7 Canadian Taste Awakening Adventures.
*All inclusive food and wine tasting tour of the 5th arrondissement (4-hour minimum)
95 Euros per person (minimum 5 participants)Tel.: 09 82 22 25 03
Paris’ 5th arrondissement is the city’s oldest settlement and was host to the Parisii tribe before the Romans came to build the Roman Arena and the thermal baths, now absorbed by the Hotel Cluny. The city was built up from this area and the islands that were originally nine, filled in to make two (île de la Cité and île Saint-Louis), with the city gradually growing and spreading to the right bank.
The 5th has traditionally been the focus of the city’s intellectual life with the Latin Quarter hosting colleges from around Europe in the Middle Ages and the common language being Latin, the quarter was named for this.
Today the 5th is still a collection of bookshops, art house cinemas and prestigious schools and universities, but like the rest of the city, host to a colourful but discreet range of food shops, bakeries, wine shops, cheese masters, open air markets and specialty shops.
Navigating one’s way through the variety and choice takes time and experience and that is one of the features of Paris Taste Tours. Our local, bilingual ‘tasters’ are experienced professionals who know each of the shopkeepers personally and have a privileged relationship with them. They have done the research so you can enjoy the best tastes of every quarter.
Our tour begins at 10:00am on the Place Maubert (Metro Maubert Mutualité).
To refresh our palates and provide a healthy dose of pro-biotics, we begin with a wheat grass, ‘Kombucha’ and ‘Kefir’ tasting at La Nature à Paris on the bd St Germain. A healthy, invigorating beginning to kick start the day.
We next pop over to Moisan on the Place Maubert to taste ‘kouign-amann’, also called ‘quinaman’ (‘butter cake’ in Breton) a gorgeous butter/sugar infused layered bread pastry where the butter seeps through the pastry, caramelising with the sugar to create a sinfully delicious taste experience that is hard to compare. Moisan, describe themselves as “bread editors” and specialise in using only healthy natural, organic products that revive the traditional tastes of real bread. Their breads are fragrant, crusty and full of flavour, smelling of the yeasty life that gives bread its true nutritive value.
Right next door to Moisan is one of the city’s best ‘fromagers’. Laurent Dubois ‘meilleur ouvrier de France’ is a rare combination of dreamer, visionary and highly professional cheese expert. The shop is too small to invade ‘en masse’ and so we will set up out in front for a short talk on the complexities of cheese and to taste comparative examples of aging. We will leave with a selection of cheeses to accompany us on our wine tasting.
Walking up the rue Monge, we will pop into the Arènes de Lutèce, a 2000 year old Roman Arena for a quick peek en route to our next stop, Paris Terroirs, one of the 5th’s best wine shops specialising only in natural wines. Equipped with the cheeses from Dubois and bread from Moisan, we will enjoy the subtle and lively aromas and flavours of wines produced without chemical inputs made from organically or biodynamically grown grapes.
Passing by the Grégoire Bakery, we will pick up a loaf of their 100% organic rye and a ‘tourte’ to take along with us for our last tasting...
Our next stop is the bustling and colourful Place Monge Market. Here we will visit organic vegetable vendors and sample seasonal fruits and vegetables straight from the stands.
Carrying on south, we head next down the rue Mouffetard, Paris’ oldest market street lined with shops of all sorts. Here we will enjoy the sites and lively, animate exchanges between the market hawkers and Sunday shoppers as well as traditional accordion and guinguette music sung on occasion by enthusiastic passersby.
At the bottom of the rue Mouffetard we head left back to the rue Monge to visit Un Saumon à Paris. This is one of Paris’ finest locations for smoked salmon and here there are five varieties featured: Norwegian, organic Irish, marinated with dill, wild Danish and Scottish. But this tiny boutique also features caviar and boutargue (or poutargue), a specialty of many Mediterranean countries made from the eggs of the red mullet.
Leaving the busy market areas of the 5th we continue our adventure to the boulevard Port Royal and our final destination, a tiny shop called La Petite Chaloupe. This unique epicerie has the largest collection of tinned vintage sardines in Paris with over 70 references. The tasting culmination of our tour is celebrated with fresh raw oysters and a selection of tinned sardines and bread buttered with seaweed butter, washed down with a fine white wine from the La Petite Cave, the wine shop next door.Other possible visits to this tour may include Sugar Plum Cake Shope (organic Nanaimo bars and cheesecake), La Maison des Trois Thés (one of Paris’ finest tea salons specialising in Chinese tea), Arold Delicatessen (best delicatessen 2009) and Les Petites Merveilles de Damas (naturally, traditionally made Syrian sweets).
Personal insurance, maps, personal effects, shopping baskets, umbrellas, any entrances or tastings not included in the itinerary, meals not mentioned and transfers to or from the beginning or the end of the tour to any other destination.
Bottled water, plastic bags, plastic anything, unnecessary packaging, disrespect for the environment, grumpiness, surliness and no sense of humour.