Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Paris Spice Market

Sunday, July 12th, 2009
Spice Market at Galleries Lafayette

Spice Market at Galleries Lafayette in Paris

I recently discovered an enjoyable food blog called Cannelle et Vanille, written by Aran who is a food stylist and pastry chef – her pictures are extra special. One of her posts about French style macarons and pink peppercorns caught my eye, because I had just returned from France where I had enjoyed French macarons and bought some pink peppercorns! This is the comment I made on Aran’s post:

Hi Aran,

Your blog on pink peppercorns and French macarons really struck me. I just returned from a trip to France and loved the macarons in every flavor at the very special store Fauchon; plus, I bought some pink peppercorns! I knew I could get them in the U.S., but I wanted to buy them in Paris as a reminder of the beautiful spice market we saw on the second floor of the Galleries Lafayette department store in the Opera district. Since I’m a “foodie” by profession and passion, we tend to visit food spots when we travel.

At Galleries Lafayette, we headed past the perfume counters and clothes and made a beeline to the food emporium on the second floor. Beautiful produce, cheese, ice cream, chocolates, pastries, meats, etc., etc. That was very delightful, and there was also a spice market with fragrant spices piled high on trays so you could order whatever quantity you wanted – they weighed it and packaged it up for you. They had all kinds of peppercorns, but I got some of the pink ones. They’re in a clear pepper grinder on my kitchen counter, and when I see them they take me back to Galleries Lafayette in Paris! I also got a few chunks of crystallized ginger that also just make me feel good when I see them in my cupboard!!

As so many others have noted, your pictures are beautiful – they are noticably special and unique.

Cheers, Cathy
Posted on Cannelle et Vanille, July 10, 2009

I thought my own readers might be interested in the spice market at Galleries Lafayette . . . and below are the crystallized ginger and pink peppercorns on my counter at home in California.

My Pink Peppercorns

My Pink Peppercorns


Sweet Hot Crystallized Ginger from Galleries Lafayette

My Sweet Hot Crystallized Ginger

Paris Outdoor Market

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
Marche d'Aligre

Marche d'Aligre

In my last post I wrote about Fauchon, the specialty food store we recently visited in Paris. Another great stop in our meanderings through that incredible city was the Marche d’Aligre, an outdoor farmers’ market in the eastern part of the city. I’m from California and, like lots of places around the country, we have some pretty great farmers’ markets – Marche d’Aligre could more than hold its own against our outdoor market line-up.

Like most outdoor markets, it’s not the beauty of the market stalls themselves but rather what’s sold from those stalls that makes it so great. Fresh flowers, perfectly ripe vegetables and fruits and freshly caught fish lined the outdoor area of this market; in the adjacent market building there were specialty meats, charcuterie, cheeses, beer, olive oils . . . if only I could have packed them all in my suitcase and brought them home!

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I thought the radishes (above) were especially colorful and looked like a bouquet of flowers.

Best,
Cathy

Marche d'Aligre - Paris

Marche d'Aligre - Paris


Marche d'Aligre - Paris

Marche d'Aligre - Paris


Marche d'Aligre - Paris

Marche d'Aligre - Paris


Marche d'Aligre - Paris

Marche d'Aligre - Paris


Marche d'Aligre - Paris

Marche d'Aligre - Paris


Marche D'Aligre - Paris

Marche D'Aligre


Marche d'Aligre - Paris

Marche d'Aligre - Paris

Fauchon in Paris

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
Cakes and Macaroons - Fauchon, Paris

Cakes and Macaroons - Fauchon, Paris

My husband and I, along with two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law, recently returned from two weeks in France. It’s been several years since we’ve taken an honest-to-goodness two week vacation like that. The trip was planned last year before the economy got so bad; we decided we better go and enjoy ourselves since it might be another very long time before we do something like it again! So, go we did. . .

We spent one week in Paris, taking our time to re-visit the city highlights and enjoy the incredible breads and pastries at arms reach no matter where you go! For the second week, we based ourselves about 30 miles east of Paris and took day trips to places like Reims (champagne capital of the world), Chablis and the Burgundy region. We had a great dinner in Dijon – one of the distinguished cities of food in France – that was worth the three hour drive.

I thought readers of the Just Specialties Fine Food blog would be particularly interested in a store in Paris called Fauchon. It’s really two stores right next to each other at the Place de la Madeleine – right across the street from the Madeleine Church. With its neoclassic architecture, the church looks more like an imposing ancient Greek temple than a Christian church – it’s beautiful and distinctive. A street called Rue Royale runs from the Place de la Concorde right up to the front steps of the Madeleine Church. You can stand on those steps and look up Rue Royale to the Place de la Concorde, about 1/4 mile away, where Marie Antoinette lost her head in the French Revolution – but I digress. . .

The Madeleine Church sits in the center of the Place de la Madeleine, sort of like sitting in the middle of a very large roundabout, and is ringed by unique specialty shops like Maison de la Truffe (the fungus kind), Maille (specialty mustards), Caviar Kaspia and. . . Fauchon, the specialty food store to end all specialty food stores.

Everything at Fauchon is “just so” – their windows are full of incredibly artistic desserts and savory food. Their idea of “canned” food is large attractive tins of Coq au Vin and specialty duck preparations. Even their “fast food” is remarkable in both presentation and taste.

I mentioned there are two Fauchon stores right next to each other. One store is primarily geared towards foods to buy and eat right away – the French version of “take-away”, although there are seats inside and out where you can enjoy your food, along with wine (the French have a very civilized idea of “take away”) or coffee from the coffee bar. Their baguette sandwiches are in little zipper pouches – no cellophane wrap here – and the fresh salads are packed in crystal clear pyramid-shaped plastic containers. This first store also has a full bread and pastry bar, complete with all flavors of French macaroons, and deli counters with foie gras and other specialty meats, cheeses and fish.

The second Fauchon store has mostly packaged products, including gift items, chocolates, teas and coffee, tins of coq au vin and escargots, and a wine cellar below. We didn’t bring a lot of souvenirs back from France, but most of what we did bring back came from this store! The tin of escargots made the U.S. customs person a little concerned, but we made it home with them and I’m sure my husband will enjoy them at some point (when I get around to fixing them up). As with all of their goods, the products in this store are also beautifully presented. It was really enjoyable checking everything out and appreciating how well done it all was.

Below are several pictures from Fauchon and Place de la Madeleine. I felt very rusty with my camera, so these pictures aren’t the best – but I hope you enjoy them.

Best,
Cathy

Cakes - Fauchon, Paris

Cakes - Fauchon, Paris

Cakes - Fauchon, Paris

Cakes - Fauchon, Paris

Filled raspberries atop chocolate cake - Fauchon, Paris

Filled raspberries atop chocolate cake - Fauchon, Paris

Chocolate Bars - Fauchon, Paris

Chocolate Bars - Fauchon, Paris

Purses with chocolates - Fauchon, Paris

Purses with chocolates - Fauchon, Paris

Escargots - Fauchon, Paris

Escargots - Fauchon, Paris

Looking up Rue Royale to Madeleine Church at the Place de la Madeleine

Looking up Rue Royale to Madeleine Church at the Place de la Madeleine

Fauchon

Fauchon

Maison de la Truffe

Maison de la Truffe

Caviar Kaspia

Caviar Kaspia

Maille specialty mustards

Maille specialty mustards

Maille window display

Maille window display