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Le Cordon Bleu News, 01/20/2015
Paris...City of Sweets in Winter
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by Le Ciel an dessus de la Seine

The cold breeze blows over Paris, the Capital of Charm, bringing along the pleasant smell of the delicious sweets in shops that are decorated in the winter season.

Winter is a time to visit Paris as good as any other time of the year.The lit-up shops make you feel like walking in a fairy-tale city where the Pastry Chef Prince gives the magical delights to the tourists, mingled with the cold breeze.

The French is well-known for their culinary art, with the ingredients handed down through the centuries from various regions. They are meticulous in each and every step of their cooking methods. The capital city of Paris is famous for its various delicious dishes and for the numerous restaurants, bistrots and Parisian cafés at every corner of the streets.

Paris
If we do not mention the typically French sweets – if a meal is without dessert, it is like a handsome man without a sweet girl by his side. Paris is full of pastry shops (pâtisseries) which have become a landmark for this city for a long time.

During the winter time, especially, these pastry shops would find the very best techniques to make new sweets and to decorate their shop windows with them…lively at night and delicious in the morning.There are many shops with these delicious items.

The most popular among Thais is La Durée. Their ‘macarons’, thin, crispy, melting in our mouth, could empty our pockets. There are many branches. One has to wait for a table – but it is worthwhile. If one only wants to take them home, one can buy them from department stores (although there are not as many choices as in the specialty shops). Lately, “La Durée” has just changed its management. One should go and try whether it is better than before.


Paris

Jacques Génin is a shop selling all kinds of delicious chocolates. If you love “millefeuille” (literally a thousand leaves, a layered flaky pastry filled with pastry cream). “Jacques Génin” is guaranteed to be as delicious as other shops.

The pastries at the “Pâtisserie de Rêves” are sweet – the décor of the shop is also sweet, trendy and ultra-modern. The pastries are displayed on a counter with glass covers on top that hang from the ceiling as if they were delicious jewels. There may be only a few tables but it is cosy – suitable for get-togethers, away from the cold.

Jean-Paul Hévin is right at the city centre on Rue Saint Honoré – a good place to relax after shopping. It is well known for its big variety of chocolates. When the weather is freezing cold (with trembling jaws), the ‘chocolat chaud au thé vert’ is recommended. It is hot chocolate topped with thick green tea that go incredibly well together – to be taken with Chocolate Cake – making the topping even more savory. Coming out of this shop, do not forget to drop by Colette a world-renowned hip design shop.

Pierre Hermé used to be a pastry cook. He was a bakery chef at “La Durée”. He then opened his own shop, creating his own brand. He is now widely known for his skills and creativity for new sweets as well as the macaroons that people have judged to be better than the original recipe of “La Durée”.

Carette has 2 branches, one at ‘Place des Vosges’, surrounded by art galleries, shops and an interesting tourist spot like ‘La Maison de Victor Hugo’, home of the philosopher, Hugo. The other branch is at ‘Place du Trocadéro’ not far from the Eiffel Tower where many people sit and drink in a typically posh Parisian ambiance, eating the famous macaroons.


Paris


Merci
means ‘Thank You’ and it is the name of a home-décor shop with a coffee corner. There are no well-known sweets like other shops but customers come to take coffee or hot chocolate in a place that gives the feeling of a big library with many books that one can choose to read – even a bachelor will not feel lonely here.

Eating at a famous pastry shop in Paris….you need to be patient due to the long queues… And, with the cold breeze, if you are not a real pastry-lover, you will probably not have the patience! However, all the afore-mentioned recommended shops are worth the wait!

The Charm of Paris will never fade away...just like the delights of the Parisian pastries that will always remain sweet.

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