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Paris to Boston

Can You Find Parisian Treats in Boston?

By Amanda Healy

Photo by Maya Geiger

Last summer, I spent six life-changing weeks studying abroad in the city of love. My weekly routines included attending class, watching the sunset on the Seine, wandering through museums, and eating every delicious pastry I saw. Now that I am back in Boston, I often find myself craving a pain au chocolat or perle de macaron, so I decided to try three bakeries to see how they compare to the fantastic treats Paris has to offer.

Clear Flour Bakery

Clear Flour Bakery is a small bakery with beautiful loaves of bread, pastries, and sweet treats, located on Thorndike St in Brookline. I got a chocolate croissant and a flourless dark chocolate cake. The chocolate croissant was very good. After taking a bite, the chocolate was warm and melty, and the pastry was perfectly flakey. It was definitely one of the better croissants I have had in Boston (and I would get it again), but it was not as buttery as the ones in France. Next, I tried the flourless dark chocolate cake — a small, single-sized treat. I was particularly excited about this option when I saw it in the casem because I loved getting moelleux au chocolat’s after class. This trear at Clear Flour was very good, and while the center was not as runny as the ones I had abroad, I would recommend trying this treat. When leaving, I saw a variety of delicious-looking options, and I will definitely be back to try them.

Crémeux French Pâtisserie

After studying abroad, one of the most challenging things is returning home and craving something you cannot easily get. I would eat a ham and cheese sandwich on a baguette multiple times a week in Paris, and while that sounds like a simple thing to make, it is entirely different in America. When I walked into Crémeux French Pâtisserie in Coolidge Corner, I saw they had a ham and cheese sandwich with butter and pickles, just like in Paris, and I knew I needed to try it. I thought it was delicious and tasted very similar to an authentic Parisian sandwich; although nothing is the original, I will go back when I am craving a sandwich. Additionally, I tried the plain croissant from Crémeux French Pâtisserie. While it still tasted more American, it was very tasty and closer to a Parisian croissant compared to others I have had at different establishments.

Tatte Bakery & Cafe

With numerous locations in Massachusetts, it is very easy to find yourself next to a Tatte. They have fantastic food and sweet treats, but when comparing their offerings to traditional pastries in France, they are not the same. Tatte has very good croissants, with a variety of flavors including chocolate and almond. It is a solid option if you are craving a flakey snack, but when looking at the dessert display, they do not offer traditional French treats. You can find excellent chocolate mousse, but the other desserts are classic American options like cheesecake.

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