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Looking beyond the macaron: sweet treats in Paris

Debauve et Gallais Paris

Ah Paris. City of Light.  Also, a city of amazing sweets.  But to really experience the sweet side Paris, get off the beaten path and seek out some of the more unusual “sweet things” she has to offer.  From pink pralines to exquisite marshmallows, you’ll be surprised at the range of tasty sweets that expends far beyond macarons! And hey, we all know how much I love to eat macarons in Paris

When you’re tired of the run of the mill viennoiserie (croissants, pains au chocolat, pains au raisins) for breakfast, head to Lisbon. Well, not the one in Portugal but the next best thing – Comme à Lisbonne.  Specialising in “Pasteis de Nata” (custard tarts) this tiny storefront in the Marais offers the authentic taste of Portugal right in the heart of Paris.

CommeALisbonnePainDeSucre

Just around the corner, head to Pain de Sucre for a taste of what seems to be an emerging trend in Paris – guimauve (marshmallows). Not your Jet-Puff variety these puffs of perfection are delicately flavoured and coloured and will chance your mind about marshmallows forever.

And since you’re closeby, get your fix of “praslines/ pralines” (roasted then caramelized almonds in various flavours) at Mazet.   Founded in 1913 by Léon Mazet, the Maison recently opened their gorgeous Marais boutique in the rue des Archives.  With exquisite décor and sublime packaging, these make lovely gifts.

PralusMazet

If it’s “pralines” you are interested in, you can’t visit the Marais without stopping in at Maison Pralus, the home of the praluline – a brioche studded with gorgeous pink pralines.  Unusual, unexpected, unmissable!

To satisfy serious chocolate cravings, head to the Left Bank to Pierre Marcolini’s store on the rue de Seine. Marcolini opened his first store in 1995 in Brussels after winning the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in Lyon and now has stores all over the world. The store carries an impressive range of single-origin chocolates.

DebauveGallaisMarcoliniPatrickRoger

For a lesson in history with your chocolate fix, head to Debauve & Gallais, founded by Sulpice Debauve (a former chemist to French king Louis XVI who provided chocolates to Marie Antoinette prior to opening the boutique) in 1800.  As purveyors to the French Court, the company received the royal warrant in 1819 and supplied Kings Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis Philippe.  Stepping back in the store is like stepping back in time.

Not far away, Patrick Roger offers a jaw-dropping experience – from giant 80kg chocolate sculptures to tiny elegant boxes of chocolates resembling jewels, Roger’s stores must be seen to be believed!

If you simply can’t resist Pierre Hermé, look beyond the macarons.  I can’t tell you what to choose from his amazing selection of cakes, but I might suggest the Infiniment Vanille if it’s there. Sublime. If it’s something more classic you are after, look no further than Gérard Mulot’s Opéra cake.

PierreHermeGerardMulot

Right Bank addresses

Comme à Lisbonne
37 Rue du Roi de Sicile
75004 Paris,
France
Tel: + 33 7 61 23 42 30
Open: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 7pm
http://www.commealisbonne.com/

Pain de Sucre
14 Rue Rambuteau,
75003 Paris
France
Tel: + 33 1 45 74 68 92
Open: Sunday – Monday and Thursday – Saturday 10am – 8pm
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
http://www.patisseriepaindesucre.com/

Les Confiseries Praslines Mazet
37 Rue des Archives
75004 Paris
France
Tel: +33 1 44 05 18 08
http://www.mazetconfiseur.com/index.php/les-confiseries-mazet.html

Pralus
35 rue Rambuteau
75004 Paris
France
Tel.: +33 1 57 40 84 55
http://www.chocolats-pralus.com/

Left Bank addresses

Pierre Marcolini
89 Rue de Seine,
75006 Paris
France
Tel: + 33 1 44 07 39 07
http://www.marcolini.be/

Various locations

Debauve & Gallais
Various locations: http://debauve-et-gallais.fr/content/26-les-boutiques

Gérard Mulot
Various locations: http://www.gerard-mulot.com/paris/evenement-gerard-mulot.php

Patrick Roger
Various locations: http://www.patrickroger.com/fr/boutiques.php

Pierre Hermé
Various locations: http://www.pierreherme.com/storelocations


If you’re into Paris and sweet things, you might also like:

Context Paris: The Chocolate Walk
A Sugar Walk of the Marais with La Cuisine Paris

** A version of this post originally appeared on the Bon Vivant travel blog.

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14 Responses to Looking beyond the macaron: sweet treats in Paris

  1. The Mistress of Spices January 29, 2013 at 05:51 #

    Hi Mardi…thanks for this round-up of some of the lesser-known treats in Paris! My Portuguese hubby would definitely want to check out the pasteis de nata at this Comme a Lisbonne place to see if they compare to the real deal!

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 18:57 #

      Well David (he’s Portuguese) thought they were the real deal!

  2. Marina@Picnic at Marina January 29, 2013 at 11:11 #

    And now I want to get a ticket to a non-stop flight to Paris… :)

  3. Sally - My Custard Pie January 29, 2013 at 12:10 #

    We actually get Pierre Herme treats here in Dubai. The chocolates are divine. Great round up.

  4. Geoff January 29, 2013 at 15:47 #

    Of course, this post is unfair on all of us who are at the bottom end of the southern hemisphere… but, great summation and lovely pics.

  5. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen January 29, 2013 at 18:25 #

    A wonderful sweet itinerary Mardi!

  6. Paula January 30, 2013 at 10:36 #

    This is my kind of travel itinerary! I’d love to eat my way through Paris like this :)

  7. Colette January 30, 2013 at 15:35 #

    If I lived in Paris, I’d need an 18-wheeler to haul my keister!

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2013 at 18:56 #

      No you wouldn’t. You get over it after a little while ;)

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