Friday, March 31, 2023

The Best Pavlova in Paris

 

Where to go for a Pavlova?
Meet Mme. Marie Stoclet Bardon, owner (along with M. Benoit Bardon) of 4 patisserie shops in Paris, La Meringaie.

Atelier visit
On Monday Solli and I visited the l’Atelier of La Meringaie on 21 rue Lévis in the 17th, to see how their special version of the Pavlova dessert is made.

Meringue history
But first some meringue history is essential. 
Where was PaVlova created?
Legend has the meringue created in 1720, in Mehringhen, a small town in the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, by a certain Swiss Chef Casparini.  
Did Marie-Antoinette make Pavlovas?
Marie-Antoinette shared her taste for the marriage of Chantilly cream and meringue, when she hand-whipped the cream herself for her vacherins, while wearing her farm maid costume.
Top French chef, 
Antonin Carême (1754-1838) climbs the dessert steps to glory, inspired by architecture, to create many more varied meringue shapes. 
The Pavlova dessert came about in the 1920s, when Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, (shown here with her pet swan, Jack) on her solo world tour visited both Australia and New Zealand. 
Whether it was the creation of a kiwi chef or an Aussie is up for lengthy contemplation.
Her bouffant tutu skirt, along with her ethereal, light-as-a-feather ballet dancing in The Dying Swan, (created for her by choreographer Michel Fokine), inspired chefs to new heights of meringue. 
Luckily we have a record of Pavlova performing her dying swan, very different from Le Lac des cygnes or Swan Lake as we know it today.
But I digress as usual…first we viewed resting meringues in special temperature-controlled rooms. 

Meringues are delicate creatures with a short life span if left out in normal temperatures.
We both stood over the mixing machine, fixated, as egg whites and sugar were spun into delectably meringue.
Lemon meringue pie was always traditionally my birthday cake as a child and still is, so I have a deep attachment.
Crunchy, fluffy meringues will always be my favorite.
If you have egg 🥚 whites you will have macarons as La Meringaie certainly does, the other beloved meringue confection.
The Pavlova is all about layering. First a crunchy base of meringue. Then whipped cream with minimal sucré, usually first infused with flavors of lime zest, vanilla or other fruits. Then the chosen fruits layered on top.
Owner Marie Bardon changes Pavlova flavors from week to week, giving
them 18th-century French names like Zéli or Sidonie or Honorine. 
The fruit toppings are based on whatever is seasonal in the marché and grown in France. 
We tasted a Pavlova with a chocolate ganache base plus  cream. Marie spent time as head of promotion at
La Maison du Chocolat.
My fascination with both meringue and Anna Pavlova was just waiting in the wings…
To come dancing 🩰 out in watercolor on paper.
Don’t miss out on tasting a Pavlova at La Meringaie in Paris.

20 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:13 AM

    I love meringue and my favorite dessert of all times is the meringue lemon pie. Pavlovas were made at home in special ocassions and small meringues topped with half a nut were prepared by my beloved grandma. This post reminds me of home. Thanks Carol. Enjoy your time in Paris.

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    1. Anonymous1:05 PM

      Australian or Kiwi? Lucky you to grow up having Pavlovas ❤️

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  2. Anonymous8:00 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful history. I love your illustrations and look forward to reading your blog.

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    1. Anonymous1:05 PM

      Mille Merci ❤️

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  3. Thanks for educating us on the pavlova dessert & Anna Pavlova connection. That is one of the many things I love about your posts, I learn something new. Hmm…lemon meringue pie, my favorite. I used to make it but the meringue never quite turned out.🗼❤️🍋

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  4. I love making Pavlova (and devouring it as well). I've only made macarons once or twice and they were fun but I don't have a big enough kitchen to do it well -- I need one more counter! Hmmm. Maybe meringue for Easter. With all that sugar the little sugarheads would love it!

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    1. Anonymous1:06 PM

      You are so brave Jeanie 👍 but I am not a baker..I wish…

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  5. Bonnie L11:13 AM

    Oh, yum! Pavlovas are fabulous, especially as fresh berries are just coming into season. A shop to definitely visit when in Paris. ❤️

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    1. Anonymous1:07 PM

      You would definitely enjoy all the fruity combinations 🍓

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  6. I'm a lemon and meringue lover so I will definitely go to La Meringaie next trip. Don't think I've ever tried a Pavlova so will have to try one and this looks like the place.

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    1. Anonymous1:08 PM

      You can not go wrong Suki

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  7. I, too, am a lemon pie enthusiast! Whenever I see that Carol has sent me an email I cannot wait to open it up and find out what new experience we will learn about today! Merci, for all your 'hard' work, Carol! Will put La Meringaie on my priority list for next trip to Paris!

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    1. Anonymous9:53 PM

      Thanks Mary in OR 😊👍

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  8. I love pavlova! My twin sister and I learnt to make it in high school so that we could eat it, and we still both make one every Christmas though we live in different countries. This mix of meringue, cream and fruit is delicious.
    I also like lemon meringue pie but have never made one myself.
    Thanks for keeping he Australia/New Zealand pavlova debate neutral.

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    1. Anonymous11:37 AM

      What fun Kirra 🥂to bake something with your TWIN! Even if you are continents apart ❤️

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  9. Anonymous6:42 AM

    Chère Carol,
    A huge thanks for your coming to our store and atelier. Your drawings are just marvelous. Thanks again
    Marie La Meringaie

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    1. Anonymous11:38 AM

      And Thank you Marie ❤️ It was a delightful experience ❤️

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  10. Anonymous8:04 PM

    The rivalry between New Zealand and Australia about who "invented" the pavlova is legendary. No occasion particularly Christmas lunch (it's hot down here in Australia) is complete without a "pav". Beloved by all of us and the best ones made by our grandmothers. Enjoyed your article.

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  11. This was so fun :-) I love pavlova..its one of my favourite dessert and the ones we got to try were delicious! I've never had one with chocolate ganache and it was so good! Such beautiful drawings you made <3
    Xx
    Solli

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