Brioche with sweetened almonds

The Purple Truffle arranged for us to  join food blogger and cookbook author Marion Flipo for a foodie tour in St. Germain. Our first stop was Eric Kayser where we enjoyed brioche with red-colored almonds, almond croissant, and a raspberry financier. Marion taught us that the boulangerie must be good at two things: bread, of course, and viennoiserie (what we would call breakfast pastries in the U.S.) We can vouch that Monsieur Kayser is definitely good at the viennoiserie. The Diana Ross of the trio was the financier. It’s unlike any pastry I’ve had in the US–it’s a dense moist cake filled with a dollop of raspberry jam. I have no idea how French women don’t get fat if this delight is in their gustatory repertoire!

The funniest thing I heard in Paris: Marion explained that the beef cuts were for special occasions due to price and that the French do not have outdoor grills. In a city where it seems like everyone is lighting up a cigarette next to you while you’re trying to eat at an outdoor cafe, it would be too rude to grill a steak outside where the smell of cooking meat might bother your neighbors. Vive la difference!

Our second stop was at a neighborhood butcher. Coming from the land of pre-packaged meat, or at least the butcher counter offerings sealed off under glass, it is novel to see raw meat open without a barrier between the customer and the product. The butcher block for the cutting of your purchase is right in the middle of the shop. I’m not sure how American safety regulations would deal with a knife wielding-butcher hip to hip with his customers. The butchery also had house-made ham that was delicious, and while I usually don’t care for ham because it is very sweet and usually kind of slimy, the ham we tried was almost as dry as a prosciutto but not salty.

Delicious selection of charcuterie

From there we headed to a Corsican deli to sample the charcuterie. While the French may not have considered Napoleon truly French, they do consider Corsica part of their culinary terroir. We had delicious sheep and goat cheeses, as well as cured hams from the flank and shoulder. Since we were in a real, working deli we could not spend time with the proprietor because he was quite busy with an influx of students. And here’s a great tip about water–all the bottled water we tasted in France was quite soft (it all tastes like Evian) but you can buy spring water at Pasta Luna that tastes like American bottled water.

The Paris chocolate shops always have the best Easter candy!

From savory, we moved onto to the sweeets. We stopped at the world-famous Patrick Roger for his chocolate. From sourcing the cacao to the one-of-a-kind flavor profile of lime and basil, every step of the chocolate making process is controlled for the best quality and inimitable flavor. Look out Hershey’s Chocolate World – I kinda think it would make one hell of a ride. And last, but certainly not least, we visited the chocolaterie of world-famous chef Cyril Lignac. We feasted on a chocolate flan made without eggs! Marion shared that they used corn starch to in place of eggs in the chocolate flan—truly a piece of culinary wizardry. The marble cake we tasted was simple, but rich.  New post tomorrow!

A whole lotta yum on that plate

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