Se vendre comme des petits pains

I was intrigued by the line-up circling around the block to buy these mouth-watering creations on a recent trip to Lyon. They were selling like hot cakes or, in the French idiom, ‘ils se vendaient comme des petits pains’.

This is not such a common sight in France where traditional pâtissierie shops are on every corner and the French are less inclined to line up for the latest trend.

Closer inspection revealed that these marvellous confections of brioche, meringue, chocolate and cream were a whole ‘thing’ that had completely escaped me up to now. ‘Aux merveilleux de Fred’ is a chain of patisserie shops specializing in these little marvels of cake-making genius. I felt my resolve weakening as I drooled over the flavour variations including cherry, caramel, coffee, almond and hazelnut.

It seems that Fred got the idea from a cake called the Merveilleux that originates in Belgium. As with so many ideas, it is often a question of who markets it best. Like Ladurée with the ever-popular macarons.

I’ve been curtailing the carbs lately (alas…) and trying to reduce my sugar consumption (especially given the amount that goes to the liquid variety via the hop and the grape). So, I sucked in my gut and contented myself with pictures only.

But I’m thinking that next time I’m in town, I’ll have to give them a sample.

What say you? Have you tried one?



15 thoughts on “Se vendre comme des petits pains

  1. There is a shop in NY and also in Paris. Bought some once and found them pretty terrible. Lots of people love them but I didn’t

  2. the idea of meringues covered with whipped cream is nothing new – like you write it’s more about the marketing of the product! I’m not sure if I would like these confections, but I could see that they might be much ado about nothing… 🙂

  3. What say I? YESSSS! My husband and I waited in line outside the rue Monge store in Paris. We had no idea *why* we were waiting in line, mind you — but we’ve learned to join the Parisians if they’re queuing patiently. We’re both a bit jaded after decades’ worth of letdowns and disappointments, but this delicacy was worth the wait. For us, anyway — some of your other readers weren’t impressed. Guess you have no choice but to buy some and decide for yourself!

  4. Dans la litterature je l’ai vu:

    s’enlever comme des petits pains. Excusez-moi, mon français, parce que je suis finlandais e je sais seulement baragouiner le Française. 🙂

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