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Foodie Guide: Bread and Pastries for your Trip to France

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French patisseries are popping up all over the world, and with good reason! France is home to some of the world’s most delicious bread and pastries.  Take this list with you on your trip to France, and make sure you don’t miss a single thing!

Popular itinerary in France:

Baguette: An obvious must for your trip to France 

This bread is the reason you came to France. You may have tried what they call a “baguette,” but as soon as you sink your teeth into your first authentic French one, you will wonder where it’s been all your life. In a country where bread is made fresh daily, they take it very seriously, and you’ll know it from how awesome it tastes.

French baguette on Parisian street

Croissant: Buttery flaky perfection 

Another thing that you may have tried at home but will never truly understand until you have one in France.  A real croissants is a light, flaky, buttery, pure pastry perfection.

The art of transforming raw dough into golden, flaky croissants baked to perfection in the oven

Pain au chocolate: Warm chocolatey goodness 

Oh, you’re a normal living and breathing person who loves chocolate and has fallen in love with croissants? Excellent. Step up your croissant game with this amazing creation- a delicious buttery pastry with pieces of warm, soft chocolate baked in the middle.

Pain au chocolate

Macaron: Beautiful and delicious 

Available in a wide range of colors and flavors, this sweet, meringue-based confection is both aesthetically beautiful and delicious. Between two meringues is a layer of buttercream frosting or jam, creating the perfect treat. I just love how they look and how they taste, and when I arrived home after my most recent trip to Paris, I was determined to try to make them. That is, until I saw how complicated the recipe was! Looks like macarons are a special treat that I’ll just have to indulge in when I’m in France.

Colorful French macarons on wooden table surrounded with beautiful flowers. Dessert served with afternoon tea or coffee. Generative AI.

Crepe: Like pancakes, but better 

Crepes are basically an incredible, amazing, delicious thin pancake (and lucky for you, authentic crêperies can be found in most French towns)! You can choose from a variety of fillings including butter and sugar, jam, chocolate sauce, nutella, and fruit. Oh boy, so many choices means you’ll just have to sample these a few times during your trip, right?

Crepe made by a Paris street vendor

Éclair: Light, fluffy, creamy, and chocolatey 

A choux pastry, traditionally filled with vanilla cream and topped with chocolate icing, these tasty treats can be found just about everywhere. Although these standard flavors are how they are classically prepared, more creative bakers will fill these pastries with different types of cream and top them with seriously varied types of icing!

Various fillings eclairs

Crème brûlée: Burnt cream?

Everyone has heard of Crème brûlée! You may have even tried a version of it in your hometown – but trust me when I say that you haven’t experienced true Crème brûlée goodness until you’ve had it in France! Break through the hard caramel to reach the creamy custard waiting underneath. 

Flan dessert with caramel on a neutral background created by AI

Canelé de Bordeaux: Rum all day, every day

Originating in Bordeaux, this treat is flavored with rum and vanilla, surrounded by a caremalized crust and filled with custard. Need we say more?

Traditional Bordeaux sweet cake – Canele, near the Grand theater

Bugnes Lyonnaises: Angel Wings

A French speciality hailing from Lyon and Saint-Étienne, these fried treats are especially popular before Lent. Lyon’s versions of this fried pastry are rolled out thinly and knotted once or twice before being fried in very hot oil, resulting in crispy perfection. They also come thicker, known as “pillows” which are made from unknotted dough that isn’t as thinly rolled.

Bugnes Lyonnaises

Tarte tropézienne: Giant cream puff 

St Tropez is home to this heavenly dessert – a large cream filled pastry. Some say it’s pretty much a cream-filled brioche, which is like a giant cream puff!

Tarte Tropezienne, a specialty cake on the Cote d’Azur in France

Use our itinerary builder to plan your next vacation in France and once you’re back, let us know which of these desserts was the winning one for you!

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