Recently in France category:

“Je n’en ai pas besoin, mais…” Those are words I constantly tell myself when I’m at a flea market or brocante (antique or secondhand shop) and come across something that I like (or want). Piles of gorgeous French linens, mortars without (or without) pestles, French jam jars, and no longer loved café pitchers, get a once-over from me, as I ask myself that question: “I…

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Staying with friends in the countryside for a few days last week, we were fortunate to discover that a neighbor was making his own bread, which was excellent. The young man bakes just a few loaves a couple of times a week. Romain, in his wisdom (a trait he may have picked up from me: buy as much as you can, when you come across something…

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I’ll never pass up a chance to go to a factory, whether it be to see how American stand mixers are made, or French enameled cookware. I’d never seen copper cookware being made, though, and jumped at the opportunity to hop on an early morning train to Villedieu-les poêles to visit the Mauviel copper cookware factory. (The only thing I didn’t jump at was the bleary 7:30am departure…

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Mont Saint-Michel is one of the great wonders of the world, along with the Parthenon, the pyramids in Egypt, and the Taj Mahal. It’s a majestic, spectacular sight when you’re walking down the path toward the island (cars aren’t allowed past a certain point), and you look up and see the island with the church crowning the top, rising above you, framed by the steel-blue sky…

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I’m always on the lookout for new bakeries and pastry shops that have opened in Paris. Although to be honest, it’s hard to keep up these days! The number of new boulangeries and pâtisseries that are focusing on everything from artisanal grains to organic flours, are spreading like wild yeast across the city. I’d met Alice Quillet a few years back, when she, and her partners…

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Épices & Saveurs Although it may seem like your typical Arabic épicerie (food shop), of which there are many in Paris, I’ve shopped a lot of them and found Épices & Saveurs especially well-stocked. The place is as neat a pin and in addition to the usual line-up of harissas, nuts and dried fruits in bulk, olive oils, and spices, I always find curiosities on the…

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Pierre Jancou is one of my favorite cooks in Paris. He does the seemingly simple task of taking raw elements – such as a pan of root vegetables – and making them taste better than you thought that vegetables could taste. I first came across his cooking when he was the chef/owner of Racines. I’d ordered a simple pasta Bolognese, which isn’t something I would usually order unless I was…

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Call me old-fashioned, but sometimes I like old-fashioned places. One place that does old-fashioned especially well is France. But I’m not the only one who feels that way; people come from around the world to visit the city, and bask in the à l’ancienne charm, which is sometimes derisively described as carte postale Paris. Like other cities, Paris is changing and isn’t a museum, per se, but…

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From the outside, Compagnie Générale de Biscuiterie is a low-slung place, resembling a workshop of some sort, rather than a pâtisserie, located on the way up to Sacré Cœur, in Montmartre. I made the trek up there to check it out because I was interested in the one thing the low-key place makes: cookies. The French use the word “cookies” primarily to refer to chocolate…

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