Many of us have a “sweet tooth” for some kind of dessert, whether it’s cake, chocolate, ice cream, or some other delicious confection. But one man is taking his sweet tooth passion to the next level. That man is Jean-Baptiste Martinon, a 25-year-old from Paris who is in search of the best French desserts that the North has to offer.
Starting on March 5, Jean-Baptiste will set off on his NIU scooter around Northern France to visit nine different locations, sampling unique desserts at each spot:
However, Jean-Baptiste is not only interested in delicious food. He also plans to sample the culture in each location, meeting with local artisans to learn about their lives and experiences. During a time when it’s so difficult to connect with others, Jean-Baptiste understands that it’s more important than ever to make the effort.
We recently met with him to discuss his trip in greater detail:
Hello, Jean-Baptiste! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I love to travel all around the country to discover new places and to promote French culture. For the past two years, I have combined adventure and gastronomy to make short films.
What inspired you to take this trip?
Many followers told me I should visit the North of France, so I contacted the local craftsmen to promote their work. Plus, I love to travel on my electric scooter because of the silence, which allows me to enjoy my surroundings.
Why did you choose French desserts for your trip? Any reason you chose these specific desserts?
It all started two years ago when I decided to deliver pastries while running in the streets of Paris. I realized that a dessert is not only a great present to give, but they are also a luxury that most people can afford, as they only cost a few Euros. After I decided to take this trip, I did some research to find the most renowned French desserts and skilled craftsmen in the region.
Tell us more about the “Les Douceurs du Nord” (Sweets of the North) trip you planned.
Les Douceurs du Nord is a 750 km (466 miles) trip on a NIU electric scooter around the North of France. There, I will discover a variety of sweet French specialties, and share time (and dessert) with local residents. Across the five departments of the Hauts de France region, I’ll meet with craftsmen, talk with shop owners, and capture their delicious confections on film. We also hope to display and promote the beautiful French countryside with great travel videos.
Why did you decide to take this trip now?
We are living in a really strange period and I want people to follow an adventure that makes them smile. I also want to promote a new way of traveling: local mobility. It is really important for me to demonstrate that anyone can enjoy a short trip to places in your area that you may know about, but never took the chance to visit.
Which desserts or locations are you most excited for?
I am really excited about all the desserts, but especially the Tarte au Libouli. It’s a cake with boiled milk inside the Pas de Calais. It seems very curious. I also love the Gaufre Lilloise and am excited to have it again. There is another interesting speciality I am looking forward to, called Le Maroilles, which is a really strong cheese.
What challenges might you face during your trip?
The schedule is very tight so we (my cameraman, Matthias, and I) need to be as efficient as possible. And of course, we need to take every necessary precaution with COVID. We will bring a tent with us, in case any of our local hosts prefer that we sleep outside.
Besides touring the country and eating delicious sweets, how do you like to #MakeLifeElectric?
Since living in Paris, I love to use my electric scooter to move around. It is really convenient. For me, to #MakeLifeElectric is to find new, exciting challenges every day and to change the way we think about mobility.
Thanks for chatting with us, Jean-Baptiste!
Jean-Baptiste has had a variety of experiences with French gastronomy, previously working for a group of restaurants in Paris before launching Baba au Run, the first (and only) pastry delivery service in Paris that uses runners.
To keep tabs on his sweet journey as it unfolds, be sure to follow NIU’s official Instagram account for updates.
For readers in France, you can also tune in to a live interview with Jean-Baptiste on France 3, airing on March 10 at 10:40 AM.
Join us on this electrifying adventure as we explore Northern French culture and enjoy a few tasty French desserts along the way!