Archive for the ‘food’ Category

For All of Your Chinese Food Cravings… by Samantha Gilliams

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017
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Right when I thought I’d never find decent Chinese food in Paris (after having visited countless épiceries where they kindly microwave plastic-wrapped Chinese food…), I discovered: Tang Frères and the treasures of the 13th arrondissement.

I was in heaven when I stepped out of the Porte d’Ivry metro stop. The plethora of authentic Chinese restaurants, grocery stores, and boulangeries chinoises, enticed me to eat and buy all afternoon.

However, one grocer I took particular liking for was Tang Frères. This Asian market has been around since 1981, when two brothers moved to Paris from Laos and decided to open up the first of their supermarkets on avenue d’Ivry (wiki).

Thirty six years later, the market is still running, providing authentic imported ingredients to hungry, customers, both foreign and French.

When I arrived at Tang Frères, with the help of iPhone Maps, I entered into the first of two grocery stores that are right next to one another.

Tang Frères N° 1
Photograph by Samantha Gilliams

After walking the aisles and observing the products of Tang Frères n° 1, I was slightly disappointed. Yes, they had ingredients for Asian cuisine, but it was not truly what I expected. Especially because I am familiar with Paris Store, another Asian market just next door to Tang Frères, which had a much larger selection of goods.

As I was leaving Tang Frères n° 1, I made a slight right and walked a bit down the street, past the produce vendors, where I discovered Tang Frères n° 2.

Produce Vendors
Photograph by Samantha Gilliams

Tang Frères N° 2
Photograph by Samantha Gilliams

When I entered this Tang Frères emporium that was endowed with a larger market, a food stand called “Tang Gourmet,” a refreshments stand, and a flower shop, I finally understood what people had been raving about.

The smell of the roasted Peking duck at Tang Gourmet alone instantly intrigued me and made me want to explore the rest of the market.

Tom left: Refreshment stand, Top right: Flower stand, Bottom: Roasted Peking duck
Photograph by Samantha Gilliams

Top: Main aisle, Bottom left: Frozen section, Bottom right: Vegetable aisle
Photograph by Samantha Gilliams

I was happy to see some of my Chinese food favorites, like frozen xao long baos (soup dumplings), fresh Chinese noodles, and pork buns that I hadn’t found since I’ve been abroad in Paris the last three years!

I was also pleased to see the variety of people who were shopping for, and are therefore fond of, Asian foodstuffs. I heard many languages being spoken in the market by people of all ages.

I would recommend Tang Frères, and more generally the 13th arrondissement, to anyone who is a fan of Chinese culture and Asian cuisine. A visit to this part of Paris will reveal a culture that travelers are initially unaware of in what sometimes seems, at first glance, to be a very homogeneous city.

Works Cited
Wiki: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_Fr%C3%A8res

About the author: Samantha Gilliams is a Wells International Foundation summer intern.

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An African Fair in Paris – Part III – Food and Beverage

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016
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Chez Maman Alice

Chez Maman Alice – The Dining Area
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I arrived at the exhibition hall around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 27 and decided that I should get lunch before walking around to look at the exhibits. I saw that the food stand called Chez Maman Alice had a nice area for sit-down dining, so I decided to try the food there.

One of the women invited me to take a table, so I entered the dining area and made myself comfortable. I ordered two beef kabobs, three beef samosas, a serving of rice, and a green salad. I also ordered a Heineken beer, which was served in a 67cl size can. It was a delicious meal, and the price came to only 11€.

Maman Alice and Her Staff

Maman Alice and Her Staff
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I took a photo of Maman Alice and her staff. From left to right are Marie, Adele, Maman Alice, Frida, Maroua, and Youdi. All but Maroua hail from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Maroua is Moroccan.

With a full belly, I was ready to explore the exhibition.

D'Jackson Suriam and Christophe Luijer

D’Jackson Suriam and Christophe Luijer — So’Kanaa
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Sokanaa machine

Christophe Luijer’s Cane-juice Extraction Machine
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I came upon D’Jackson Suriam from Martinique and Christophe Luijer from Holland, where they were selling fresh-pressed juice from the sugar cane. Christophe told me that he invented the machine that crushes a stick of sugar cane to extract its sweet juice. I tried a cup and found it to be wonderfully refreshing. Christophe calls his company So’Kanna.

D'Jackson Suriam with Océana Magazine

D’Jackson Suriam with Océana Magazine
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

D’Jackson is Christope’s partner at So’Kanna. He is also editor and director of a new international culture and lifestyle magazine called Océana.

Next…vendors and exhibitors at the fair.

