This was the Paris food walk we took today, and it was so full of wonderful things that this entry might go on for a long time. Meg, a Paris food blogger originally from the Kansas City suburbs, was a delightful and enthusiastic leader of four women: Alison and me, Spanish Alma, a Context tour guide from Madrid, and Amy, another food blogger and expat living in Paris with her French husband. Our 2 1/2 hour tour ended up being four hours long, and we all loved it.
We met near the Musee d'Orsay in the 7th, which Meg told us was a very high-end part of Paris that could support the high-end places we'd be visiting. We started with bread and this visit to a real Parisian boulangerie (name to come when I find it).
This is one of the breads, so enticing that I wanted to take it home and use it as my pillow.
Here is Meg showing us the difference between the ordinary baguette that she bought at her local boulangerie, which probably reheats frozen bread each morning, and this artisanal boulangerie, which makes its slow-rise bread using a special container that makes the yeast work exactly right. (Our local boulangerie calls itself artisanal, which has a specific meaning and encouraged me to branch out from our croissants.)
The cheese shop was next, and this was so interesting that we spent a lot of time learning, choosing and tasting.
The window sported this elegy to autumn flavors.
There were so many to choose from.
Here is the selection of cheeses we tasted, framed in the autumnal window of this five-generation fromagerie.
Patrick, the owner, helped us choose our cheeses. He knows everything about them, surely able to name the cows or sheep or goats that produced them.
This was the most unusual cheese, with a crumbly texture and flavored with tarragon, pepper, paprika and parsley. Patrick recommended eating it with beer, though we also thought it would make a great sandwich with ham.
From here we went to a most unusual store which has nothing to do with food but was so bizarre that Meg could not resist showing it to us. More soon...