A comprehensive guide to all-you-can-eat French pastries on your next Paris trip.
It’s hard to go wrong with this flaky, buttery, crescent-shaped pastry. They’re everywhere, usually cost about €1, and come in many varieties. Look for a croissant au beure for an extra gluttonous treat, or its cousins, pain au chocolat (chocolate stuffed croissant) and croissant amande (filled with almond paste and topped with sliced almonds and powdered sugar). Ever wonder why they’re crescent shaped? Following the Muslim defeat in the Battle of Tours in 732, French bakers created the pastry to represent the Islamic crescent.
This oblong pâte à choux (a pastry with a flaky, doughy base) is customarily filled with coffee, vanilla, or chocolate-flavored cream. Occasionally, you’ll encounter varietals filled with run, almond, or chestnut-flavored custard.
These delicate sandwich-like pastries consist of two soft cookies glued together by a thin layer of icing. Madewell, they are slightly crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and come in dozens delectable flavors and colors.
These are basically cream puffs (read: short, squatty éclairs). The bold pastry is baked in the shape of a hollow ball, filled with custard cream, and iced with caramel or chocolate sauce.
A decadent, striped puff pastry alternating between sweet-flavored cream and flaky sheets of dough, topped with iced sugar or fondant in swirling black and white patterns.
This small, ridged, cylindrical pastry is a specialty of Bordeaux. It has a thick, caramelized crust surrounding a tender and spongy center. The traditional Canelé d’Or is flavored with rum and vanilla, but you can often find pure vanilla and chocolate varietals.
A crumbly, flour-based pastry with dense almond-flavored filling, topped with a cherry or raspberry garnish. These almond-based cakes dominate nearly every pastry shop in Basque country.
Essentially a doughnut, chopped in half lengthwise, filled with ornate swirls of praline cream, and topped with powdered sugar and sliced almonds. AKA it is not very breast-like.
Consisting of an almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup and smothered in chocolate ganache, layered with coffee buttercream, and drizzled with chocolate glaze, this brick of rich chocolate and coffee is the ultimate gourmandize treat.
A savarin cake soaked in rum syrup, topped with vanilla cream.
A delightful strawberry cake infused with cream and covered with a thin layer of almond paste.
This upside-down pastry was actually created by accident in the 1880s at the Hotel Tatin outside of Paris. Basically an apple pie gone wrong, the mistake is now a signature dish found at restaurants and pâtisseries throughout France.
Brace yourselves for an intense gastronomical experience featuring wine, cheese, and tapas in Eastern Spain and Southern France, courtesy of world nomad extraordinaire: Julia. A proud foodie, linguaphile, art-lover, and fitness aficionada, catch Julia doing early-morning yoga in the most obscure of places, scouring cities for little-known art galleries, and going to the most extreme lengths to samplethe local cuisine. When she’s not getting lost in European countries, Julia studies Government and Environmental Sustainability at Harvard.