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Which Dining Guide Do Most French Waitresses Recommend to Paris-bound Travelers?

Saturday, March 21st, 2015
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Waitress Admiring Our E-book

We like to think that the dining guide most French waitresses recommend is our new e-book Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light.

Entering into a restaurant in Paris can be a formidable experience for the uninitiated traveler. Not only do you have to contend with trying to make your wishes understood by a waiter or waitress who may or may not speak your language, but you must learn quickly how to adapt to local dining customs as well.

If you are a first- or second-time traveler to Paris, our new e-book, Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light, will provide you the with the knowledge and confidence that you need to enter into a Parisian restaurant to enjoy a fine meal and to have a wonderful dining experience.

Bonus!
Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light contains in-depth reviews of twelve of the author’s favorite restaurants.

Click here to order! http://amzn.to/1nkgCyu

Note: You don’t need a Kindle device to read Dining Out in Paris. Amazon.com provides FREE reader apps that work on every major tablet, smartphone, and computer so that you can read e-books on whatever type of device you own. Click here to learn more.

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Noël Gourmand

Friday, December 26th, 2014
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The second annual Noël Gourmand (Christmas Wine and Gastronomy Festival) is over, and what a great festival it was! Held from the 19th to the 22nd of December at the Brongniart Palace, it was a wonderful opportunity for Parisians to come into contact with producers of fine French fare from all over the country.

I attended on the last day and had the occasion to meet and talk with a number of producers.

Nathalie of Sous L'Equateur

Nathalie of Sous l’Equateur
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I met Nathalie, who was distributing chocolate ganaches produced by Sous l’Equateur, an artisanal chocolate maker located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. She offered a divine cream-filled milk chocolate that contained bits of hazelnut. She told me that the company also sells fresh-roasted coffee on the premises.

Alban Laban

Alban Laban
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I met Alban Laban of the company of the same name. He raises free-range ducks on his farm, located in the Pyrenees in southern France, and transforms them into canned products (such as rillettes de cananrd and cassoulet au confit de canard) and fresh products (such as saucisson de canard and foie gras au sel).

Chantal of G.A.E.C. Chambon

Chantal of G.A.E.C. Chambon
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Nearby at another stand, Chantal (from a farm located in the Franche-Comté region, not too far from Switzerland) was cooking a batch of morbiflette, a hearty dish made from onion, sliced potato, chopped bacon, and Morbier cheese.

Gloria of Lou Peyrou

Gloria of Lou Peyrou
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I stopped by the Lou Peyrou stand an ordered a sandwich made from a sliced baguette and Saint-Nectaire, a cow’s milk cheese from the Auvergne region. Gloria, who served me, was also selling aligot, a traditional dish made from melted cheese, butter, and mashed potato. While I was waiting for her to prepare my sandwich, I saw numerous customers come by to purchase copious portions of this waist-enhancing fare.

How in the world do the French stay slim eating these rich foods? It is one of life’s great mysteries.

Anthony of L'Eurélienne

Anthony of L’Eurélienne
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Around the corner and in a side room I came upon Anthony of L’Eurélienne, a microbrewery located on a farm in the Loire Valley near the town of Chartres. Anthony told me that they brew their beer from the barley that they grow on the farm.

I spotted cuvée de Noël (Christmas beer) on the beverage list and ordered a 25cl glass. Served fresh from the tap, it was an unfiltered, unpasteurized, double-fermented, brown beer that I found fully satisfying and refreshing. Anthony said that it is flavored with star anise, cardamon, cinnamon, and licorice root.

I wondered if Elisabeth Pierre, who wrote Le Guide Hachette des Bières, had sampled this company’s beer. There are so many great artisanal breweries in France!

Jean-Pierre of BiPiA

Jean-Pierre of BiPiA
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

While at the bar, I met Jean-Pierre of BiPiA, a producer from the Basque region of France.  As he finished his coffee break, he invited me to come by his stand.

When I got there, I immediately noticed the three Basque flags on the wall behind him.  I saw that he was selling Espelette pepper in all its forms: in preserves, sauces, and condiments, as well as in jellies and purees. Although I didn’t see it at the stand, Espelette is also sold as whole peppers strung on cords.

I left the Noël Gourmand fair in good spirits. It had been a great opportunity to taste wonderful French regional products and meet the producers directly. I look forward to attending this event next year!

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I Love Italian Food – The Fuori Salone

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
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I Love Italian Food

Monique and I got an invitation to attend the I Love Italian Food festival last week. It was held at the Showroom Poliform Varenna on rue du Bac in the 7th arrondissement. What a great celebration it was!

