Meringues: Aux Merveilleux de Fred

January 25, 2011

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X and I were killing time the other night, waiting for the pizza place in Passy to open at 7 for dinner, and we came across Aux Merveilleux de Fred, a little shop on rue de l’Announciation selling meringues. Meringues in four different sizes, from small, individual ones to meringue “cakes” that feed eight.

I’d never seen a meringue shop before. Not here. Not anywhere. I had no idea the demand for meringues was this high. Who knew?

This is the second location in Paris, it turns out — and it’s part of a chain of meringue boutiques (!) that started in Lille 15 years ago. A quick check to Fred’s website told me that they also sell breads and brioche (they have two different ones here, too), but the focus is on the light, airy meringues.

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Look at this Krispy Kreme-worthy line on a Saturday night. I feel so silly for not knowing about this French meringue madness.

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Now, I happen to appreciate the art of getting whipped egg whites and sugar mixed together to cook at the correct temperature – and for a long enough period of time – to create the perfect meringue, having tested this idea myself last summer. Meringues can be tricky. They don’t like humidity, they take quite some time to bake, and they cannot be rushed.

Here, the meringues are amped up with fluffy, thick Chantilly cream middles, and then rolled in generous flakes of white chocolate, or dark chocolate, or  – get ready for this, kids – crushed Speculoos. How can you possibly go wrong with that?

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I wanted to try the Speculoos meringue, but X, naturally, had his eyes on the chocolate, so I took that one instead. Figured I couldn’t go wrong either way. Plus, it seemed like a pretty good deal for 2.80. This little meringue was about the size of an American softball.

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Which I — whoops, I meant we – devoured in no time at all.

Meringues on their own are lovely – crispy, crunchy outsides with big holey middles — but these, with a generous puff of thick, sweetened cream, are something else. Worth standing in line for, for sure.

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Aux Merveilleux de Fred
29 rue de l’Announciation
75016
01 45 20 13 82

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