Dessert in Paris

Fake Online Reviews

Remember the good old days when you could trust the reviews on websites like Amazon, Trip Advisor, Google, etc. to provide trustworthy reviews that provided unbiased, accurate information? Unfortunately, this seems to be less and less the case, and on more than one occasion I have found myself not purchasing an item I was initially interested in because a large number of the reviews were clearly fake. A few months back, one of the podcasts I listen to mentioned a great tool for checking the reliability of reviews,, a site that automatically determines how many reviews are likely fakes and how those reviews affect the review scores for the item of interest. This is a lot faster than what I used to do, which involved reading a large number of reviews to see if they seemed reliable and checking other reviews written by people who reviewed the product/restaurant/etc. (Trip Advisor in particular seems to be especially bad about how many reviews are written by a user who has written only one review, which I have zero faith in being legitimate). I’m not sure Fakespot is the end all be all, but it at least gives a quick idea of how much reviews can be trusted.

Cherry Tart from Stohrer Patisserie

Paris is known for having amazing bakeries (or patisseries, in French), so when we visited, of course we had to experience one ourselves. In this case, my research on Trip Advisor (which I have more and more issues with, but that’s a story for another day) was definitely based on legitimate reviews, because the well-regarded Stohrer Patisserie did not disappoint. I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising, as a business does not survive for 290 years if they do not know what they are doing. We visited once early in our vacation and the tart we purchased was so amazing that on the final night in Paris we decided to have a “tart buffet” as the grand finale of our vacation. The “buffet” included the cherry tart that is the main subject of this photo, in addition to the strawberry and raspberry tarts which can be seen in the background. They all tasted amazing and it was impossible to choose a favorite, though the cherry tart was the most photogenic.

Delicious cherry tart from Patisserie Stohrer in Paris, France

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