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Taste of the Marais with Paris by Mouth

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you will know that food tours are something I actively seek out wherever I go. In Paris alone, I’ve taken a fair number of them (you can find them here) and a lot of people wonder why, since I know the city pretty well but really, in a city with such an ever-changing culinary landscape, how can one ever possibly say they have finished learning everything there is to learn?  Also, even if some of the tours I take overlap a little in their content, what you learn on a tour is dictated by the interests of the guides who lead them and each guide will have a slightly different “take” on a store, restaurant or area and so will each group – a good guide will learn to “read” a group and tailor the information they are giving to the interest and knowledge level they are dealing with. So in short, I take food tours because there is always something different to learn!

Case in point: last week I took a tasting tour of the Marais with Jennifer (of Chez Lou Lou) of Paris by Mouth.

134rdt boulangerie in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe started out at what looks like a run-of-the-mill boulangerie… But on closer inspection….

134RDT boulangerie in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comThat’s right – these guys have won a fair number of prizes in Paris’ best baguette competition - le Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition française de la Ville de Paris(Meg of Paris by Mouth has been a judge at this prestigious contest!).

Baguette tradition on Taste of the Marais walking tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comYou can find a list of Paris’ top baguettes for 2014 (and back to 2011) on Paris by Mouth – a useful guide no matter what neighbourhood you find yourself in!

We also tasted their croissants, named Best in Paris in 2013 at the Concours du Meilleur Croissant au Beurre AOC Charentes-Poitou - that would be croissants made with Beurre AOC Charantes-Poitou (AOC protected butter!).

Croissants at 134rdt on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comWant more croissants? You can find the list of Best Croissants in Paris on Paris by Mouth too! Or perhaps you’d prefer a chouquette? 134rdt has those too…

Chouquettes on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comBoulangerie 134 RdT
134 rue de Turenne
75003, Paris

The tour continued with a stop in at Jacques Genin, just over the road. A truly gorgeous chocolate store…

Inside Jacques Genin Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comLast year, Genin (who was famous for his pastries and cakes) stopped making pastries, claiming that “chocolate is my first love” (paraphrased here by Paris by Mouth).  It is still possible to special order a millefeuille in the salon de thé or a large dessert (for more than four people, to take away) in advance – I’d HIGHLY recommend doing this – but today, Genin’s focus  is chocolate and pâte de fruits.

Pates de fruits in Jacques Genin in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe samples on this tour are generous (don’t plan to head right out to dinner afterwards!) – at Genin we got to try one pâte de fruit of our choice and three of his fabulous ganache-based chocolates.

Jacques Genin chocolates in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comJacques Genin
133 rue de Turenne,
75003, Paris
Closed Mondays
Sunday – Friday: 11am – 7pm
Saturday: 11am – 8pm

The Carreau du Temple in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comMairie 3ieme in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comOur next stop wasn’t a tasting but a fabulous spice store, Goumanyat. If you’re into interesting spices or looking for a hard-to-find ingredient, this is the store.  It’s also a good place to pick up some gifts and/ or souvenirs! And yes, they let you sniff before you buy!

Bar à sniffer in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comGoumanyat et son Royaume
3 rue Charles-Francois Dupuis,
75003, Paris
Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm

Cafe in the Marais Paris on eatlivetravelwrite.comBuilding facades in the Marais on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe stopped in at a traiteur where we picked up some rillettes and pâté. Jennifer explained what a traiteur is – it’s a version of French “fast food”  – with prepared meals of excellent quality (they also cater events). When I lived in Paris, I’d often buy things at the traiteur if I wanted to impress guests :)

Traiteur in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comNext stop was the Fromagerie Jouannault in the rue de Bretagne, just on the edge of the Marché des Enfants Rouges. Now Jennifer is quite the cheese expert and has tasted (and written about) over 200 of France’s cheeses (you can read her cheesy musings on her blog) so it was quite a treat to be in a cheese store with so much knowledge. I get the feeling she could talk about cheese forever!

Maitre Fromager in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comInside a fromager on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe folks at Jonnault don’t just sell the cheeses – they are also “affineurs” which basically means they look after the cheeses they produce – washing, brushing, flipping, patting and turning (for a brief overview of what affinage involves, there’s a nice article on The Kitchn) and Jennifer gave us a detailed explanation of what to me sounds like a pretty dreamy job!  It’s also something many visitors to Paris cheese stores don’t know to look for but if you see that a cheese store is also an affineur, you pretty much know you are in good hands!

Jonnault sells cheese, but also other “crèmerie” products…

Oeufs frais in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.com Mini saucisson in Paris on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe watched as Jennifer chose the following cheeses:

Rocamadour (goat, Midi-Pyrénées, aged for 1-3 weeks)
Valençay AOC (goat, Loire Valley, 3-5 weeks)
Comté AOC (cow, Jura, 36 months)
Brie de Melun AOC (cow, Ile-de-France, 7-8 weeks)
Abbaye de Belloc (sheep, Basque Pyrénées, 3 months)
Roquefort AOC (sheep, Languedoc-Roussillon, usually 3 months but can go up to 10 months)

I won’s share the excellent tasting notes Jennifer gave us here – you can head on over to her site to read about all the cheeses!

