March 28, 2014

Cupcakes, FroYo, and Thoughts on Food Fads


The other day I was pondering all the semi-recent food trends that have swept the United States, or at least California. I can think of FroYo, bubble tea, and cupcakes, just to name a few of the most prominent. There are two things that Americans love: Food and Invention. We love a new idea, a fresh take on something previously seen as ordinary. Take fruit for instance - only Americans would think "hey, lets organize this fruit into a bouquet that people can eat, and call it 'Edible Arrangements!" And think of Sprinkles Cupcakes, with their cupcake ATM! I can't wait to see what crops up next... 3D printed food, anyone?

I've noticed that these food novelties aren't quite as big here in Paris; The French are more protective of tradition, which is why you can find baguettes and pain au chocolat on literally any street corner. One exception is burgers, the un-sophisticatd meal you can eat with your hands, which weren't always a staple on many Parisian menus like they are today. You can find bubble tea (for which I had a craving the other day), but usually tucked away in nondescript corners, and I have yet to see a single frozen yogurt establishment like Pinkberry or Yogurtland. As far as the cupcake trend goes, I would say it's part of a larger tendency toward specialty sweet-shops, as opposed to general Bakeries. Popelini, for instance, specialises in fancy cream puffs, while l'Éclair de Genie makes uber gourmet éclairs that are literally a work of art.

I hadn't noticed any cupcake shops around Paris, so after a simple Google search, I found this one, called Miss Cupcake. After looking at the location, I realized I've walked past it numerous times without really noticing it! In fact, I've eaten at the vegetarian restaurant next-door. Sometimes, when you're not looking for something, it escapes your attention. Miss cupcake has two locations, one in Montmartre and one in the Marais, two of my favourite neighbourhoods.

First of all, this place is adorable; A little pastel jewelry box that smells like freshly-baked goods. Pink, lavender, and mint-green with a mix of painted wood, floral wallpaper, pink houndstooth upholstery, and a white marble table-top. I chose an apricot-pistachio cupcake with a cappucino, and my friend went for the Blueberry-Vanilla. After politely eating the cupcake with a spoon (SO not american, to eat a cupcake with a utensil), we split a cookie, which was also delicious.


Overall, this is an adorable place to stop in, especially if you've just done some vintage shopping nearby at Chine Machine or Vintage Désir like I had (I got myself a denim jacket that I'm very excited to wear for spring).


Paris is all about the beautiful traditions, but it's nice to have a little freshness here and there with specialty coffee shops, cafes, and bakeries. I'm looking forward to discovering more of these little corners and small businesses.




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