Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Paris, Day Five

The next morning, we walked through the Bastille market. All these markets are basically like the very best Brooklyn farmer's market to the tenth power. I was shuffling through some pinky-sized cucumber-looking things that turned out to be teeny avocados (no pit, either) and the proprietor cut one open and gave it to me to eat on the spot. I bought some for plane snacks (and unfortunately we couldn't finish them all and had to throw some of them out before hitting Customs).



That started off a long day of walking, as we walked through the islands towards Notre Dame, passing the ice cream shop Berthillon (sadly, closed for the week).

We stumbled across Jean Leblanc, a shop we'd heard of, a tiny place that sells artisanal mustards, oils, and vinegars. I bought some whole-grain mustard and champagne vinegar:


Macarons and salted chocolate cookies from Pierre Hermé:


I have to say, the white-truffle macaron was kind of gross.

Then we went to Place de la Madeleine, which is a plaza absolutely full of amazing food stores. We had a coffee and a not-very-good palmier at Fauchon before visiting several chocolate shops and the very nice Hédiard. While very expensive, we couldn't resist buying squares of fruit jellies (kiwi, grapefruit, pear, and blueberry), which were incredibly delicious:


We arrived just a bit too late to buy mustard on tap from Maille. Oh, well, next time.

We returned to our neighborhood for dinner at Breizh, a Breton crepe place (which apparently has several branches in Japan, where it's very popular--the owner's wife is Japanese as well). We had a couple of bottles of Breton cider (served in bowls) and, for an appetizer, a forme d'ambert cheese, honey, and pinenut galette:


Our dinner galettes had ham, eggs, and Gruyere, but mine also had artichoke, while Priya's had onion confit. Both outstanding, but I preferred the onion confit:



Astoundingly good dessert crepes, mine with pear and caramel, and Priya's with vanilla ice cream and caramel. The caramel was very dark, almost "burnt" tasting compared to sticky-sweet American caramel, and so good that we bought a jar of similar stuff to bring home:



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