Walking through Rue Montorgueil this morning, I counted not fewer than 8 bakeries, as well as several candy shops. This led me to wonder why some people persist in making their own desserts in Paris, when there are cakes and pastries galore. Perhaps it is the challenge of perfecting a favorite snack (e.g. me and the madeleine), the desire for a healthier substitute to store-bought dessert, or a craving for something not easily found in Paris (American cheesecake for one, is rather difficult to find in this city). Whatever the case, a Parisian address the home baker should know is G. Detou.
G. Detou is where one can find every baking ingredient available, from 5 kilo bags of Varlhona cooking chocolate, all varieties of nuts and dried fruits, to clinical looking bottles containing extracts and powders to perform serious baking alchemy.
And for those who not just bake, but also like to prettify their cakes, there are, at G. Detou, dragees in every color, alongside sugared flowers and tubs of fondant, so that one can decorate to his/her heart’s desire.
If there is one complaint about the baking supplies in G. Detou, it is that the ingredients tend to come in industrial-sized portions. I suppose its great for people who are planning to roll out a small factory line of Christmas cookies and cakes, but for the casual, noncomittal bakers like me, what tends to happen is half-used bags of chocolate bits languishing deep inside the fridge. Thankfully, chocolate prices are pretty cheap when you buy in bulk, and Varlhona chocolate is tasty no matter the form it comes in.
As for non-bakers, a trip to this old-fashioned epicerie can also yield some edible treats, including whole lines of French chocolate bars (Varlhona, Cluziel, Weiss all represented), gorgeous tins of Kusmi tea, bottles of fruit conserves, and even tinned seafood. Prices are reasonable and definitely cheaper than at the food emporiums of Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché too. Guess where I shopped for gifts for my upcoming US trip?
58 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002, Paris (right off Rue Montorgueil)