Sunday at the Bastille Farmer’s Market

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There are dozens of farmer’s markets in Paris, at least two per each of the city’s 20 districts called arrondissements. The largest and arguably the best is the fantastic Richard Lenoir Market (more commonly called the Bastille market), held Thursdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. along the grand Boulevard Richard Lenoir, just north of the Place de la Bastille.

You can find ANYTHING here … Continue Reading →

I’ve Got a Craving for Frites

Chicken confit with frites

One of the foods I love eating in Paris is frites (what we call French fries, but which are actually Belgian in origin). I’ve never had bad frites in France — always golden brown and crispy. Yum! Continue Reading →

Take a Weekend Break at Fun, Funky Lezard Cafe

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One of the chief joys of Paris is simply relaxing in one of the city’s cafes. And a cafe terrace can be particularly fun on a spring or summer weekend when you’re with a group of friends, the weather is warm and breezy and Parisians are in buoyant spirits. If you’re ever near the Rue Montorgueil shopping street or Saint Eustache church, a perfect spot for a weekend coffee or cocktail is Lezard Cafe, with its huge, shaded and enormously popular terrace. Continue Reading →

Where Do You Go in Paris When It’s Hot? Berthillon!

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It’s hot here in SoCal this week — hotter even than the worst days of last summer. And that has me thinking of my favorite place in Paris to cool off – the famed Berthillon ice cream emporium. The products here are all natural – no chemicals, artificial sweeteners or stabilizers – and are shipped to restaurants throughout the region. But the real treat is visiting the shop on the Ile Saint Louis. The ice creamery offers up to 30 flavors per day, and can be had in cones, cups or – if you visit the tea room next door – delectable sundaes! Continue Reading →

Tea Time? Head to Mariage Freres in the Marais

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Most people naturally associate tea with England, where indulging in afternoon tea is practically a national pastime. But the tea trade also became a vital part of France’s economy and part of its aristocratic culture in the mid-17th century when entrepreneurs and explorers began to seek out and import exotic foreign goods, including teas. One of the best-known tea emporiums in France—Mariage Freres—has its roots in this global exploration. Brothers (freres, in French) Nicholas and Pierre Mariage became experts in the tea trade in the mid-1600s, and passed that knowledge on to successive generations of Mariages. Today, the family operates more than 30 tea shops and salons (including sales counters in luxury department stores) around the world, including it’s flagship emporium in Paris’s Marais district that is the perfect setting for a delicious dessert and a spot of tea. Continue Reading →

How Did Boeuf Bourguignon Become a Classic?

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon 2

If you’re like me, you like to sample classic French dishes while visiting the City of Light: coq au vin, pot au feu, blanquette de veau, steak tartare … the list goes on and on. But one of my favorites—and a French classic that also I enjoy making at home—is boeuf bourguignon (beef Burgundy). But how did this dish become a French standard? Like many traditional French recipes, its roots lie in “peasant foods”–dishes that were staples over the centuries for the poor and the working class. Continue Reading →

It’s Chilly. Time for Fondue at Pain, Vin, Fromages

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The weather’s getting colder, and that means it’s time for heartier French cuisine. I’m a big fan of French winter classics, like boeuf bourguignon, cassoulet, soupe a l’oignon and other tummy-warming dishes. And you can find these tasty concoctions at many restaurants throughout Paris. Oddly, though, one cold-weather dish is rather difficult to find in the City of Light—fondue. OK, fondue is not French per se, but given that France is world-famous for its cheese, it’s not really a stretch for visitors to Paris to hope to find hot, gooey, melted cheese on at least a few restaurant menus. Fortunately, there’s a fantastic cheese-centric restaurant in the heart of the Marais that offers up some of Europe’s very best fondue throughout the year—Pain, Vin, Fromages (which translates as Bread, Wine, Cheese). Continue Reading →

How Did the Croissant Become a French Staple?

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Croissants are ubiquitous in Paris. Every pastry shop and boulangerie makes them. Every café sells them. A typical Parisian breakfast? Croissants and coffee. And for travelers to the City of Light, indulging in a buttery, flaky croissant (or several) is every bit as important as a trip to the Eiffel Tower or a bateau ride on the Seine. But how did this simple pastry become so ingrained in French culture? No one is absolutely certain, but theories abound. (And here’s a guide to where you can find the 10 best croissants in Paris!) Continue Reading →

Tracing the History of the Famous Tarte Tatin

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A quintessentially French dessert is the tarte Tatin, what many Americans believe to be an upside-down apple pie. But it’s actually a bit more than that. And its origin, although never definitively proven, is akin to how a classic American dish—chocolate chip cookies—came about: by accident. Continue Reading →

E. Dehillerin: Copper Cookware And So Much More

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France is quite simply the center of the culinary universe. And the City of Light itself is home to world-class restaurants, top cooking schools, celebrity chefs and some of the finest culinary supplies stores on the planet. The very best of these renowned boutiques is E. Dehillerin. Founded in 1820, E. Dehillerin is ground zero for high-end culinary equipment, from dishes and serving utensils to cookware, knives and specialty tools, and draws in customers—both pros and amateur cooks—from all over the world, including current culinary superstars Robuchon, Paul Bocuse and Michel Troisgros, as well as the legendary Julia Child, who was a regular E. Dehillerin shopper for more than 50 years. And while there are thousands of products available, the shop’s signature items are its renowned copper cookware. Continue Reading →