Charline Dayer and Mary Kay Bosshart

Charline Dayer and Mary Kay Bosshart
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We met a number of Paris bloggers there, including Mary Kay Bossart of Out and About in Paris.

Ferrari Maximum Trento DOC

Ferrari Maximum Trento DOC
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We got there just a bit early. While we waited for the food stands to open, we sipped a bit of bubbly called Ferrari Maximum Trento DOC. Ferrari is a sparkling wine produced in Trentino, Italy. It’s not a prosecco—it’s produced according to traditional champagne methods, including second fermentation in the bottle. I enjoyed its dry, elegant flavor as much as any champagne that I have ever tasted.

Open-faced Sandwiches Above: sun-dried tomato; Below: olive paste Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Open-faced Sandwiches
Above: sun-dried tomato; Below: olive paste
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Finally, the food stands opened and we went upstairs to sample a wide variety of Italian fare. I tried a couple of delicious open-faced sandwiches.

Parmareggio Brand Cheese

Parmareggio Brand Cheese
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Parmesan cheese had been cut from the wheel in large chunks. This was the first time ever that I have been able to sample as much as I wanted—it was almost like being in a dream. I enjoyed its sharp, almost pungent, flavor and its gritty texture.

Beretta Brand Mortadella

Beretta Brand Mortadella
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Moving from one stand to the next, I tried several slices of Beretta brand Mortadella. I must have been in heaven, because nobody stopped me from taking as much as I wanted—for how long could this dream last?

Slicing the Sausage

Slicing the Sausage
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The man at the sausage stand just kept that slicing machine a-whirring.

Michele Fanciullo

Michele Fanciullo
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Michele Fanciullo, who works as a personal chef in Paris, prepared some wonderful pasta dishes. One of them was flavored with truffle.

Pouring Italian Wines

Pouring Italian Wines
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

On the lower level, where the wine stand was set up, Monique got a glass of Nebbiolo D’Alba red from the Piedmont region of Italy.

Stephane Durot Preparing to Spritz

Stephane Durot Preparing to Spritz
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Returning upstairs, we went to see some food demonstrations. Bartender Stephane Durot (of Franco-Italian origin) demonstrated how to make the Spritz Lambrusco, a drink that he invented one day when he ran out of prosecco. His clients appreciated it so much that it became known as the Spritz Stefi (Stefi is short for Stephane).

Olga Urbani Talks about Truffles

Olga Urbani Talks about Truffles
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Olga Urbani, fourth generation family member of Urbani Truffles, gave a presentation on truffles.

Rosanna Di Michele

Rosanna Di Michele
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Rosanna Di Michele of Cooking with Rosanna demonstrated how to make a pasta dish.

There were other specialists giving demonstrations, but we were not able to attend them all.

Stephane Durot poses with Nicoletta Bernazzani, the event coordinator Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Stephane Durot poses with Nicoletta Bernazzani, the event coordinator
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Thanks to all of the people who worked hard to produce the fabulous I Love Italian Food festival. And yes, I do love Italian food!

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Which Dining Guide Do Most French Waiters Recommend to Paris-bound Travelers?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
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Waiter Holding Copy of Dining Out In Paris

We like to think that the dining guide most French waiters recommend is our new e-book Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light.

Entering into a restaurant in Paris can be a formidable experience for the uninitiated traveler. Not only do you have to contend with trying to make your wishes understood by a waiter who may or may not speak your language, but you must learn quickly how to adapt to local dining customs as well.

If you are a first- or second-time traveler to Paris, our new e-book, Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light, will provide you the with the knowledge and confidence that you need to enter into a Parisian restaurant to enjoy a fine meal and to have a wonderful dining experience.

Bonus!
Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light contains in-depth reviews of twelve of the author’s favorite restaurants.

Click here to order! http://amzn.to/1nkgCyu

Note: You don’t need a Kindle device to read Dining Out in Paris. Amazon.com provides FREE reader apps that work on every major tablet, smartphone, and computer so that you can read e-books on whatever type of device you own. Click here to learn more.

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Les Délices d’Haïti at the Foire de Paris

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
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Three Young Women at the Délices d'Haïti Stand

Three Young Women at the Délices d’Haïti Food Stand
From left to right: Kerenne – Jemuma – Iné

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Yesterday at the Foire de Paris, I happened by a food stand called Les Délices d’Haïti. Seeing that there were not many customers there at that moment, I decided that it would be a good time to pause for lunch.

