Paris is sweet. That’s true. On every street you can find some shops with sweets.
Chocolate, macaroons, croissants, cakes, cookies - you must try something every day. How do the French make it that they aren’t fat? I don’t know, but I know why they love sweets.
In every famous part of Paris I saw macaroons in every bakery and confectionery kiosk. Macaroons are small cookies made from egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar and almond powder. A macaroon is commonly filled with butter cream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. In Paris they were made for the first time by an Italian chef for the wedding of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici in 1533. In Paris the French confectionery Laduree is well-known for making quality macaroons in traditional and new flavours. I didn’t try macaroons from that confectionery but I ate them on Montmartre. They are very delicious and light, but the price of a single macaroon is very high. Maybe I’ll try to bake them.
Currently a box of macaroons is a very fashionable souvenir from Paris.
An éclair is a more common pastry. It is a long thin pastry made from choux dough filled with cream and topped with icing. An Éclair is very popular in Poland. I often bought it in a confectionery near my university in Krakow. I tried éclairs in Paris and the taste was the same as in Krakow. I was so proud of Polish confectioners. The éclair originated in France in the nineteenth century. It is a popular type of cake served all over the world, but only in Paris and Poland its taste is amazing.
Probably nobody knows that a very popular croissant is a Polish idea. In 1683Austria celebrated the Turkish defeat of the Polish forces in the Turkish siege of the city. A Polish diplomat Franciszek Kulczycki convinced a baker Petera Wendela to make buns in the shape of a crescent moon, similar to the moon from Turkish flags. This is only legend. How the croissant was invented is a secret.
The truth is that the croissant origined in Austria. When an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang, founded a Viennese Bakery at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris. This bakery served Viennese specialties including the kipfel, the Vienna version of croissant. It quickly became popular and inspired French imitators. The French version of the kipferl was named after its crescent (croissant) shape and it has evolved into puff pastries.
Parisian croissants are ones of the best which I have ever eaten.
I always like Opera cakes. I tried the first slice of this cake at my uncle's wedding when I was 6 years old. I first tried to do it when I was 12 years old.
In Paris I tried the French version of an Opera cake, but I still don’t know which version is true. I have several recipes for this cake: my French family, recipes from cookery books and the Internet, but every one is a little different. Maybe you have true recipes of the Opera cake?
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