The fine arts are five in number, namely: painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture, the principal branch of the latter being pastry. Marie Antoine Carême
Most countries don’t have enough pastries to have entire shops devoted to them, but in la Belle France where they are an art, they get their own category.
Basically there are two kinds: the viennoiserie and brioches you might have for breakfast or as a morning snack, sold in most boulangeries along with bread, and the mini masterpieces in the pâtisseries that often double as chocolateries.
Many of the latter can also be desserts, of course, but they are best known as pastries.
Image by Dana Facaros