Mora: Everything a Pastry Chef Could Desire

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Paris is a top destination for cooks of all stripes, from amateurs looking to improve the dishes they serve to family and friends right up to professional chefs seeking top-notch instruction and unparalleled kitchen experience. There’s a Parisian destination that’s a favorite among bakers and pastry chefs—Mora, a culinary supply store founded in 1814. This large shop in the Les Halles district is crammed top to bottom with more than 5,000 items (all of which also can be purchased online) to meet just about every culinary need. And many Parisians and tourists do, indeed, head to Mora for all of their cooking needs. But Mora is absolute heaven on earth for pastry chefs and bread makers, offering more specialty items for these cooks than any other shop in the City of Light—and quite possibly in the entire world. Continue Reading →

How Did the Croissant Become a French Staple?

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Croissants are ubiquitous in Paris. Every pastry shop and boulangerie makes them. Every café sells them. A typical Parisian breakfast? Croissants and coffee. And for travelers to the City of Light, indulging in a buttery, flaky croissant (or several) is every bit as important as a trip to the Eiffel Tower or a bateau ride on the Seine. But how did this simple pastry become so ingrained in French culture? No one is absolutely certain, but theories abound. (And here’s a guide to where you can find the 10 best croissants in Paris!) Continue Reading →

Celebrating Christmas in Paris with a Buche de Noel

Homemade Buche

A traditional Christmas dessert served in France is the Buche de Noel, or yule log. Nearly every patisserie in the City of Light offers up their own version of this delicious rolled cake, with some of the most elaborate—and most pricey—coming from such celebrated pastry chefs, chocolatiers and patisseries as Pierre Herme, Laurent Duchene, Christophe Roussel, Jean-Paul Hevin, Dalloyau, Laduree and many more. Continue Reading →

Figaroscope Picks the Best Pain au Chocolat in Paris

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Figaroscope, a weekly insert in the French newspaper Le Figaro that focuses on food, art, theater, music and entertainment in the City of Light, just conducted one of its famous taste tests to determine which Parisian patisserie/boulangerie serves the very best pain au chocolat. And the winner is … Continue Reading →

Macaron Mastery at Pierre Herme

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Paris is home base for a chain of out-of-this-world patisseries launched by arguably the world’s greatest pastry chef, Pierre Herme. The patissier is best known for his macarons, most of which have quite unusual flavor pairings, such as orange, carrot and cinnamon; foie gras and figs; sherry and golden raisins; white truffle and hazelnut; and olive oil and sea salt. Another signature Herme pastry is the 2000-feuille, a more decadent version of the French classic millefeuille or 1000-feuille—a rich dessert made up of layers of stacked puff pastry sheets separated by chocolate, almond cream and hazelnut cream filling. But truth be told, all of Herme’s desserts are delectable. Continue Reading →

G. Detou: A Must-Stop Shop for Pastry Chefs

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Paris is heaven for both amateur and professional patissiers (pastry chefs and bakers). Not only are there numerous world-class pastry shops (patisseries) to try, but there are several culinary supply stores that are simply unsurpassed in their collections of baking equipment and supplies. For pastry chefs looking for the highest-quality or the most unusual ingredients, the boutique of choice is G. Detou. The shop’s name is a homonym for the French term “I have everything”—j’ai de tout. And the place does seem to have it all. If you can’t find it here, you won’t be able to find it in all of Paris. Continue Reading →

Le Petit Dejeuner

Breakfast in Paris

I’m dreaming of having le petit dejeuner (breakfast) in Paris. The quintessential Parisian breakfast is coffee (or hot chocolate, if you’re indulging), croissants, perhaps a pastry (again for the indulgence), and freshly squeezed OJ. Simple, full of carbs and caffeine to get you going, and delicious. There’s nothing quite like a freshly baked buttery, flaky French croissant! Continue Reading →