Yesterday we walked through the lovely Croix-Rousse market, which was the reason my parents choose to stay in this quarter while visiting. They really have a lot of regional fruit, vegetables and other foods arranged quite beautifully in bowls or stacks. Today I visited the Musée d'Imprimerie, but I'll talk about that in my next post - this one is all about giving you a glimpse of Lyons sweet tooth!
On the picture below you can see different types of pastry, and I'll begin with the croissant - once you've had a french one, you'll never want to have any other's countries croissants again (sadly speaking from experience). Todays vocabulary lesson is "Viennoiserie", a type of pastry made from yeast-leavened dough and of course sweetened up. It's quite funny that this category contains croissants and pain au chocolat, two things decidedly not originating from Vienna.
If you want to leave France as a whole and concentrate on Lyon, you should have a look at the top row of brioche, the ones with small bits of raspberries sprinkled in. These pink stains aren't actually fruit, but sweet bits of candy tasting faintly like berries - imagine you took raspberry and strawberry jam and solidified it, then you would have something akin to the bits of candy sprinkled through the brioche. This actually blends in quite nicely with the not at all sweet brioche and gives it a lovely sweet sprinkle.
Looking at the bigger picture, if you want to taste yourself through French dessert like I did, you shouldn't miss the obvious contenders like macarons and pain au chocolat - there are far more less known desserts I like better though. One example is the tarte au citron, a wonderful mixture of a special kind of short pastry ("pâte sablée"), acidic lemon and the savoury cream on top (which is only added sometimes). Another favourite, in the same streak, are so-called box cakes (freely translated from German ...) of which I myself have baked the lemon and raspberry variety and can heartily recommend both, even though the raspberry one was a pain to make (imagine making raspberry marmalade, and now without the fun part of adding the sugar and cooking it all in). There's also the well known mousse au chocolat, Baba au Rhum (a very soft Gugelhupf-dough soaked in rum) and the obligatory Île flottante (vanilla cream with whipped egg white floating on top).
On a side note, French bakeries are in my opinion of a very high standard, as one can buy delicious, difficult to make desserts in almost all of them and yet also buy an assortment of different breads. Yes, the French have more than baguettes, I was surprised too!