This day was filled with going to visit fabulous chocolate and food shops, and being scolded for taking the photo above (more on that later). I made ourselves a route through the city that involved the closest Metro stops (my feet were tired). It was ambitious and we skipped a number of things, but everything we saw was amazing.
First we headed to Roger Patrick simply because Clotilde’s Edible Adventures In Paris listed it as having fabulous window displays. They were kind enough to let me take some photos but I didn’t get many before other customers came in, and I didn’t want to get in the way.
Here are the dancing ladies from inside the store:
I loved how the chocolate on their tutus was so transparently thin:
We bought a few things and on the way out they gave us samples of thin chocolates with a layer of lime ganache which was amazing. Not too sweet, and so fresh tasting.
Next to Pierre Herme. They were also kind enough to let me take some pictures but again, I was feeling timid and only got a few.
The people behind the counter were all wearing chocolate brown clothing and different colored aprons that matched the various colors of macarons. It was a nice touch.
Kernels of corn and gold leaf. Why didn’t I buy this dessert to try?
Inside Pierre Herme I found a whole bar of Porcelana chocolate. I did a little excited hop (I hope nobody noticed). I first heard about Porcelana chocolate on The Splendid Table. It’s made from beans which are very good, and in short supply as they come from tiny region, you can read more at Chocolate Speak, and find a reivew of the Pierre Herme bar, which it turns out was made by Valhrona!, over at Choqoa. I had not tried Porcelana yet simply because I was too lazy to order it from the internets. I really liked this chocolate bar, but Choqoa found it to be not as good as other Porcelana. I’ll have to seek out more to taste.
Today we took our own advice and stopped for lunch with glasses of rose. It was our first time ordering on our own and luckily we got a patient waitress who didn’t seem to mind our jumble of shopping bags and umbrellas. I loved these small, wide glasses that we sipped our liter of bubbly water out of (turns out, a liter isn’t too big for two unexpectedly thirsty people).
After lunch we traveled down to La Grand Epicerie at the Bon Marche. First we slipped into Bon Marche to do a little bit of furniture gazing, and passing the cafe I found the sugar cubes that hang on the edge of a mug, these are the things that inspired my tiny gingerbread house project.
They had a few other kinds displayed, I really liked the black and white options:
La Grand Epicerie is a large gourmet store with lots of everything. I was, of course, most attracted to the candies:
I love the perching birds. I tried to get bird or butterfly shaped cookies to do this but couldn’t get the slot width quite right. I think I’m going to take the cookies on again soon.
These sugar rose rings were stunning. Wish I’d bought one.
On the end of the confectionery counter I spotted this flat of real eggshells with shamrock stickers covering what I’m assuming was a hole in the bottom where they’d been filled with chocolate. About .002 seconds after I snapped this picture I heard someone hissing “mademoiselle” and I looked up to see the face of the counter lady looking at me with an amount of angry disapproval that I have not seen since the nuns in my Catholic school years who had successfully hunted down somebody chewing gum. Luckily she was helping somebody else who was standing between her and me so I slipped away. Oops.
I suspected they were perhaps chocolate and praline filled eggs, but I dared not go back inquire. I had seen these real eggshell treats on the Dean & Deluca website ages ago and was always intrigued by them, wondering how they sterilized the eggshells. (You can find a picture of the Dean & Deluca ones here at Blue Badger.) I figured it must be something like an autoclave. Then a few years later Martha Stewart made chocolate filled real eggshells and simply boiled the emptied eggshells. Duh.
But I’d been thinking about these praline eggs for years, which means I really, really wanted to get closer to them. I wanted to own one! But I could change my clothes, bleach my hair and draw a mustache on my face and I suspect that counter lady would recognize me and not let me near.
We formulated a plan over coffee:
Scott, my ever willing assistant, circled back to spy on the eggs. He reported that she was placing each in a bag, closing the bag, then packing them into cardboard boxes and, gasp, putting the boxes beneath the counter. They were out of my reach. Darn.
I was a little consoled by our ultimate purchase, mangosteens, which I’ll talk about more tomorrow.
Then we headed to Fauchon. Again, they were nice enough to let me take pictures. At this point were too tired to do much but gawk.
Such cute little knots.
They had this HUGE truffle in the window.
These praline pops nearly had me looking around to see if Bakeralla was in the shop.
We stopped at the nearby flower market on our way home:
That night we met Cakespy and company back at L’As du Falafel for dinner. They told us about Versailles, ice cream, which pastries we should seek out, and a vegetarian restaurant they had stumbled across:
You can find a review for Le Potager du Marais at Living on the Vedge. Jessie and company reported the food was great, but unless you’re vegan go ahead and get dessert in one of the amazing patisseries around Paris.
What we learned the hard way
Macarons and the rain: When purchasing macarons from Pierre Herme it’s best to eat them right away if you’re experiencing rainy weather. Maggi reported that they had somewhat deflated and lost their crunch by the next day despite staying in their box. The ones from Laudree held up a bit better.
Previously: Day One arrival and beating jet lag; Day Two big impressive monuments, unexpected meetings, needing to pee; Day Three The Metro, a museum, and French onion soup; Day Four dogs in paintings, startlingly large arches and towers
Next up: forbidden fruit