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Home > Features > Coffees, cakes, chocolates and cava!

Coffees, cakes, chocolates and cava!

Ca´n de Paris – The story of family traditions and love encounters

I first heard of Ca’n de Paris from a Croatian friend who grew up in Paris. He claimed that their pastries were “even better than in Paris”! I, too, knew a thing or two about good pastries. Years ago, as a student I worked at the French patisserie Maison Blanc in Oxford. Their almond croissants were units of deliciousness against which all future pastries would be measured! Even the ones I had in France. So, naturally, the first thing I tried at Ca’n de Paris was an almond croissant. And, oh my God, did it measure up! It was crispy and crunchy on the outside with a creamy, slightly runny filling on the inside. I was in love!

This soon became one of my favourite places for sweet treats. Whether sitting inside, surrounded by the smell of freshly baked delicacies and the images of Paris or chatting with friends and listening to street musicians on the sun filled terrace – Ca´n de Paris always feels really special! It´s a little piece of Paris on a random Palma square!

Several months after the first visit, I asked the charismatic owner Natacha to tell me her story. It turned out to be just as fascinating as her cakes! She is the fifth generation of bakers and pâtissiers. Her great, great grandfather opened his first bakery in Caen in Normandy in 1920. It seemed quite fitting that Natacha was re-telling me her family´s history exactly a hundred years on! Her ancestors opened the first ever school for pastry chefs in France in 1946, while her grandfather´s bakery and pastry shop was the largest in the East of France, employing over 50 people in the 1980s. After a brief career as an accountant, Natacha too joined the family business, continuing the family tradition. 

Curiously, her grandparents met in store and so did Natacha and her husband a couple of generations later! So, who knows, when you go in for that croissant or cake – you might find love too…

Ca´n de Paris opened in Palma in November 2019. After four years of research, Natacha and her husband Yohann settled on Placa Olivar, next to the busting Market Olivar. While we were talking, we got interrupted several times – by the buskers wanting a tip for their performance, a street seller pushing fake Louis Vuitton scarfs and a local beggar asking for a cigarette – but Natacha handled them all with her disarming French charm, before turning back to me and continuing her story.

I am curious – why Palma? She tells me that they wanted a multilingual environment for their two youngest children (the eldest one stayed on in France) and better weather. Their customers are a mixture of locals and expats. They recently introduced organic coffee and cane sugar, by Templo, which has been appreciated by coffee lovers. An increasing number of chefs and stews have also been buying bread, pastries and cakes here for their crew and guests.

Although Can de Paris has a delightful choice of sweet treats (savoury too, but that’s a story for another column!), I am a creature of habit, and you are most likely to spot me munching on either the aforementioned almond croissant in the morning or a “tarta” Real – a perfect cuboid of chocolate base topped with almond cream – in the afternoons. I could not recommend either of those highly enough! Still, I enquire about their best sellers, and Natacha tells me that the classic chocolate éclairs and raspberry tarts fly off the shelves the fastest. They also make a delicious cocoa and nut spread – perfect for home-made pancakes.

At Christmas, their shelves fill up with Bûche de Noël (Christmas log cakes) and I particularly like the sound of raspberry and vanilla based bûche Menorca. By the time this article reaches you, there will still be time to run to the shop and check out their Galettes des Rois (crown-shaped cakes celebrating The Three Kings). Let’s hope that many of us get a little good luck charm hidden in the cakes and that 2021 turns out to be a better year for all of us!

Till next month…

Yours sweetly,

Mia Naprta x

Aside from bringing you a story of one special place each month, I will briefly mention a few other places or products that have caught my attention over the previous weeks.

Coffee: I usually start my day at Cafetería California, an unassuming neighbourhood café that, for me, has the best coffee in El Terreno! Their daily menu – a mix of Majorcan and Filipino cuisine – is also very good, if you happen to be around the area at lunchtime.

Chocolate: This month my favourite was Caitxo´s bean-to-bar citrus & sea salt white chocolate, found at the gourmet section of El Corte Ingles. It felt like munching on little squares of sunshine on gloomy winter days!

Cava: Izizi Nunank, a stylish “adults only” bar in Portixol, is a pretty great place to watch the sun go down and raise a glass of cava, or a cocktail, to the new beginnings!

ABOUT ME

My surname is supposedly Czech. I was born in Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists. More specifically, I’m from Lika, a beautiful – if scarcely populated – part of Croatia, yet to be discovered by tourists who regularly descend upon the Adriatic coast and the islands. 

I spent most of my adult life in the UK. I studied English and Journalism in Oxford, before moving to London. Over the next 17 years I worked my way up from an “office angel” to a food and drink market analyst, specialising in sugar and chocolate confectionery. Some of my friends would say that I was “getting paid to eat chocolate and write about it”! 

After years of busy lives and grey skies, my partner and I decided to slow down and warm our bones somewhere sunnier. We explored Portugal, Italy and the south of Spain, before Palma won us over in 2015.

Although my career has been mostly about markets and numbers, I have always been writing – from personal blogs and opinion pieces for trade publications in the UK to travel articles for a Croatian lifestyle magazine. So, when Simon asked me to get involved with The Islander, I jumped at the chance! Now, I really hope that you will like what we have in store for you over the coming months…

Contact – E-mail mia.naprta@gmail.com; Instagram: mianaprta