I don’t know how many different types of cakes and tarts there are in France, but since there are over 350 different varieties of cheese available here, I’m wagering there has to be at least that many possibilities for decadent dessert.
Gâteau Saint Honoré
Gâteau au chocolat
Charlotte Mont-Blanc…biscuit cuillère, crème vanille, chantilly, marron glacés et crème de marrons…
En France, I have never met a gâteau or tarte I don’t care for, and this being a birthday weekend chez nous, I thought I’d share a few pictures of some of my favorites I’ve indulged in either in reality or in my dreams.
Even when I’m being good (which is most of the time), I’m lucky to be surrounded by this dazzling eye candy. Not only are they delicious on the taste buds, but they are also exquisite works of art.
Tarte au citron, c’est notre préféré…
tarte aux pommes
Bonne dégustation! Enjoy! (literally good tasting)
c’est notre préféré: it’s our favorite
chez nous: at our house
gâteau au chocolat: chocolate cake
gâteau or tarte: cake or tart
tarte aux pommes: apple tart
tarte au citron: lemon tart
“He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. ‘Guilt’ was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration’.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
I know that most of us carry around emotional baggage tied to food and that there are plenty of French women (and men) who see food as the enemy, but I do find this cultural difference between the above word associations thought-provoking.
It does my body good to luxuriate in an exquisite piece of chocolate or share an artisanal pastry in a special moment, in the right atmosphere, rather than guiltily guzzling down a dozen of quelque chose in front of my computer.
After 2 ½ years in France, I’m getting better and better at thinking of chocolate (and other foods) as a celebration and choosing smaller portions and higher quality foods over huge and highly processed junk.
….a massive 7-lb American chocolate cake from COSTCO…
Look at all those unnatural ingredients!
I could feed a small village with this massive cake!
Old habits die hard, but I find that this particular bad habit is easier to break en France.
…a much smaller, and far more expensive and delicious gâteau au chocolat (55€-$75), one could only afford for a true celebration…
en France: in France
quelque chose: something, anything