November 25, 2013 Paris France Europe

Berthillon: They Say it's Paris' Best Ice Cream...

And my quest to find and try the best of Paris continues. Berthillon was my next stop. Berthillon is the oldest and most famous ice cream manufacturer in Paris. Located in the St Louis Island, this shop offers a wide variety of ice cream choices to choose from for take away or relax at their tea house next door. I enjoyed the experience, but I was definitely not blown away...
 
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Berthillon is a French manufacturer and retailer of luxury ice cream and sorbet, with its primary store on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris, France. The company is owned and operated by the Chauvin family, descendants of the eponymous Monsieur Berthillon, who from 1928 operated a restaurant on the premises called "Le Bourgogne". Berthillon sells its ice cream in bulk and by the scoop from its shop on the island, and distributes to retailers within the Paris region. Berthillon uses only natural ingredients, with no chemical preservatives, artificial sweeteners or stabilizers. Its ice creams are made from milk, sugar, cream, eggs and flavoring, which derives from natural sources like cocoa, vanilla bean, fruit, etc. Up to fifteen flavors may be produced every day by the chefs depending on the season, market availability and demand. In total, about sixty different flavors are produced by the Maison Berthillon throughout the year. Many consider Berthillon to be the best ice cream in Paris. In 1954 the owners decided to stop the restaurant and concentrate only on ice creams and a café. Competitors to Berthillon include Raimo, Amorino, Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs.
 
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Berthillon has a tea room with couple of tables around a cakes display as well as a fridge behind the counter where boxes can be taken home or cones to eat while standing. The place is simple, with its walls covered in dark wood, its glass counter, marble flooring and colorful ceiling. Choose to have your cone filled at the cashier to the left or continue to the end of the place where boxes are sold for take away.
 
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Flavors available to try:

Praline flavored chocolate & orange, yogurt & blackcurrant, coconut, rhum and raisins, chocolate, pear, yuzu yoghurt, pistachio, vanilla, hazelnut, licorice, coffee, almond, mure de framboisier, litchi, roasted pineapple & fresh basil, extra bitter cocoa, passion fruit, mandarin, mango, cherry plum, apple, apricot, raspberry, lime, cherry, peach, strawberry
 
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Flavors available for dine-in:
Pistachio, vanilla, Rhum and raisins, honey nougat, salted butter caramel, chestnut with rhum, chocolate, caramel nougatine, coffee, poire et lait d'amande, speculos, nuts & praline flavored chocolate, hazelnut, white chocolate, armagnac and prune, roasted pineapple & fresh basil, mango, pear, peach, cherry, passion fruit, raspberry with rose, extra bitter cocoa, raspberry, apricot, strawberry, figue, vine peach, yogurt & blackcurrant, yuzu yoghurt
 
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Today's tastings: It was impossible to try everything... I tried the extra bitter chocolate that's interesting in texture with a unique strong and bitter cocoa taste which I am sure the connoisseurs will fall in love with. Its chewable feel is also enjoyable. There's no icicles crunch as it's purely chocolate. It deserves to be one of the best chocolate ice creams in Paris.

The fruit flavored ice cream are tasty. Each flavor tastes exactly as the fruit they are made off. It's richness, freshness and use of premium and natural ingredients make you feel that you've just picked the fruit straight from the tree.
 
As for the sorbet, they were tasty and fresh. These naturally sweetened water flavored with fruit are light yet rich in flavor.
 
All the ice cream can be bought in a cup or fresh crunchy waffle cone.
 
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The Salon de The:
  • Green marble tables
  • Violet wood walls
  • Colorful paintings decorate the walls
  • A middle display fridge
  • Light chandeliers add an ambient feeling
  • A metallic design fill in the ceiling
  • Two burgundy leather benches follow both sides of the room
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The menu choices:
  • Les Coupes de Glace
  • Les Pâtisseries
  • Les Boissons
  • "Only the products on this menu can be enjoyed in our tea-room"
  • "No credit card accepted"
I spent a few hours around this place... What started with a few cones on the sidewalk ended up with a soothing experience in their tearoom, but still something was missing. I don't want to sound pretentious but the feel of amazement I had expected to have was missing. I expected the same feeling I had at "Un Eclair de Genie" or "Stohrer". Although their ice cream is good, I've had much better ice creams in Italy and more exquisite ones here in Lebanon at Hanna Mitri. Yes, Hanna Mitri's which I have called the world's best, is indeed better in my opinion. Never the less, Berthillon is one of those places that you must try - a part of  history everyone should discover. 
 

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