Honestly I could not imagine a trip to France without their fabulous pastry so I was a tad nervous about my wheat gluten and dairy intolerances. Knowing that butter, cheese and flour are staples of the French diet I loaded my luggage with bags of raw almonds, cans of pop-top tuna, pitted dates, dried apples, and LARABARS. Most of it returned home with me, a little worse for wear.
The first few days in Paris I ate a high protein breakfast from the huge buffet in the hotel and often a salad nicoise for lunch. By dinner time we were too weary to dine so instead went to sleep.
In Montmarte these sandwiches were sold on the street. They looked like grilled cheese which would be double verboten so I only took a photo.
We met Dutch friends for kaffe at our hotel in Paris. After lazing over capucchino my friend asked the waiter if they had any pastry? He said no, they only had chocolate cake. Only chocolate cake? she said and then ordered three as I was abstaining. The cake arrived and it was a work of art…a volcano with vanilla sauce, a lace cookie and a dollop of ice cream…triple WOW!
Once we boarded ship, I met daily with the hot young Portuguese maitre’d to go over my food options for the day. Every day I mentioned it was just too much food as they served 4 and 5 course lunches and dinners. Soon I was skipping breakfast entirely, just eating the salad for lunch and eating dinner. My new friend would not allow me one iota of anything with flour or butter as he clearly did not want it on his conscience should I have a reaction. The chef was very cooperative but when they gave me a piece of gluten free bread that both looked like and tasted like cardboard I knew I needed a croissant and soon!
So when the ship docked I managed to slip into the village and ferret out a patiserrie-boulangerie to snag some pastry to reward myself for eating all that lamb, veal, beef and heavy meat that I avoid at home. It worked just fine until the 3rd try when I got sick. I ate NO cheese however!!! (cue the halo)
Each bakery wraps their treasure like a work of art. There were two apple tartins in this parcel…and yes I did share!
Word on the street was this bakery in Conflans made the best pastry in France. I was there drooling at the window the day before Easter. It was enormously busy and I just decided a photo was far better than humiliating myself with my broken French on this very busy pastry buying day.
Monday at home I popped into Starbucks for some capucchino to offset the jet-lag and saw they were selling pain au chocolat. I decided to not even go there. I am no longer on vacation…and really how can a croissant from Starbucks even compare to that of France?
Even doggies in France love the smell of the boulangerie!