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Where Is the Best Ice Cream in Paris? At Berthillon!
On a lovely little island in the middle of the Seine, visitors may be surprised to stumble upon Paris's least kept secret. There, a small ice cream shop on the Île Saint-Louis, named Berthillon, attracts both visitors and inhabitants of Paris.
Raymond Berthillon was a newcomer to ice cream production when he first began his business in the 1950s, within the restaurant of his in-laws. His ice cream shop went virtually unnoticed until a game-changing article appeared in a Parisian daily newspaper in 1961, lauding the merits of Berthillon's frozen creations.
This catapulted Berthillon into the public eye, resulting in the expansion of his business. Today, Berthillon distributes its products to around 100 retailers in the Parisian region who resell the treats to an adoring public.
One of the defining characteristics of Berthillon ice cream is its use of natural ingredients and the exclusion of artificial preservatives and sweeteners. Seventy flavors are made by Berthillon, with thirty being available at the shop on any given day.
These flavors include all-natural elements such as vanilla, fruits, chocolate and coffee. But visitors should not let this simplicity fool them — these ingredients are combined in some incredibly creative ways. For example, summer specialties have included pina colada ice cream made from coconut and pineapple as well as chocolate mandarin and mocha tiramisu flavors.
The unassuming shop on the Rue Saint-Louis-en-l'ile is instantly recognizable, with its old-fashioned lettering spelling out 'Berthillon' on a caramel colored facade. Visitors may also notice the very long queue that normally trails from the shop all the way down the sidewalk. Yet they should rest assured that this is a cool treat that is worth the long line.