Pumpkin Spice!

A few weeks ago, I noticed certain posts popping up on Facebook that made me wax nostalgic for fall in America. They were all about the arrival of:

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

© 2011 Starbucks Corporation

Ah, the memories of that delectable autumnal con-coction that has eluded me now for years! Living here in France and rarely traveling back to my homeland between September and December, I had resigned myself to the likelihood that I might never again savor this cinnamon- and nutmeg-laced libation to the gods of falling leaves. After all, I knew from firsthand experience that the French don’t quite understand the pumpkin … at least not a sweet, spiced one …

You see, on my very first Thanksgiving in France, I was psychologically scarred by my French family. Back in 2010, I decided to treat them to a real American Thanksgiving dinner. I even went to an American specialty store in the Marais (called Thanksgiving, by the way) to get all the necessary ingredients to make a real Thanksgiving feast. Now, my French family simply adored the stuffing and the homemade cranberry sauce. The pumpkin pie, on the other hand, well … it just confused them:

“Hmm. Interesting. It would make a good appetizer. You know, with a side salad,” was my sister-in-law’s reaction.

Alrighty then … no more pumpkin pies for the Frenchies. Continue reading Pumpkin Spice!

Advertisements

Sugarplum Cake Shop

Don’t let the name fool you, Sugarplum‘s not just a cake shop. It’s a self-described “real deal—a genuine, bona-fide, authentic American Coffee Shop” nestled between Paris’s super cool Latin Quarter and the Mouffetard district. There’s real American-style filtered drip coffee (with free refills!), cookies, muffins, and cinnamon rolls … but, in my humble expat opinion, it’s the cake that will bring you back. Unfortunately, there are no free refills on that!

My personal favorite is the carrot cake: four layers of moist, spicy carrot cake like your mom used to make, slathered with a cream-cheese icing like you can’t find anywhere else in Paris! I mean, take a look at this and tell me your mouth isn’t watering:

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

I know, right?!

But wait! There’s more! There’s …

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

That’s right. Real cheesecake. No need to go to Starbucks when you have that craving.

The owners, two Americans and a Canadian, opened Sugarplum a little more than a year ago, and they pride themselves on the quality of their products: all the baked goods are homemade from all-natural ingredients, with no mixes or preservatives, baked onsite in Sugarplum’s big, bad kitchen (which you are invited to take a peak at through the windows of their courtyard). And they have fair trade coffee and organic fair trade tea. All of this is served up with a smile and free wifi.

So, the next time your sweet tooth is craving a taste of America, stop by Sugarplum. You will not be disappointed.

Sugarplum is located in the cinquième arrondissement, between Place Monge and Cardinal Lemoine Métro stations at 68 rue du Cardinal Lemoine. Sugarplum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 12pm – 7pm.

P.S.—They also make some amazing cakes for weddings and other special occasions.

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved