This post is part of the Paris in July blogging event. I’m delighted to be co-hosting this year! Please check out the blogs of Karen at “A Wondering Life” and Tamara at “Thyme for Tea," creators of the event, for links to all participating posts.
We all know that Paris is the place for pastry… but on hot summer days, we’re feeling more like something cold, light and refreshing. That means ice cream. But not ordinary ice cream. I’m talking “Berthillon,” the ice cream shop that is celebrating its 6oth anniversary this year. (With a new flavor called the “60” – vanilla and passion fruit with poivre de Timut.)
What? You’re not an ice cream fan? It doesn’t matter. Even people who usually don’t like ice cream LOVE Berthillon. The “tea salon” is located on the Ile Saint-Louis, but the ice cream and sorbets are sold at the windows of various establishments around the island.
There is only one problem with going to the tea salon: Everyone else wants to do the same and at the very same hour! So fellow author and blogger Vicki Lesage and I were strategic, going at an off hour during the week…
“What’s so great about Berthillon?” one might ask.
My answer is this: Pure, intense flavor, just the right dose of sweetness, smooth texture (no ice crystals).
This time around, I decided to go for a sorbet. Usually, I’m not a big fan of sorbets. If I’m going to eat fruit, I would rather have it fresh instead of packaged as a diluted version full of artificial flavors. But I know that with a Berthillon sorbet, you feel as if you are actually eating a piece of very cold fruit – because, basically, you are!
So peach and cherry it was. Two of my summer favorite. And in the sorbet, I found all of the softness of a fresh peach and the tartness of this season’s cherries. Oh, and that’s one other thing: Berthillon uses seasonal fruit for its sorbets, so this year’s cherry won’t taste exactly like the one served last year. And you can expect summer fruit sorbets in summer and winter fruit sorbets in the winter!
The "before" and "after" shots!
Beyond the Berthillon experience, if you are looking for great ice cream elsewhere in Paris or in France, there are two key words to remember: artisan glacier. This means that the ice cream is “homemade” according to French tradition (use of all fresh ingredients, for example) and the pastry chef oversees the entire process. You will often find artisanal ice cream in bakeries… just look for that sign!
Fellow Paris-based author Vicki Lesage is teaming up with me on a few “Paris in July” posts. We each will be writing our own take on a particular Paris-related theme. Here is what Vicki has to say about ice cream in Paris:
I've been craving good ice cream for a long time. In my neighborhood, the 12th arrondissement, decent frozen treats are hard to come by. Which is weird, since the French do ice cream so well. But there are very few places you can just walk up to and pick up a cone or cup of the frozen goodness. Click here to read more…