The French have a great way to sample desserts. Cafe gourmand is not an old tradition but it allows one to sample several mini desserts at once while enjoying an espresso or a cup of tea. The desserts are typically bite-size or a few spoonfuls.
When traveling I like to sample the local desserts so I can learn about the different cuisines but it can be hard on the waistline so I was excited to learn about cafe gourmand in Paris. Cafe gourmands also offer up a bit of mystic as you never know what you are going to get as the menu doesn’t tell you. So if you don’t like surprises this might not be for you.
In Paris, you do a lot of walking as the historical sites are a bit of a distance from one another so stopping in a cafe or bar for a cafe gourmand might be just what you need to re-energize to continue your tour. We went in October so it was a bit cooler so it was also nice to warm up for a bit as well.
While some of the mini-desserts were not much different from back home they added a European flair to them and were simply amazing. For example, the cheesecake had crushed speculaas cookies for a crust, the applesauce had speculaas spice added instead of the usual cinnamon. The creme brulee and the fruit salad both had a unique ingredient that I haven’t figured out yet so I will have to do some research.
The best part was seeing cute mini dishes that were used in the cafe gourmand and other meals. I have been trying to find them in the US but either they don’t carry them or they are extremely expensive. I found a couple of cooking stores and picked up a few dishes and a few other unique kitchen items that survived the trip home. I can’t wait to incorporate them into my photography.