Exactly 1 week ago we came back from our vacation in France. We have some friends there, so we had lots of dinner parties to attend and even a wedding. It’s wonderful to see old friends again, but these gatherings are tense moments when you can’t eat gluten.
My husband is the one who can’t eat gluten and whereas I have no problem with gluten, I can’t have dairy, so France is probably not the best place for us to be. Everywhere you go, you see people carrying their baguette sandwiches which are definitely made with some kind of cheese. I had my lactaid caplets, so I could taste the cheese, but my husband simply could not eat the baguettes or the croissants and the pain au chocolat.
We had done some research previous to our trip and we found a gluten-free bakery in Paris that was supposed to be great, so we were really excited to visit it, but we didn’t get to it until our last 2 days in Paris, which, by the way, we really regretted. I’ll talk more about it in a bit.
French food is not just baguette, croissant and pain au chocolat, they also have the crêpes which luckily can be made of buckwheat flour, therefore my husband could eat!Hurray! There are crêpes made of wheat flour, too, so if are in France, make sure to order the gallete sarrasin or say you want your crêpe sans gluten (gluten-free) or avec sarrasin seulement (with buckwheat flour only). We found a crêperie that makes all their crêpes with buckwheat flour and that’s where we ate without the fear of cross-contamination. It’s called Creperie Plougastel and the address is 47 rue Montparnasse, Montparnasse, 14ème. (in case you are in Paris and want to give their crêpes a try)
Another French delight that is naturally gluten-free is the macaron. A macaron is a sweet meringue-based confection with almond flour, made of two round shells and a filling. You can find them almost anywhere in France, but the best ones we had were at Laduree, a tea room that’s been around since 1871. You can check out their website here.
Now, let me tell you about this gluten-free bakery! We got there with the intention to sit down, have some tea, try a little something and buy some dessert for the last dinner party we had in Paris. Unfortunately we got there 20 minutes before closing time (there was a horrible traffic this day) and they were not serving at the tables anymore, very disappointing! Our disappointment was quickly gone when we saw all the delicious options we could taste.
The place is so charming and simple that you just want to live there. Right in the entrance there were some bags of their own flour, that’s right, they produce their own flour with their own mill to guarantee traceability, safety and trueness-to-type of their flours.
We started with some cookies, we had a tiny bite of each because we had a dinner party and we didn’t want to spoil the appetite and let me tell you that we went to heaven with those cookies. The first one had bits of ginger and a very fresh taste, the second one was filled with seeds, very crispy and the third and my favorite one was a browkie, a mixture of a cookie with a brownie, yum yum! We also bought a focaccia with black olives to eat with our friends and though we liked it, it didn’t blow our minds like the cookies.
For dessert we got the tarte au chocolat, the tarte de saison which was made with strawberries and a brownie.
While we were eating our friend who is French and very critical of food couldn’t stop complimenting the little pies, she couldn’t believe they were gluten-free. I couldn’t leave her house without giving her the address of this naturally gluten-free bakery.
Our only regret is that we didn’t go to Chambelland sooner, but that only gives us an excuse to go back to Paris, as if one would need an excuse to go to Paris.
If you are ever in Paris, here is the website of Chambelland, the bakery, there you can find the address and more information about their products.