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Monday
Mar012010

Sweet Liaisons at Maison Berthillon, Paris


So, in Paris there is this famous old ice cream shop called Berthillon on the Rue Saint Louise en L'ile, which, if you've never been there, is pretty much center-city and just about the Frenchiest little street you'll ever walk down. 

This place is hardly a secret--it's mentioned in all manner of guidebook and website--but that's ok, because awesome like this needs to be shared with the world.

Oh, Berthillon. 

On Dorie Greenspan's list of "The Paris Ten: Must-Tastes", she says

I know ice cream isn't the first food that jumps to mind when you think of Paris, but it would be a true pity if you went all the way to Paris and missed a scoop from Berthillon (31 rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile, Paris 4).  No one knows how Berthillon does it (and they're not telling), but they make ice cream with the deepest, truest flavors ever churned.  Getting ice cream from the shop is a pleasure - when the shop is open: for reasons unfathomable, Berthillon closes in August, the peak of ice-cream season.  Luckily, many shops sell Berthillon and they're so proud to do so that they post signs on their doors saying it's their scoop of choice.

And after having visited, it's a delight to say that they're not just coasting on their reputation: they get the job (that being making ice cream) done, and they get it done right. The ice creams are unbelievably creamy, and full of rich, deep flavor that is assertively, but not excessively, sweet. The attention to detail is phenomenal--the salted caramel ice cream is flecked with red sea salt; the pistachio is redolent with a rich nuttiness, and studded with actual pistachios; the coconut is an absolute knockout of rich creaminess. The cones even taste good! 

The ice cream may have been cold, but it certainly warmed this spy team's hearts and appetites.

Berthillon, 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile, 75004 Paris, France; online at berthillon.fr.

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Reader Comments (8)

My last time at that magical shop, I was 22 weeks pregnant with my first son. As a pregnant woman, I felt totally comfortable being a dictator about what we ate. One day, we hit Berthillon 3 times (we were staying on the Ile St. Louis). We are going back in June and I can't wait to have some of that ice cream!

March 1 | Unregistered CommenterDana

i would fly to paris just to taste that ice cream. it sounds amazing :) and those cones?! genius! why isn't every ice cream shop using them??

March 1 | Unregistered Commenteryoungmi

Last year when we were in Paris we went to Berthillon every day - when the main store was closed we went to a vegetarian restaurant on the island that also served it. Creole is the best - way beyond what I thought rum raisin could ever be. Now I only like my premium ice cream in cups with little spoons - it lasts longer that way.

March 2 | Unregistered Commentersillygirl

wow! that is so cool... although i usually get my ice cream in a cup these days, how fun would it be to get that cone. plus it seems more stable for toddler hands. haha....

March 2 | Unregistered Commenterjoan

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August 18 | Unregistered Commenterwasai

I have never been in Berthillon, but I really want to go to that ice cream shop and buy one of those, they look so delicious! I hope they are not too sweet because if they are I can't eat them since I'm taking Sildenafil Citrate and it would be a bad idea!

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