Fromagerie Jouannault
39 Rue de Bretagne,
75003 Paris
Tel: 01 42 78 52 61
Tuesday: Friday: 9am – 1pm; 3pm – 8pm
Saturday: 9am – 8pm
Sunday: 9am – 1.30pm

Our last stop was something that’s a little different from most Paris food tours I have been on – a wine store but one where we got to sit down and enjoy the wine as well as the spoils from our shopping trip! But not just any wine bar – a “BiB” (Bag in Box” wine bar/ store!

Bibo Vino in the Marais on Taste of the Marais tour on eatlivetravelwrite.comBiBoViNo is a bar and a store offering premium wines packaged in Bag In Box ™ – wines from high quality, smaller producers by the glass, carafe or box. The BiB concept is well-known in the south of France (and in other countries – I remember BiB wines long ago in Australia!) but not so common in Paris. BioiViNo aims to change that with its bright, inviting space (you can enjoy your wine at a long table overlooking the Marché des Enfants Rouges if you choose) and cool packaging.

BiBoViNo
Marché des Enfants Rouges
35 rue Charlot
75003 Paris
Tel: 01 42 71 14 08
Tuesday – Thursday: 11am – 2.30pm 4pm – 8pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 8pm
Sunday: 10.30am – 6.30pm

It was a lovely end to the tour – many of the tours I’ve taken have you taste your food along the way which is fine but it was a really nice touch to be able to sit and break bread (and enjoy cheese, charcuterie, pâté, rillettes and Jacques Genin’s caramels) with new friends. It was also a time for Jennifer to answer questions or talk some more about the cheese she loves :) A really well-thought-out piece of the tour.

Of all the Paris food tours I’ve been on, this one has the least amount of walking (and the most sitting down!) so if that is something you need to keep in mind, it’s an ideal “taster” of the Marais food scene for you (pun intended!). If you’ve only got an afternoon to explore an area you may not know so well, this is a great option too. Or, as one couple on my tour were doing – take this tour on the day you arrive, take advantage of Jennifer’s knowledge and expertise and make copious notes for places you need to return to during your stay!

A tour is only as good as its guide and I can’t recommend Jennifer highly enough. Full disclosure – Jennifer is also a friend of mine but she really did an excellent job of balancing “must know” information with fun facts and personal stories and obviously was able to “read” the group and tailor the information she was providing to us based on what she saw we thought was interesting. She’s also easy to chat to so if you are new to Paris and have “silly questions”, she’s a great place to start!

Check out all of Paris by Mouth’s Paris Food Tours here.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Paris by Mouth on the Taste of the Marais tour. I was not asked to write about this, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions are 100% my own.

The-Paris-Journal-cover-image

 

 

WORLDWIDE giveaway – Win a copy of The Paris Journal. Ends Sunday July 20th, 6pm EST. Details here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Many of you will know I’m in France for most of the summer.  While I will be slowly blogging about things I do here, the best way to keep up with me will be by following my photos which you can do on my Summer 2014 set on Flickr or Instagram where I am @eatlivtravwrite (if you don’t have the app on your phone you can still check out the photos online.

Paris in July

 

I’m submitting this post to Paris in July over at Thyme for Tea.

 

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8 Responses to Taste of the Marais with Paris by Mouth

  1. Tamara July 15, 2014 at 07:03 #

    Thank you for posting this wonderful piece as part of Paris in July. I’ve just posted my own wish list of markets to visit in Paris and referenced you! Your posts are so thorough and inviting and you do so well at answering my questions. I’m going to book mark this tour for my next visit to Paris – I love the Marias.

  2. Geoff July 15, 2014 at 17:52 #

    Oh boy… great post, Mardi. I got hungry just looking at the pics.

  3. Coco in the Kitchen July 16, 2014 at 15:53 #

    Thank God there’s a lot of walking required on a visit to Paris, otherwise I’d gain 50 lbs!
    What a lovely post. Everything looks so tempting. I remember we had something called Brioche Suisse. Never seen anything like it since our visit. It was delightful!

  4. Cecilia July 18, 2014 at 10:20 #

    Mardi–what a great food tour! I’m thinking about going to Paris in October, and this would be a fabulous thing to do. Hope you are enjoying the summer in Paris!

  5. Molly July 20, 2014 at 22:32 #

    Fabulous post! I have already added Paris by Mouth to my list of places to check out the next time I travel to Paris.

  6. Melinda July 21, 2014 at 07:59 #

    Great post! I never think to do a food tour when I travel, especially not in Paris where I tend to revisit favorite restaurants and dishes every time. Next time… :)

  7. Brona July 22, 2014 at 07:39 #

    Oh my, that was sooooo much Paris, I think I feel a little overwhelmed.
    I’m hoping to find a cheese and chocolate tour when I hit Paris in 2018 :-)

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