Monday, October 26, 2009

Food Field Trip France: Chocolate Interlude

Let me be honest. One of my main motivations for this trip was of course, to indulge in fantastic chocolate at all times of the day. And I think I did a great job at meeting this ambitious objective.

In Paris this was due in the large part to the proximity of the delicious pastry shop below.

This is the spot where B and I started all of our mornings in Paris along with a slew of Parisians stopping by for fresh made, beautiful pastries. I discovered something I like more than the pain au chocolate -- though don't get me wrong, that is still a favorite. It was a flat, custard and dark chocolate chip filled pastry. I never got the name of said pastry, and instead would just point in the morning and say in my best french accent -- one please. I really wish I knew the name and if anyone reading does, please let me know! This was pure goodness in the morning.

Below are some of the dessert offerings from the shop.

Also in Paris, and we visited one of the locations of the La Maison du Chocolat ( This wonderful artisan chocolate shop offered a 5 euro petite indulgence of hot chocolate, macaroon, and a sample of their chocolates. This was a fantastic snack break from a day of traipsing around the city. The hot chocolate was obscenely rich and smooth. The macaroon was light and airy with a rich chocolate center. And the chocolates -- two dusted ganache balls, and two fruit flavored ganache (citrus and raspberry) -- were rich with just the right amount of tangyness to offset the chocolate. Postscript: I learned in writing this post, that they have locations in NYC, so I am going to have to check that out next time I am up there.

Our chocolate indulgences did not end when we left Paris; in Beaune and Lyon we switched to wonderfully flaky on the outside, gooey on the inside chocolate croissants. While oatmeal or fruit cups or anything remotely healthy at breakfast was not to be found, these treats were available at every cafe. Lucky us.

Finally, in Lyon on the main boulevard in the Presqu'ile area of the city we discovered a great, English style-tea house: Maison Debeaux ( They had an incredible selection of pastries of every shape and size, as well as over-sized, American-style (think Friendly's) ice cream Sundaes. B & I delighted in the delicious pastry treats with hot beverages (tea for me and cafe au lait for B) on both afternoons in Lyon. Maison Debeaux has an upstairs salon and table service which makes for a relaxed and delicious respite and a great outlet from the cold snap that we hit during the latter part of our trip. Below is a raspberry, chocolate, mocha pastry with raspberry meringues.

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