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Ice Cream Perfection in Paris

Berthillon in Paris, FranceOf all of the food you expect to be mind-blowing in Paris, ice cream is probably not particularly high on that list.  And yet!  Berthillon, my friends.  Berthillon.  It’s a place that’s famous enough that I had heard about it even before I started preparing for this trip, so obviously a visit was absolutely mandatory.

The ice cream they serve here is what we’d call frozen custard back home — it’s like typical ice cream, but with the addition of egg yolks to add creaminess and a custardy flavour.  And holy crap, that creaminess.  That custardy flavour.  It’s mind-blowing.

Ice cream from Berthillon in Paris, France

I had the vanilla and the salted caramel, and both flavours were outstanding.  The custardy flavour is particularly pronounced in the vanilla; it was almost certainly the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had.  And it was so creamy.

The salted caramel was just as good.  Salted caramel is one of those flavours that can trip people up; it’s amazing if done right, but if the balance of flavours are off, you can wind up with something that’s unpleasantly salty.  At Berthillon, however, they add just enough salt to cut the sweetness of the caramel, but not enough to stand out at all.

And did I mention how creamy this ice cream was?  Because god damn.

I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream in my life. I spend more time thinking about ice cream than any reasonable person should.  Which is to say that I don’t make this statement lightly: this might have been the best ice cream I’ve ever had.

Pretty Much Just a Bowl of Melted Cheese

French onion soup from Au Pied de CochonNever mind what I said about the käsespätzle in Germany being the cheesiest thing I’ve ever eaten — it’s already been superseded by this insane bowl of French onion soup from Au Pied de Cochon in Paris.

This is a sentence I never thought I’d say, but this bowl of French onion soup might have been too cheesy.  I know, impossible, right?  But the layer of cheese was a solid inch thick.  It was nuts.

French onion soup from Au Pied de Cochon in Paris, France

It was so incredibly cheesy that, about halfway through, I realized that I was going to run out of soup before I ran out of cheese.  So I started eating enormous mouthfuls of pure cheese just to try to balance things out.

Don’t get me wrong, it was still quite tasty — in particular, the broth had an addictively intense flavour — but I think the phrase “too much of a good thing” probably applies here.