10 of the best treats to eat in France
I saw an article the other day entitled “Europe Dominating Summer Travel Plans.” I am so happy that European countries are open to tourists again! In honor of travel restrictions being lowered all over the world, today I’m going to focus on one of the hottest cities to visit: Paris. And what better topic than the top 10 must-try treats from the City of Lights?
Paris is sweet on the eye, sweet on the romance, and sweet on the palate. It is a sugar lovers' dream, and the only problem you'll have when it comes to the delectable French desserts is which one to choose. To help you navigate that yummy last course, I've broken down the top 10 must-try desserts for your visit to France. Whether your favorite is fruit, cream, pastry, custard, or all of the above, you’ll find so many delectable delights in France. And if you have to eat more than one a day to try them all? Well, c'est la vie!
#10: The Tartes Aux Fruits – Otherwise known as fruit tarts. The tartes aux fruits are prepared with fresh fruit inside a buttery pastry. The fruit sits atop a heavenly Chantilly cream. You can enjoy these tartes in both miniature and pie sizes.
#9: Croissant – This buttery, flaky wonder is a signature French pastry. There are so many ways to top it; you can use fruit, chocolate, fondant, or a compote of your choosing. You will not be disappointed.
#8: The Tarte Au Citron – Tarte Au Citron, also known as the lemon tart, is also very popular. Donning a pastry crust and delicious lemon filling. The filling, however, is not made with fruit. The cream is a mixture containing lemon juice, lemon zest, and of course, eggs and sugar.
#7: The Tarte Tatin – Named after the hotel that serves the dessert (Hotel Tatin), the tarte Tatin is a unique upside-down pastry. Its ingredients include caramelized fruit prepared with sugar and butter. It pairs famously with a bit of tart crème Fraiche.
#6: The Éclair – The éclair is a popular dessert in Paris. The long French choux pastry can be filled with either a rich custard or pastry cream and topped with a sweet fondant. By definition, the term éclair means lightning in French. Go figure!
#5: The Mille-Feuille – This fluffy treat comes in a vanilla or custard slice and consists of several layers of puff pastry. Between the puff pastry lies an additional two layers of pastry crème. Another name for the mille-feuille is Napoleon.
#4: Macaron – Macarons are undeniably delectable. There are so many flavors to choose from. The base ingredients include meringue and almonds. Be sure to not confuse it with coconut macaroons, in which the English added the -oon to the word in the 16th century.
#3: The Paris Brest – This pastry was created to celebrate the Paris to Brest bicycle ride in 1891. Naturally, it's circular and contains praline flavored crème and choux pastry.
#2: The Petits Four – Translated, petit four means small oven, and are also known as mignardises. The fours are little bite-sized pastries that can also be savory if you choose. The sweet option includes a sugary glaze atop a crispy biscuit. These pastries are perfect for tea parties.
#1: The Choux à La Crème – These cream puffs are created using puff pastry as well. They swell while cooking and are hollow. The oozing center can be either whipped cream or custard. Interestingly enough, once you add chocolate as your topping, it then becomes a profiterole. There are various toppings you can add to this pastry, from ice cream to fruit and even spun caramel.
OK, I know I said ten, but I can't mention French food without including crepes! The legend of crepes says that the first crepe was made in 13th century France by a housewife who accidentally dripped some thin porridge onto a hot, flat cooktop. She cooked it, ate it, and, as they say, the rest is history! What a humble beginning for such a fabulous food!
Are you hungry yet? Me too! I might just need to visit a bakery near me and get the American version of one of these tasty treats. Let’s be honest—who can stop at just one? Keep this list handy for the next time you’re planning to visit Paris, and I hope you’ll try them all!