French food notes - May 2019

Bike race’s promotional pâtisserie rolls on and on

In our series providing a sideways look at French food, we reveal how a popular cake was invented as a PR stunt

The creation of some of France’s best-known sweet delicacies were happy accidents rather than the result of either necessity (‘the mother of invention’), precise culinary intent or forethought: tarte Tatin, as noted earlier in this series, came about par hasard – in a Loir-et-Cher hotel – as did the boozy crêpes Suzette, orange-infused pancakes reputedly invented by mischance at Monte Carlo’s swanky Café de Paris.

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