What does Catherine de Médicis and my latest sweet treat experience have in common?
The answer is the name – Popelini.
It may be the name of the shop but also it is the name of the Italian personal chef to Catherine de Médicis who is credited in 1540 with creating choux pastry. All I can say is grazie Popelini for the many years of pleasure I have had eating profiteroles and now these wonderful flavoured cream filled puffs reimagined by chef Lauren Koumetz in the 21st century. This was the sweet treat I was after: just a couple of moutfuls of deliciousness but without the guilt.
Le Lieu/ Location
After my uber healthy solo dining lunch at Nanashi I meandered through the Marais and arrived outside the colourful tiny shop that is Popelini. It may be small inside but then again you don’t need a large space to sell such small puffs of pleasure!
Les Gateaux/ Cakes
The puffs are choux pastry filled with a flavoured cream and the standard flavours are: dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla from Madagascar, salted caramel butter, lemon, praline, pistaschio, milk chocolate with passion fruit cream filling and raspberry-rose. There are also the chef’s special puffs of the day. I then caught myself saying which puff would I like and therein lies the problem – it would be rude not to have at least two puffs if not three. Ok, well, three are maybe too many for one person but these puffs are two mouthfuls of pleasure potentially 3 if you have exquisite table manners and incredible self control. The latter I do not have but even without it eating a puff in one go is uncomfortable!
I chose raspberry- rose and my favourite flavour salted caramel butter and headed home. With a cup of wonderfully strong tea I sat down and for four pleasurable mouthfuls I felt like a queen whose chef knew just the size and amount of pleasure she needed!
Where? I went to the shop at 29 rue Debelleyme 75003 but there’s also a shop at 44 rue des Martyrs 75009
How? Metro line 8 (Filles du Calvaire) and a little stroll
Pricey? €1,95 a puff or €11,50 for a box of 6
Open when? Tuesday to Saturday 11 – 19h and Sunday 10 – 15h