First of all, know that a ‘pain au chocolate’ is called a ‘chocolatine‘. The chocolate filled puff pastry dessert has the same taste, but a different name. Now that we have that covered…the South-West of France, like many parts of the country, has it’s own regional desserts which cannot be missed when you are visiting! Here are some of the best :
Macarons – The classic macaron people think of when in France, is the Bordeaux or Parisian macaron. This is the pretty, colored and multiple flavored, delicate sandwich of almond-meringue cookies with a special cream or jelly center. Did you know that THE original macaron, the first one made 1620, was actually from Saint-Emilion. The small, idyllic countryside village in the vineyards is also where the first recipe for the Italian style macaron was made, which is almond flour and meringue, often sold on a paper disk.
BUY in Saint Emilion at Les Macarons de Nadia Fermigier in their classic blue and white box at 9 Rue Gaudet. Open 8am-730pm in summer from Monday-Saturday and 9am-730pm on Sunday. Phone +33 (0)5 57 24 72 33 / http://www.macarons-saint-emilion.fr
Canele – Maybe you’ve seen the ridged conical shaped dessert and not know what it was. Legend has it that the nuns in Bordeaux created this dessert hundreds of years ago with the scraps from the many trading ships coming into town – vanilla and rum specifically – and the yolks of the eggs left over from winemakers using the whites to purify wine. Traditionally, they are made with copper molds, waxed with bees wax to prevent sticking on the interior which also makes the best for a crunchy exterior and lighter, soft interior.
BUY at the chain Baillardan or even take a class to learn how to make them in Bordeaux at 36 Place Gambetta. Open 8am-8pm Monday-Saturday and 930am-730pm on Sunday. Phone +33 (0)9 67 79 42 74 / http://www.baillardran.com
Dunes Blanches – Essentially a cream puff with crunchy sugar on the top, sometimes the simpler things in life are the best. Created in Arcachon, a coastal community, you can now find shops in Bordeaux as well.
BUY at Chez Pascal Dunes Blaches in Lege-Cap-Ferret at 46 Route du Cap Ferret. Open 630am-130pm and 4pm-8pm in summer. Phone – +33 (0)5 56 60 96 90 / http://boulangerie-chezpascal.com (check website for other locations)
Miques – These are something you won’t see everywhere, or all the time, as they are unique to the Easter period. They are sugary balls of dough with a light, sugary alcohol center. Making them is actually a really fun process and pretty simple compared to many French desserts.
BUY them in Bazas, during the Easter period, at Boulongerie Patisserie Sauboua at 5 General Cours de Gaulle. Open Monday-Saturday from 630am-100pm and 3pm-730pm and mornings on Sunday. Phone +33 (0)5 56 25 00 46 / http://www.http://boulangerie-sauboua.fr/
Puits d’Amour – Created in Captieux, about 15 minutes drive from Bazas, these can now be found in pastry shops all over the region. They are a light pastry with a light meringue center and a burned sugar top…think of a bite sized, airy crème brulee. Yeah.
BUY in many pastry shops in the region. The original location is in Captieux, but has since been sold to a new owner. Maison Seguin at 4 Rue de la Gare in Captieux. Open 715am-1230pm and 330pm-730pm Tuesday-Saturday and mornings on Sunday, closed Monday. Phone +33 (0)5 56 65 60 40 / https://www.facebook.com/Le-Puits-damour-de-Captieux-411526745637557/
Jesuit – Is a flakey pastry with powdered sugar, frangipane and shaved almonds in a long, triangular shape ment to represent the hats worn by Jesuits. Said to have been created in Bordeaux, it’s one of my favorites, like a cross between an almond croissant and a mille-feuille?
You can find these in almost any shop in the region, so try a few and let me know what you think? In Bazas, at Boulongerie Patisserie Sauboua at 5 General Cours de Gaulle. Open Monday-Saturday from 630am-100pm and 3pm-730pm and mornings on Sunday. Phone +33 (0)5 56 25 00 46 / http://www.http://boulangerie-sauboua.fr/