October 24, 2014

Our Honeymoon, Day 12: Paris, by Mouth

Ahh, I've been so excited to write this post! Our honeymoon was incredible, but we definitely saved the best for last, and I'm so excited to wrap up these posts with my favorite thing that we did on our honeymoon - a food tour of Paris.

Doesn't that sound divine?

One of my co-workers went to Paris in the spring and came back raving about this tour. I knew we had to do it! We were so tremendously lucky to have it gifted to us by my big sister Zuzy as a wedding present.

Paris by Mouth is a website about food and wine in Paris. They also run food tours conducted by food and wine professionals who have a passion for eating in Paris. They run a few different tours exploring different neighborhoods of Paris, and even host wine and cheese workshops!

In this post, I'm going to walk you through our tour. It'll be picture heavy, and it will make you hungry. So sit back, grab a glass of wine (or a cafe au lait, depending on what time it is) and enjoy!

The Pilot and I woke up eager to start our morning eating our way through Paris. We made our way to the St. Germain des Pres, our favorite neighborhood in Paris, to start our Tour.

We were instructed to meet at The Polaine Bakery. Our tour guide was an American chef and restaurateur named Sarah, who has been living in Paris for 4 years.

1) The Poilane storefront, 2) A chandelier made out of bread, made for Salvador Dali,
3) Poilane's famous sourdough loaves, 4) Apple tarts...made with croissant dough
The Polaine Bakery was founded in 1932 by Pierre Polaine, who shocked the French when he built a bakery that, to this day, does not sell baguettes. Poilane is famous for those gorgeous sour dough loaves you see in the bottom left picture above. The loaves are handmade daily with four ingredients: stone-ground flour, sea salt, water and a sour dough starter that has been used since the bakery opened. The loaves are than carved with that beautiful 'P' and sent into a wood-fire oven.

The whole history of the bakery can be found on their website. (You can even order a loaf and have it shipped to you the same day!) But to summarize briefly, Pierre Poilane passed the bakery down to his son Lionel in 1970. Lionel Poilane and his wife kept the bakery running until 2001, when they were both tragically killed. At the time, their oldest daughter, Abigail, was an 18-year-old studying at Harvard. She took over the family business and continues to run it, true to her grandfather's tradition, today.

We sampled some of Poilane's bread, along with some punitions (small butter cookies) and the apple tarts you see above...which were baked with croissant dough and were absolutely amazing.

That was just the first stop on our tour. Our next stop: Pierre Herme, a pastry shop with to-die for macarons in exotic flavor combinations like pumpkin and corn, chocolate and passion fruit, and chocolate and foie gras.

Are you hungry yet?
We tried two of his specialties: coffee-orange and lychee-rose. They were heavenly. Macarons are quite possibly my favorite treats in the world. We even served them at our wedding!

Our next stop continued down the sweet, rather than savory, path and brought us to the chocolate shop of Patrick Roger (Ro-jay), a bronze sculptor turned chocolatier, awarded the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), the most prestigious award for craftsmen in France.

That is a lion...made entirely of chocolate. 
Patrick Roger makes delicious flavor combinations of chocolates...like basil-lemon (to die for), pistachio-marzipan, and almond-orange-grape.

Our next stop was the Marches Couvert. The Pilot and I stayed in the St. Germain the last time we were in Paris and must have walked past this Market every day without ever going in. It really didn't seem like anything special at all. What we didn't know was that it houses one of the best butchers, and one of the best fromageries (cheese shops) in all of Paris.

Clockwise from Left: 1) Serge Caillaud with one of his famous black footed chickens, 2) The Marches Couverts, 3) The Sanders, a husband and wife team that runs one of the best cheese shops in Paris, 4) Serge Caillaud hard at work, 5) Sea urchins! 6) CHEESE!
Our first stop was the Boucherie Au Belle Viander, the butcher shop (boucherie sounds so much better) of Serge Caillaud, a famous butcher who appears on French cooking shows all the time. We spent some time talking to Monsieur Caillaud. I love that people buy whole chickens in France...the food there is just so fresh. That chicken he's holding? Sells for some 25 euros A POUND.

Next up, we made our way over to see the Sanders, a husband-wife team that sell a delightful assortment of cheeses.

We picked some charcuterie from Monsier Caillaud and some cheeses from the Sanders before making our way to Le Dernier Goutte, a wine shop that exclusively sells bio-dynamic wines. Sarah, our tour guide, knows the owner of Le Dernier Goutte and he lets her use the little room in the back of his shop for tours. 

So, that's where we went and laid out our spread of cheese, charcuterie, chocolate, and some wine we picked up on entering the shop.

From there, the tasting began. We sampled both a red and white wine along with our assortment of cheeses which included: a Fermier goat cheese, an ashed Fermier goat cheese (I love ashed cheeses), a Livarot (cow, and the smelliest, most terrible cheese I've ever had), a Comte (also cow, and my favorite), a Brie de Melun (a savory version of the Bries we're used to here in the US), and a Roquefort (sheep).

We sampled the cheese with the wine and the chocolates and talked about all things food, wine and cheese in Paris. I even tasted duck confit. I hated it.  But the afternoon was absolute perfection.

Our last stop of the day was La Maison du Chou. Another MOF owned shop, this one specializes in cream puffs that are filled to order so that they never get too soffy. The filling is fromage blanc and it is flavored with either vanilla, chocolate, coffee, or a filling du jour. I had butter salted caramel. It was divine.

The tour was by far the best part of our honeymoon. We enjoyed an amazing three hours sampling all of the best breads, cheeses, pastries, sweets and wine that Paris has to offer. I would go back and do this tour again and again and again, exploring every other neighborhood where they're offered!

So, there you have it, our last day in Paris, the last day of our honeymoon. It was tough to come home, but we were ready to face reality. The Pilot had to go to fly the next day and I was starting a new job on Monday. Our honeymoon was absolutely perfect and we had an amazing time. I know we'll be back to Paris, and I really hope we make it back to Crete some time. Even if we don't, I know we've got thousands of other adventures ahead of us as we start our married lives together!

The Details: 
The tours cost 95 euros per person.
They're offered every day. Some days, there are as many as three tours offered. 
All of the tours are conducted in English. 
Once on the tour, everything is included (aside from any extras you want for yourself or as gifts).


  1. I am in love with your nails! They're so pretty. AND BREAD. Oh my goodness, all of the bread. It looks like you both had a lot of fun, and are happy! Yay!

    (plus the cheese is making my mouth water, for real).

  2. That looks AMAZING!! So glad you got to do this!!!

  3. Drooooool..... This. Looks. AMAZING!!!!

  4. Yummy! I'm so glad you suggested this. Did you do the Taste of Saint-Germain tour?


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