Cheesemaking Class at Paroles de Fromagers

There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist. In fact, one of my favorite things to do in Paris is to “play tourist,” which means you get to do something fun around town rather than live like a local and stay home and do paperwork. The stars aligned when my friend Jane from La Cuisine cooking school and I both wanted to take a cheesemaking class…

There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist. In fact, one of my favorite things to do in Paris is to “play tourist,” which means you get to do something fun around town rather than live like a local and stay home and do paperwork. The stars aligned when my friend Jane from La Cuisine cooking school and I both wanted to take a cheesemaking class at Paroles de Fromagers in Paris. I’ve been to a number of cheesemaking caves around France, but never one in Paris. So we signed up.

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Le pommeau de douche

After what seemed like a year, and a rather long one at that, my bathroom and shower have finally been fixed. What seemed like ages ago, I came home from lunch with a friend one day and heard a bubbling, brook-like sound coming from my bedroom. When I walked in, a steady cascade of water was rippling out of the wall and about a centimeter…

After what seemed like a year, and a rather long one at that, my bathroom and shower have finally been fixed. What seemed like ages ago, I came home from lunch with a friend one day and heard a bubbling, brook-like sound coming from my bedroom. When I walked in, a steady cascade of water was rippling out of the wall and about a centimeter (1/2-inch) of water covered the floor, as well as the floor of my bedroom, courtesy of a broken pipe in the building.

People in Paris are no strangers to fuites d’eau (water leaks) and this wasn’t my first. And unfortunately, it probably won’t be my last. A combination of ancient plumbing, rising rivers, old buildings, disagreements between neighbors, and property managers, who Capital, a French Consumer Reports-style magazine described as having regular “bad buzz” and défiance institutionnalisé (widespread suspicion), keeps Paris awash with water woes.

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Tapisserie

Years ago, at a flea market in Paris I pickup up some old metal letters from a bakery in France that spelled out PATISSERIE. Being a baker, of course I was thrilled (although still despondent that someone else snatched up the matching BOULANGERIE letters…) and proudly displayed them on the shelf of my apartment. Since my apartment at the time was so small, shelf space…

Years ago, at a flea market in Paris I pickup up some old metal letters from a bakery in France that spelled out PATISSERIE. Being a baker, of course I was thrilled (although still despondent that someone else snatched up the matching BOULANGERIE letters…) and proudly displayed them on the shelf of my apartment. Since my apartment at the time was so small, shelf space was at a super-premium. Yet I was happy to give a lot of it up to have those letters reminding me of my métier.

When I lent my apartment to some visiting friends, I noticed the P and the T had been reversed, and it spelled TAPISSERIE. I got a kick out of it and thought that was very clever. When a new bakery in Paris called Tapisserie from the team of a noted restaurant, I figured it wasn’t a place to purchase a tapestry, but a clever – and original – place to get terrific desserts.

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Folderol Ice Cream Shop (and Wine Bar)

It used to be that if you wanted ice cream in Paris, you went to Berthillon. While there were other notable places on my list (circa 2007), if you wanted a scoop of ice cream after dark in other parts of the cities, you were out of luck. Like bakeries, ice cream options tend to be few and far between in the evening, and there…

It used to be that if you wanted ice cream in Paris, you went to Berthillon. While there were other notable places on my list (circa 2007), if you wanted a scoop of ice cream after dark in other parts of the cities, you were out of luck. Like bakeries, ice cream options tend to be few and far between in the evening, and there were not a lot of glaceries open after dark. So if you wanted to go for a post-supper stroll for a few boules de glace, it was often pas possible.

Fortunately, that’s changed in recent years as several pastry chefs opened upscale ice cream shops in the Marais (and elsewhere), and younger talents, like Henri at Glazed and Bachir from Lebanon, have also jumped into the mix. Even better, Folderol has arrived, an ice cream shop & wine bar from the husband and wife team that brought us Le Rigmarole restaurant. This goes to show that good things come to those (like me) who wait…even if it takes fourteen years.

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Marche des Producteurs de Pays

This week France rather quietly announced that visitors from the U.S. and Canada were allowed to come to the country without any restrictions. Things are still moving in the direction of getting back to normal, and while last year is still sort of a haze to me, I believe the markets in Paris remained open the entire time, operating under different conditions. Outdoor markets are…

This week France rather quietly announced that visitors from the U.S. and Canada were allowed to come to the country without any restrictions. Things are still moving in the direction of getting back to normal, and while last year is still sort of a haze to me, I believe the markets in Paris remained open the entire time, operating under different conditions. Outdoor markets are extremely important in France and, of course, pre-dated les supermarchés which are now everywhere and have more agreeable hours – some are now even open on Sundays, which was controversial when it happened. But the outdoor markets take place six days a week in Paris, and in a country where holidays and vacations, and Sundays, are sacred, they remain open no matter what, even on Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s Day.

The outdoor markets are an integral part of French life and while in Paris there are over 100 marchés alimentaires (food markets), many of the stands are run by négotiants, or middle-men and women, who get their fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, and fish from Rungis, the wholesale market outside of the city. There are many small farms in France but many stay, and sell, only in their regions due to their size. So I’m always happy when I see signs posted about an upcoming Marché des Producteurs de Pays, where you can buy things directly from the growers and producers, who bring their foods to the city.

