Parisian Food Tour
I have to say, a food walking tour is a great way to see a city. Farmguy and I recently visited Paris, and on our first full day there, we received a fun and informative introduction to this fabulous place. We met up with our guide, a delightful, English-speaking gal whom we discovered through Viator.com, Paris Food Walking Tour/ Meeting the French (+33 673 656 219). We started our three hour walking tour by visiting the outdoor markets: fruit, vegetable, fish, meat, and flowers. The interesting thing we learned was that the people at the markets usually specialize in one thing; for instance, only vegetables, flowers, etc. This way, they are experts regarding their products and can offer recipes or ideas for use. After passing through the markets and their myriad of colors and smells, we found ourselves in a couple of bakery/pastry shops, where freshly baked bread and artful pastries were plentiful.
As we walked down narrow streets and around various neighborhoods, our guide pointed out places of interest, architecture, and shared historical facts. We had only been immersed in this lovely city for an hour, and I was finding our morning of exploration to be one of my favorite travel experiences.
But before I go much further, I should probably pause for a moment and explain Meilleur Ouvrier de France or One of the Best Craftsmen of France. Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) is a craftsmen competition in France, held every four years. The title MOF is a unique and prestigious award in France according to category of trades in a contest among professionals. The competition requires months, sometimes years, of preparation—technical skills, innovation, respect for traditions and other aspects are all practiced repeatedly to a level of refinement and excellence. And, the winning candidates retain their title for life. On this food walking tour, we had the opportunity to visit two such winners: Patrick Roger, chocolatier and Laurent Dubois, fromagerie.
The Patrick Roger Chocolatier was fragrant, sleek, modern…and cold (Apparently, chocolatiers are one of the few shops with air conditioning in the summer). The chocolates were colorful, resembling rare gems, beautifully arranged on trays throughout the store. Not only was the chocolate stunning, but it melted in our mouths. Patrick Roger’s chocolate, derived from rare cocoa beans from around the world, was subtle and delicate. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed.
With morning gradually easing into afternoon, we found ourselves at the most wonderful cheese shop or fromagerie called Laurent Dubois. There was a large variety of hard and soft cheeses and lots to sample. The staff was friendly and very happy to answer any questions.
Next stop, a traditional wine shop. The quaint, little space held wines mainly from all over France and some from around Europe as well. I didn’t see anything from California; however, there was one from Mexico.
It was now time to sample a few of our purchases from the morning tour: Fresh strawberries and olives from the markets, a baguette, some hard and soft cheeses, a few pieces of chocolate, and of course, red wine. The perfect end to a memorable experience!