The Great French Bake Off

Recently, I took one for the team and tried a variety of French pastries from a bakery near my apartment. It was difficult, but I persevered so that I could give everyone at home a detailed account.

First up were the sacred French macaroons (which I had shamefully not eaten before, after 7 months living in France). I started simple with a chocolate and a wild berry macaroon. In an effort to make this tasting as legitimate as possible, I browsed websites that informed me how I should judge the quality of my macaroon.

I can vouch for both the texture and the ratio between the crusty-bit and the filling, which were both correct according to the guidelines I read. The taste was interesting, but I definitely preferred the chocolate; the sweetness of the wild berry filling was a little overpowering. However, I will have to eat several more to test this.

After the macaroons, I split three other pastries with a friend of mine: a pear tart, a strawberry tart, and a biscuit-type thing with raspberry filling. The raspberry was definitely my favorite, but the other two were good as well.

At the end of this rigorous testing, I have come to two conclusions.

First, there is a discernible difference between sugary things in France and in the States. I’m not sure exactly what it is: maybe we use more artificial flavoring, or different ingredients. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but I definitely note a difference.

The second thing is the difference in texture of baked things like tartes and cakes, which I can’t even hope to describe in words. Just know that it exists.


Bridget McSorley is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City double majoring in Business Administration and Languages and Literature. Bridget spent the academic year abroad with the University of Lyon 2 exchange program in France.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.