Letter from Paris: April 3, 2024 News Digest

Letter from Paris: April 3, 2024 News Digest

Happy belated Easter! We hope you enjoyed some fun Easter egg hunts. We’re still oohing and ahhing over the city’s magnificent chocolate creations. One of the most extraordinary chocolates we saw was an Olympics-themed race track with a giant egg weighing nearly 8 kilos — created by the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier Nicolas Cloiseau (the creative director of La Maison du Chocolat). Check out the Instagram photo below.

Meanwhile April Fools’ Day brought schools of poissons d’avril swimming through schools and households. For the traditional joke, children paste paper fish onto the backs of ignorant adults. France Today’s Kristin Espinasse explains how the French get crafty on April 1 in this fun column from the magazine archives. The best April Fool’s joke we saw in Paris? The Eiffel Tower’s staff had a lot of fun spoofing “a dream come true” in a newly imagined hotel room in Gustave Eiffel’s office atop the tower…

Have you heard about the new hybrid pastry phenomenon? You’ve probably heard about the cronut and the cruffin. Now the “crookie,” a cross between a cookie and a croissant, is the talk of the town in Paris. As described by The Guardian, “It’s a crisp croissant filled with American-style cookie dough, then baked to achieve a soft, gooey centre.” After a Tiktok video went viral, teens are lining up outside the Boulangerie Louvard in the 9th to get their hands on them. Writing for BBC Food, correspondent Emily Monaco explains: “Such creations may seem irreverent, especially given French gastronomy’s veneration of tradition. But given the complicated history of the country’s most emblematic baked good, these franken-pastries are not as blasphemous as one might think.” (Read her full article here.)

Disneyland Paris recently unveiled the fruits of a two-year renovation at the five-star flagship hotel. Here at the iconic pink palace, “playful interaction with Disney princesses is a huge attraction of the redesigned hotel,” says The Telegraph, “and an intrinsic part of its new USP: immersive storytelling.”

The theme park generated $343.4m in profit last year, despite strikes. To quote The Guardian: “Sales at Disneyland Paris – Europe’s most-visited tourist destination – were driven to record levels by higher room rates and the opening of a site built around Marvel’s hit Avengers movies. It caps a bumper year for the entertainment group’s profitable parks arm, which has been shoring up the wider business amid weaker box office returns and losses generated by its Disney+ streaming platform.”

The Palace of Versailles is prepping for the equestrian events for the Summer Olympic Games. What a backdrop! The gardens first built by Louis XIV to dazzle the royal court will now wow global spectators watching the broadcast all over the world. The Associated Press explains that “temporary facilities including grandstands are being built across the park, where up to 40,000 people are expected to attend the cross-country part of the event.” The horses will even cross the Grand Canal during the cross-country. And among the water obstacles: “One newly created pond will have the shape of the royal lily, or fleur-de-lis, a symbol of the French monarchy. Horses will also pass through water in the circular basin of a fountain which had not been filled for over 40 years until now.”

The Palace of Versailles. © Andreas H./ Pixabay

Lead photo credit : Poisson d'avril. Photo credit: tangi bertin / Flickr

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BP's expert editorial team includes some of the city's top English-language journalists.