Barquette Créole

Barquette Créole
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The lunch menu (called Barquette Créole) offered four dishes for only 7€, a fair price! The dishes were Riz Djon-Djon (rice with mushrooms), Poulet (chicken), Pickliz (coleslaw), and Bananes Pesées (flat plantain fritters). A can of Oasis orange soda was 2€ extra.

I found all of the dishes to be delicious and spicy. The rice was made with djon-djon, a black mushroom native to Haiti. During cooking, the mushrooms release a grayish-black coloring that gives the rice its gray color and the dish’s distinctive flavor. Spices from Haiti (the exact names of which I never found out) gave all of the dishes piquancy. I liked the fried chicken leg and was told that it had been marinated for twenty-four hours in lemon juice and mustard. I enjoyed the coleslaw, but had to remove some of the tiny slices of red pepper that gave the salad a too spicy kick. The bananes pesées were fun to eat. Soft on the inside and crusty on the outside, they are prepared by mashing or flattening slices of plantain and then frying them like fritters.

Délices d’Haïti, located in the town of Pontoise (about twenty-five kilometers to the northwest of Paris), has a Facebook page.

Délices d’Haïti
2, route de Menandon
95300 Pontoise
Tel.: 06.58.79.86.99

The Foire de Paris continues through Sunday, May 11.

Haïtian flag 450w

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Why I Didn’t Eat a Single Bite of Food at the Paris Street Food Festival

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
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Super-Barquette

Entrance to the Super Barquette

Entrance to the Super Barquette
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I learned about the Paris Street Food Festival several days in advance of the event and was all a-twitter with excitement as I made my way along quai Austerlitz to find the stands that were selling street food there:
Fish and Chips by The Sunken Chip
Super BBQ by My Food Montreuil
Burgers by Le Camion qui Fume
…and mouth-wateringly more!

Woman with Brochure

Woman with Brochure
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Tombola Ticket 708

A lovely young woman was distributing brochures that listed the names of the food stands and the types of street food that they were serving. She invited me to purchase a raffle ticket for 1€; otherwise the entrance to the event was free.

People Feasting at the Street Food Festival

People Feasting at the Street Food Festival
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I walked onto a deck overlooking the Seine and saw that a lot of people had gotten there before me. I arrived at 12:30 p.m., which I thought was early enough to permit me to get some food and sit down for lunch. But I was wrong…

Standing in Line for BBQ

Standing in Line for BBQ
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

There were long lines everywhere. For the BBQ…

Serving up Fish and Chips

Serving up Fish and Chips
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

…for the fish and chips…

This Way to the Beer

This Way to the Beer
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

…but, surprisingly, not for the beer!

Alexandre Bournonville of Distrikt Beer

Alexandre Bournonville of Distrikt Beer
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

So I purchased a bottle of amber beer brewed locally in the town of Thiverval-Grignon, not too far from Paris. That’s all that I had at the street food festival!

BBQ Cooker - My Food Montreuil

BBQ Cooker – My Food Montreuil
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Monstrously Long Line for BBQ

The Monstrously Long Line for BBQ
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The food stand for BBQ was the most popular. How did it measure up to Texas BBQ? I’ll never know, because I didn’t want to wait in the monstrously long line.

But I enjoyed the Distrikt amber beer!

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
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Mosaïque US Hot Dog

Just across the street from the Censier-Daubenton metro station in the 5th arrondissement stands a tiny hot-dog stand that sells the best American-style hot dogs we have ever found in Paris.

The soft, ultra-fresh bun cradles a tender wiener that practically melts in the mouth when bitten into. This is the best part that I remember about eating hot dogs in the U.S.A.—they are so soft that they only require a few quick chews to devour them. It’s almost as easy as inhaling!

We added genuine American mustard, slices of dill pickle, relish, and fried onion flakes to embellish our dogs. What a trip down memory lane!

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Marc’s Blueberry Scones

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
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Marc's Blueberry Scone

Marc’s Blueberry Scones
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Passing by Les Petits Plats de Marc a few days ago, I spotted a tray of blueberry scones in the window. I purchased two and brought them home to taste.

The scone has a crunchy crust, a light, fluffy interior, and a layer of fresh, unsweetened blueberries in the middle. Monique and I heated them in a small oven and tasted them. So rich, they were delicious without butter!

What’s the difference between scones and biscuits? According to information that I gleaned from the Internet, scones are made with cream, while biscuits are not. The former are served with jam or jelly while the latter are served with gravy.

Marc’s restaurant is one of the stops that we make during our gourmet walking tour entitled The Street Market on Rue Mouffetard.

Les Petits Plats de Marc
6 Rue de l’Arbalète
75005 Paris
Telephone: 01.43.36.60.79

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