While in Paris, we went on a guided food tour, with guide Lisa. In our group there was the five of us as well as a father and son from Tel Aviv, Israel who seemed to be frequent travelers to Paris and other areas of the world.
Our first stop on the tour was Eric Kayser, a chain with about 90 stores, that was featured on the tour due to the high quality of the breads, and since Eric Kayser was also featured in a magazine article praising him as one of the best bread artisans in the country. While making this stop we tried “mini financiers” and “pain au chocolat” (mini almond cakes and a croissant with chocolate in the center) both of which were a great way to start off the tour.
Next we went to a small, and new, shop called Ma Collection Marchande de Saveurs which recently won a worldwide competition for its raspberry jam – which we tried and it was amazing. All of the products they sold were made in France and the packaging on the products was nice enough to be displayed on its own. Now for the shocker, hold your breather kids and Americans, their “pâte à tartiner” is a chocolate spread like Nutella, but about one hundred times better and probably way better for you. If they ship worldwide or have a website, I will be buying some weekly when I get home.
The third stop on the tour was “Un Dimanche à Paris” which was a great chocolate concept store and also a cafe. We tried their hot chocolate which was made with Ecuadorean chocolate and spices, and yes you can buy their mix but they won't tell you the spices, only the chef knows them. It was rich and probably the best hot chocolate I have ever had. We were also able to try a chocolate candy which was made with chocolate from Madagascar, and was so good I will never be able to have Hershey's chocolate ever again. The store also sold “Grue de Cacao” (Cocoa Nips) which our guide said were great on seafood and steak, something I never would have thought of trying.
For our next stop, we went to “Première Pression Provence” where we tried “Tanche A.O.C. Olives, which were good, even though I do not like olives. The store only sold French products, which seemed to be a trend with some of the smaller stores we were visiting but they were all great. The next product we tried at this store was a basil pesto with goat cheese and almonds in it, and had to be one of the best products I was able to taste on the tour. During this stop we also tried some French olive oils, a raspberry balsamic vinegar and a black French truffle vinegar.
On the way to our wine and cheese tasting we stopped into "Gérard Mulot”, which is a pastry shop selling all different sorts of pastries and some of the best macarons I have had so far this trip (which isn't many but these ones sure set the bar high). From the passion fruit macaron to the salted caramel one, they were amazing.
Our final stop while we waited for our order at “Gérard Mulot” was for a wine and cheese tasting. Although I didn't like some of the cheeses, probably due to my American palate, they were a great sampling and all fresh. We also sipped on some Chinon wine while trying the cheese, as well as eating a baguette and some rye bread from Eric Kayser that our guide had bought at the beginning of the tour.
Overall this tour was an amazing way to try some different French foods, as well as get a little history lesson on how some of these foods came to France, and it even included where some of the famous artists and writers hung out in France. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is looking for a good way to spend a few hours in Paris. (Tour information at bottom of post)
After the tour we were able to walk directly to Notre Dame and see it from the outside, the line was so long at this point in the day I'm not sure we were going to get in for a couple hours, but since it was raining we thought we would come back another day of our trip and make sure that we were there earlier.
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