Thanks to talented pastry chefs and bakers in the U.S. who are infatuated with French sweets and baked treats, it is not necessary to travel to Paris to enjoy them....well, at least, you can get by without doing so.
|The display at La Pâtisserie des Rêves--tranlates to "the pastry of dreams." Amen.|
|Macaroons displayed at a bakery in the sweet 'hood of Saint Germain.|
Rich yet pure: French strawberry planted in a jar of crème fraîche.
|Raspail Market on a rainy Tuesday morning.|
In the category of dairy, we have St. Benoît Creamery in Sonoma with Euro roots, whose sumptuous yogurts can easily compete with the delicious whole-milk ones I tasted in France.
And in the area of coffee, there is simply no competition. The U.S. does it better.
|Never to-go. Café Crème (café au lait) from Coutume.|
|Chocolat chaud at Coutume.|
But I will have to go to Paris for everything else: to hear the melodic sounds of French being spoken in the Metro; to sip local café crème--even if Blue Bottle could prepare it better--, to admire a market's endless rows of butter and yogurt in pristine glass jars...to have a chat with the owner of a little, white dog in a neighborhood park.
Bottom line: though bits of Paris can be experienced here, Paris is still distinctly Paris, even if it is being invaded by food trucks at the moment.