There are all these books about why French women don’t get fat because they eat like this or they dress like that etc etc. In my humble opinion the reason French women don’t get fat is because all those beautifully crafted, delicately decorated cake creations are damned expensive. At an average of €4 a cake – they are not the thing you buy every day unless of course you have unlimited funds. Hence why I limit myself to a weekend sweet treat having learnt the hard way of how easy it is to fritter away a month’s salary on cakes. No wonder the mob took Marie- Antoinette’s head – cake is expensive darling!
Macaroons are so 2013 make room for the meringue. I had heard about Merveilleux Fred’s for a while and seen the photos but the only outlet he had in Paris was a trek away up in the 17eme arr. Anyway, I saw he had one opened “near me”. Honestly I shouldn’t be let loose near a map as “near” actually worked out to be 8km round trip in the rain, pass countless police vans – the other national past time aside from people watching is le demonstration – and the police were out in force. However that did not stop me. I was on a mission and here’s why:
The shop is so bright and airy even though there are a number of people working in there and there is a chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Frankly – there should be a beacon on top of the building shining a light for people to make their way here. These aren’t the meringues you are used to – hard shell or crisp if you prefer and slightly chewy inside. Oh no, these meringues are rolled in cream and then covered in chocolate, specullous, pralines or other delicious crunch bits. This is the way meringues are sold in Northern France where Fred (Frédéric Vaucamps) is from.
You can either buy the standard size qt €2,95 or the mini size for €1,50. I chose mini and the box held 4 as my fitness app had told me I walked 4km so why not get 4. I chose white chocolate, speculoos, lemon and something else and once wrapped up I was on my merry way. The servers were an absolute joy, cheerful and smiling. As I turned to leave the shop, the queue of people was growing steadily. Fred’s is popular.
I returned home and sat down with a cup of tea. The plan was to eat one or possibly two and save the rest for the following day. These meringues are as light as air. They are a multi-layered culinary orgasm. Inside each meringue there is a layer of meringue and then chocolate or whichever topping you have gone for. There is a slight chew and bite. I must have gobbled them up in 20 minutes and I am glad that the shop is 8km round trip away as I felt quite virtuous that I basically had a zero calorie treat. No more macaroons, only meringues for me and only Aux Merveilleux de Fred’s meringues at that!
Where? Numerous locations around Paris (I went to 5 rue Monge 7505) and now in London – yes Clapham!!
How? Walk it then you can enjoy it as a guilt free pleasure!
Open when? Tuesday to Sunday (9am – 7 pm)
Pricey? Depends how greedy you are…