Une balade gourmande
A couple of Saturdays ago chéri and I took a tasty stroll through Paris as a way to relax and enjoy the city and each other’s company. Food is a pleasure, of that there is no doubt, but it is often a frustration for he and I because he is coeliac and I am horribly intolerant to milk proteins (that means no milk products or derivatives whatsoever). But, people like us can find des délices dégustatives, we just have to be selective and not be hesitant to ask about the ingredients. This can often be a difficult moment for the vendors or servers or whomever we are purchasing something to eat from and we are not 100% sure it’s something we can eat. How many times, have i hear the line from a server… “oh it’s just a tiny little bit of butter.” Or this that cracks me up : “it has eggs in it, so you won’t be able to eat that.” Um since when did eggs com from a cow???
But, people, servers, bakers etc are becoming more and more aware of these kinds of eating issues, as more and more people are diagnosed with them. So we go boldly into Paris, the land of butter, cheese and bread, without fear, and eat to our heart’s (and stomach’s) content!
First stop last Saturday was at the Marché Saint Martin :
Chez Tante Emma Laden
A charming German boutique in the Marché Saint Martin, 75010 Paris. They sell all of those things that you miss from the fatherland if that is where you are from… we heard the joy of one happy (German) customer and saw the smile on her face when she was told that they DID have a certain type of sausage that she was craving. They have an impressive collection of German beers, German cookies, all sorts of fun baking products, soups and sauces, condiments (I also saw Miracle whip mayo for those of you who love and miss it, I myself grew up on Helman’s… so Miracle Whip makes me gag.) They have Fresh soup made as well and table where you may have a seat to eat it.
In the Marché Saint Martin, we also found a vendor that sold Speculoos cookies that both of us could eat, made with soy flour and vegetable oil… we both squealed with joy! And bought 2 packages (5€ each for about 36 or so good sized cookies… une super bonne affaire!) They go really good with Mariage Frères thé Esprit de Noël rooiboos décafinated tea. Mmm!
Outside of the Marché we paused on this charming street, for a café at La Pendule Occitane, and the weather was balmy enough for a January afternoon to actually sit outside and not freeze. So we sipped a coffee enjoying the friendly service, and took some time to soak in the atmosphere of the très tranquil little corner.
Next we walked to the Marché des Enfants Rouges, it was a trot but we wanted to earn those treats we were going to stuff in our mouths! Our Italian vendor was closed for vacation, which actually may have been a good thing because we often stop in to see him and no one else. He should be back by now, if any of you were wondering. He has a superb wine selection. So instead we went to the Moroccan vendor who sells couscous, tagines and other delicious things freshly made, hot and ready to bring home or eat there. I was starving, so I got a chicken Pastilla. It was the first time I have ever eaten one… and let me tell you, it was pure and absolute ecstasy eating that thing. My whole mind was so wrapped around that deliciousness, flavor, texture, the flaky outside, the warm soft inside, the oozing oil… that is was hard to pay attention to traffic as I walked and ate. Good thing chéri was there to keep me from walking in front of moving cars. That’s how delicious this thing was! Chéri had a couple of mérguez sausages wrapped in aluminum… delish!
We hoped on some vélib bikes after that…hope to burn a calorie or two. On our way to La Bague de Kenza on rue Saint Honoré, for mint tea and cookies. I have to say, I was very impressed with the girl behind the counter, because as soon as I opened my mouth to tell her that I needed cookies that were lactose free, and that chéri needed gluten ones, she went immediately to a book that was placed right next to the counter for everyone to see, and consulted the ingredients which were written down there. Now you don’t get that at every bakery or pâtisserie in France! Plus wpâtisseriehen I asked if I could take photos they responded with a “bien sûr!” that I was so not expecting. After selecting our cookies we were showed to a table n the upstairs tea room and were served a few minutes later our pot of tea and cookies. It was a delicious end to a tasty day.
It is so encouraging to see Parisian food vendors evolving to become not only willing to discuss dietary needs, but,as in your last cited patisserie, so accommodating about it! During my séjour, il y une trentaine d’années, there would often be offense taken– and given, at the very idea of questioning ingredients! Allergies were met with skepticism & even once, with the declaration that the stated allergy “N’existe pas!” I can relate to the “oh, but it’s just a little bit” fallacy. Two family members with different allergies have each been falsely told that their orders had none of the allergen, even after they & their spouses intensely grilled the servers & emphasized that the allergy was life-threatening. When anaphylaxis set in, the server would say, “Oh, but there’s such a little bit, we didn’t think it was enough to matter!” [pastry w/ hidden walnut paste flattened my f-i-l and an aunt nearly died from chili thickened with… peanut butter! It really irks me when commentators belittle schools for “peanut precautions,” as if the allergy was just a matter of a sneeze.
I also love your reference to another food “controversy.” I haven’t seen public acknowledgment of the great Helmann’s vs. Miracle Whip schism since the Cheers episode abt Lilith Crane’s bachelorette party, where an attendee commented that a fistfight had broken out over it! I’m with you– My mama raised me right– wouldn’t allow Miracle Whip to cross our threshold or our lips! Ghastly stuff.
Ah, but now, hélas, I have a craving for patisserie francaise! Quelles belles photos!
Ouh wow, i’m definitely going to buy a couple of german beers and a fresh bretzel! Thanx for the tip!
Thanks for the treats .. definitely going to check this out when I go next .. love to see areas where we would not normally go.. Thanks.