And so the adventure through the City of Lights continued. We let our appetites lead us through the cobble-stoned streets on our food and wine tour, fittingly titled “Paris by Mouth.” We landed on the "Taste of Marais" tour because of its proximity to our hotel. A short walk later, passing dainty floral shops and fruit street carts, we met with our intimate tour group of 6. Our tour guide, Andrés, handpicked about half a dozen pastry and decadent specialty shops that, to say modestly, satisfied our adventurous tastebuds. Here are some of my favorite stops we made on the tour:
Tout Autour de Pain
Address: 134 rue de Turenne
This corner bakery serves some of the most buttery croissants and best traditional French baguettes in Paris. Be sure to try the Vanetais bread. It pairs great with blue cheese.
Address: 133 rue de Turenne, 75003 & 27, rue de Varenne, 75007
This beautiful chocolate house serves square-shaped chocolates with flavors ranging from mint dark chocolate ganache to rosemary and hazelnut milk chocolate. Each chocolate has a delicate design stenciled on top. You can’t leave Jacques Genin without tasting their salted butter caramels.
For Modern Macaroons...
Address: 30, rue de Bretagne, 75003
Called the Picasso of macaroons, the head pastry chef at this bakery has redesigned the centuries-old dessert by combining unexpected flavors. The unique presentations leave the customer wanting to taste test every pastry in the shop.
Jouannault Cheese Shop
Address: 39 rue de Bretagne, 75003
We tried a bunch of cheeses, most of which I’ve never heard of. Here are a few of my favorites:
I. Pelardon AOP
(goat, Languedoc-Roussillon, aged 2-3 weeks)
Pelardon has a very creamy texture, with a milky and nutty lingering aftertaste.
II. Beaufort AOP
(cow, Rhône-Alpes, aged 36 months)
Made in the French Alps since the 14th century, Beaufort d'été is produced using only summer milk. Beaufort d’Alpage aka Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage, is produced using only summer milk from cows grazing above 1500m altitude where the grass is considered premium grazing land.
III. Livarot AOP
(cow, Normandie, aged 1-3 months)
Nicknamed “the Colonel” because it’s bound with five stripes of sedge grass that resemble the stripes on a military uniform, Livarot is a strong-smelling washed rind cheese.
IV. Brie de Meaux AOP
(cow, Île-de-France, aged 6-8 weeks)
Brie is my favorite cheese and it’s not just because we share the same name. This specific complex raw milk cheese that can be infused with flavors of mushrooms, earth, leaves, cauliflower, beef stock, or oysters. Some longer-aged versions have a strong ammonia smell which a few connoisseurs like. The hand-ladled technique uses a perforated ladle (dates back to 12th century) that allows the curds to be transported to the mold unbroken and achieve the smooth, voluptuous custard-like interior.
V. Bleu Txiki farmhouse
(Sheep, Basque country, aged 10 weeks)
This farmhouse cheese is a mild version of blue cheese. It was creamy and lightly salted.
To Wine Down...
La Cave de Turenne Wine Shop
Address: La cave de Turenne 80, rue Turenne, 75003
We tried a few different wines which we paired with the cheese above. Here are my top 3 picks:
I. Vin de France, Montagne de Strass 2018 from Domaine des Trouilleres (100% Chardonnay from Cotes d’Auvergne)
II. Vin de France, “Les Cliquets 2017” from Domaine Opi d’Aqui (100% Grenache from Languedoc-Roussillon)
III. Gaillac AOC, Duras 2016, from Domaine Plageoles (100% Duras from the Southwest of France)
Here is a link to the Paris by Mouth website: https://parisbymouth.com/food-wine-tours/