Going to Paris? Be sure to ask your friends, that have been there, what they enjoyed the most and the least about their trip. It’s a great way to discover new adventures and avoid the bad ones. I recently mentioned to a friend that I was heading to Paris. She immediately told me about this wonderful food and wine tour she had done with Paris by Mouth. Being the foodie that I am I couldn’t wait to get home and check them out on the web. www.parisbymouth.com
The company was founded by Meg Zimbeck, a foodie that moved to Paris about a decade ago and fell in love with the city and its culinary delights. The business offers all types of tours, restaurant reviews, guides, foodie events and general travel information for tourists yearning for a taste of Paris!
We choose a food and wine tour in the Latin Quarter. The Latin Quarter throughout its long history has hosted the city’s most prestigious educational institutions. More recently the area has seen the arrival of prize-winning cheesemongers, chocolate shops and other food artisans.
The six of us were delighted to discover upon our arrival that Meg Zimbeck would be our guide that afternoon. She was just coming off a personal high after having her first foodie article published by the Wall Street Journal (view article here). An American from Kansas, she is a wealth of knowledge and spoke perfect French.
The tour promised that we would ”taste some incredible breads and charcuterie, before sticking our noses into a selection of cheeses that have been aged and sold by a master fromager. (For those of you that don’t know what a fromager is you need to take this tour!) We’ll taste our way up one of the oldest cobblestone food streets in the city before finishing on a sweet note with some of our favorite small-production macarons, plus creations from three different master chocolatiers. Generous tastings at every stop are included in the price.” How could we not have a wonderful afternoon?
Our first stop was at Saines Saveurs a boulangerie – patisserie shop.
The shop owner, shown here in her shop was so much fun and they do make the best baquette in Paris. Meg was one of the judges of the Best Baquette Contest held annually here in Paris so I trust that she certainly knows a great baquette when she tastes one. The French are very serious about their baquettes. A campaign to promote carb consumption, specifically bread, was launched in France. Apparently, baguette consumption had dropped dramatically from 3 baguettes per person, per day in the early 1900’s to a single baguette in the 1970’s, to just half a baguette today. But due to fixed price a baker can charge for a baquette (0.90 Euro’s), the French are back to consuming carbs at a record pace. I wonder if that would ever catch on in Hollywood.
Our walking tour took us down a narrow cobblestone street past wonderful fresh markets with vegetables, fish and meats.
After a culinary stroll we arrived at Boucherie’s a meat market the likes of which you’re not likely to find in America. Did you know that in Paris some markets, such as this one, sell chickens with their heads and feet still attached so you can judge their freshness? I’ll take the butchers word for it and let them keep the extras, thank you! They sell pig’s feet with the legs still attached, tongue, cured meats, their own homemade pates, charcuterie and stuffed vegetables.
In Part 2, I’ll be sampling Paris’ most popular sweet – The Macaron! Au revoir for now.