are rose and caramel.
Croissant au beurre
While you can get a croissant at your local 7 Eleven or any supermarket for that matter, there obviously is a big difference in taste. THE croissant you’re looking for is a ‘croissant au beurre’ from a real boulangerie or patisserie. A real croissant should be fresh, layered, a little crunchy, soft on the inside with a rich and buttery taste. According to my source in France, the best croissants are made with ‘beurre de Normandie’.
Oooh I love quiche! It’s easy to make and it comes in all different flavours. But the classic “Quiche Lorraine” is a dish you can not miss in Paris. Quiche Lorraine is made of eggs, bacon and cheese. It sounds so basic. But as we all know, sometimes less is more. The taste of the salty bacon, the richness of the eggs and cheese accompanied by a green salad and a glass of white wine. It’s really all you need for a perfect lunch. If you need a great recipe click here.
I’ve seen this on the dessert menu all the time in Paris, but I never really knew what it was. I always assumed that it was just coffee with some chocolates. Don’t be like me! Because I really missed out all those times. Café Gourmand is a variety of small desserts with indeed a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Perfect if you can’t choose and wish to try a little bit of everything. How cute is this petite crème brulee (see photo above)? Very instagrammable too!
Tatatinnnnnnn….. One of the many things I’ve tried for the first time a few months ago in Paris. Tarte Tartin is basically an upside-down apple pie with caramel. Only this one speaks French. Order a Tarte Tartin with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream together with a nice cup of coffee or tea. Definitely a must-try in Paris.
Galette des Rois
This delicious pastry is mostly eaten in January. Its made with frangipane, sugar, butter, eggs and flour. The story that goes with eating ‘Galette des Rois’ is far more interesting. Inside the galette, there is a tiny present hidden, usually a small toy. Whoever gets the piece with this hidden surprise will be crowned to King or Queen and gets to choose his Queen or King. So, if you buy a galette in France, be careful when you take a bite. You don’t want to lose a tooth😉.
Pain perdu literally means lost bread. If you have three-day-old bread lying around the house which you’re about to throw away, stop it right there! This French toast calls for stale bread which is baked into a crunchy, soft, moist and sweet dessert, by soaking the bread in a mixture of milk, eggs and sugar. Eat it warm with a little bit of sugar or add a topping like fruit.
Galettes are made of ‘farine de sarrasin’ (buckwheat flour) and regular crepes are made of white flour. Crepes are sweet and galettes are savoury. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. The colour of a galette is a little darker and filled with savoury toppings. My favourite is one with bacon, cheese and rucola. But the options are endless so go nuts! Galettes are great for every moment of the day and (bonus) buckwheat flour is gluten-free.
If you’re a pancake lover, you can’t leave without trying crepe Suzette. This sweet dessert is also a classic in French cuisine. The recipe was created by accident when the liquor in the sauce accidentally ‘caught’ fire. The result was a thin pancake in a delicious sauce made of orange juice, orange zest, Grand Marnier, melted butter and sugar.
Writing this blog post made me extremely hungry, so I’ll keep this outro short. I wanted to add a few lesser-known foods to this list, so there is actually something new to try out. Of course, there is so much more good food in Paris. But these 10 foods you must eat when in Paris are a great start. Any other recommendations to this list? As always, let me know! Bon appetite!