Three Parisian Thanksgivings


My first Thanksgiving as an expat was in 2010.  It was the first time spending this quintessentially American holiday in France, so I really wanted to go all out and impress my French family with a traditional Thanksgiving experience. I even posted a little article from French Wikipedia on Facebook for them, explaining what Thanksgiving was — that it’s about more than just parades, football games, and oven-roasted turkey. Then I ran off to a little American épicerie in the Marais (incidentally called “Thanksgiving”) and loaded up on the traditional fixin’s. Here’s my Facebook status from November 24, 2010, pretty much summing up my grocery list: Continue reading Three Parisian Thanksgivings

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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