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France Reopens to Americans (and Others) June 9th

After over a year, France is opening its borders to most travelers, to a group that includes North Americans. I wrote about some of the developments in my June newsletter but some points have been clarified in the last few days. France announced a “color system” in which your requirements for entry will depend on what country you are from. There are three color groups;…

After over a year, France is opening its borders to most travelers, to a group that includes North Americans. I wrote about some of the developments in my June newsletter but some points have been clarified in the last few days. France announced a “color system” in which your requirements for entry will depend on what country you are from. There are three color groups; Red, Orange, and Green (more here and here) but for the Orange group, which includes North Americans, if you are fully vaccinated, you can come to France. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, you must have a compelling reason to come, and the requirements are stricter, plus you’ll need to quarantine for 7 days and have a PCR test after arrival.

The type of proof of vaccination has yet to be confirmed but you should print out what you have or bring your vaccination card, along with any other documents you have that relate to being vaccinated. Later this month, France will offer a “health pass” of some sort, which has yet to be determined. (More on that below.)

According to the US Embassy in France, here are the current requirements for Americans and others in Orange zones:

“Proof of vaccination (currently only the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are accepted). Travelers must also be fully vaccinated, which occurs two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca, and four weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson; AND Either a negative COVID PCR test conducted within the 72 hours prior to departure or a negative COVID antigen test performed within the 48 hours prior to departure.”

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Top 10 Cheese Shops in Paris

It’s been a while, but Paris is opening up to visitors again on June 9th! I wrote about some of the details in my recent newsletter (and some tips you might want to know if you plan to come) but although some food shops in Paris have been doing brisk business with the locals, many are happy to have visitors back. And not just for…

It’s been a while, but Paris is opening up to visitors again on June 9th! I wrote about some of the details in my recent newsletter (and some tips you might want to know if you plan to come) but although some food shops in Paris have been doing brisk business with the locals, many are happy to have visitors back. And not just for economic reasons; many shopkeepers like the mix of people who come into their shops and many foreigners are genuinely curious and want to learn more about the foods of France, and owners of small shops are usually happy to engage with them as they are proud of what they carry, especially in the better cheese shops, or fromageries.

Jennifer Greco is a life-long Francophile and French food and wine enthusiast with an especially strong passion for French cheese. After moving from the U.S. to the south of France almost two decades ago, she has steadily been tasting her way through each and every cheese produced in France, a project that started one day on a whim and has developed into a full-fledged infatuation. To date, she says she has tasted just under 400 of the approximately 1500 fromages made in France. (Charles de Gaulle underestimated his cheese-making compatriots when he said “How can you govern a country which has 246 types of cheese?”) 

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The Hemingway Daiquiri

I became engrossed with author Ernest Hemingway watching the documentary, Hemingway by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Hemingway is one of those legends whose name we all know, but most of us don’t know all that much about him. The documentary takes an unflinching look at him, and his legacy, thanks to contemporary writers, literary scholars, and historians, who filled in much of the…

I became engrossed with author Ernest Hemingway watching the documentary, Hemingway by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Hemingway is one of those legends whose name we all know, but most of us don’t know all that much about him. The documentary takes an unflinching look at him, and his legacy, thanks to contemporary writers, literary scholars, and historians, who filled in much of the biographical information that accompanied his history, which wasn’t always rosy.

Some books of his were big hits while others fell flat. Some consider The Old Man and the Sea a great novel while others described it in unflattering terms. He had a penchant for falling in love madly in love with women, which usually took a turn for the worse…which is being kind. (Although discussed and implied, the relationships sounded harrowing.) He swore at his mother in writings and later, he got an earful in turn from his son, who sent him a letter calling The Old Man and the Sea “sentimental slop.” He married multiple times, suffered debilitating war injuries, drank too much, had affairs, survived two plane crashes, and lived in Cuba, Paris, Key West, before finally settling at the end of his life in Ketchum, Idaho.

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Where to Get Fresh Tortillas in Paris

Who knew that one of my most FAQs would be “Where can I find fresh tortillas in Paris?” Yes, there’s no shortage of bread in Paris, with over 1200 bakeries in the city baking it fresh daily, but with a burgeoning interest in Mexican food, and a number of residents from the Americans (and elsewhere) who enjoy and crave tortillas, there are several places where…

Who knew that one of my most FAQs would be “Where can I find fresh tortillas in Paris?”

Yes, there’s no shortage of bread in Paris, with over 1200 bakeries in the city baking it fresh daily, but with a burgeoning interest in Mexican food, and a number of residents from the Americans (and elsewhere) who enjoy and crave tortillas, there are several places where you can find them fresh.

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Romance in Paris

Hello – Emily here!  Whether single or in a relationship, I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. My favorite color is pink, it reminds me my birthday is around the corner and if nothing else, chocolates and champagne will soon be on sale.  I was single on Valentine’s Day every year until I turned 29, however I never felt alone and I never failed to celebrate in my…

Hello – Emily here! 

Whether single or in a relationship, I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. My favorite color is pink, it reminds me my birthday is around the corner and if nothing else, chocolates and champagne will soon be on sale.  I was single on Valentine’s Day every year until I turned 29, however I never felt alone and I never failed to celebrate in my own small way, usually with pink champagne and heart-shaped Neufchatel cheese

The first year I was in a relationship on February 14th, instead of a romantic dinner-a-deux I decided to spread the love and organized (and cooked) a pop-up dinner for 47 guests. It was a huge success, measured by the flurry of new relationships which started that night, in a utilitarian warehouse in East London. My boyfriend on the other hand was no help, though; he got drunk and threw little potatoes at the guests as they left. 

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