Crème au Chocolat
On the advice of Louisa from A Movable Feast, I felt compelled to check out Xavier Le Quéré, a little shop on the famous Rue Mouffetard in the 5ème.
A sleek, beautifully modern shop with display cases reminiscent of jewelry shops, this is what I would deem the Banana Republic of pâtisseries. The selection is not wide but everything is beautiful and mouth-watering.
I knew I wanted something chocolate- I haven't had anything chocolate since coming to Paris (gasp!). The crème au chocolat, a pot-de-crème type dessert, screamed out to me. One of the best parts is that it comes in a ceramic cup that you get to keep! That alone was worth the 2.75 Euros, equivalent to the cost of some pastries at regular pâtisseries.
The nice man behind the counter carefully pulled my selection out of the case, placed it in a clear box, wrapped a ribbon around it, and even attached a sticker on top. This, my friends, is full-service.
Satisfied with my purchase, I strolled back out onto Rue Mouffetard and back into 90+ weather. What was I thinking, holding a precious crème that would quickly melt before I could bring it home to enjoy? This dilemma forced me into a few stores, looking for cheap plasticware I could buy (a set in your purse is always welcome when traveling), but I saw nothing.
Finally, I came upon a little turnaround with a fountain in the middle. Rummaging through my purse, the only potential eating utensil I could find was a pen. So, a pen it was. After snapping a photo of my purchase, I perched on the railing and enjoyed my dessert with a writing utensil. What a juxtaposition of food and writing, eh? Thank goodness it was a smooth, creamy dessert that didn't require the use of a fork, although I did enlist my fingers at the end to scrape the dish clean.
The depth of chocolate flavor amazed me, even though it was not extremely dark or bitter in any way. There were little crunchy bits of cacao nibs in there- wholly unexpected but it helped to break through the intense richness.
In that moment, basking in the heat at the end of another day, I was reminded of why I chose Paris.
Xavier Le Quéré
121 Rue Mouffetard