Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Epicerie - Saveurs d'Alsace

Mardi 5 Fevrier Epicerie - Saveurs d'Alsace
Who hasn't heard of La Grande Epicerie at Bon Marche? Yet there are many other tiny specialist epiceries (grocery stores) all over Paris full of surprises.
On Sunday I decided to walk on the opposite side of the street & discovered this adorable tiny shop.
As soon as I spotted these 'etoile'/star cookies sitting in a basket I was toast. Like a magnet they drew me inside in a trance.These are a kind of pain d'epice but more cinnamon than honey and out of this world. Definitely in the same cookie famille with Speculoos and gingerbread. My Alsacian boulangerie had them for Christmas and then one day they were gone from the window never to return till the following Christmas = a tragedie.
In my trance-like state I idiotically asked the propriatoress,
"Oh are all your things from Alsace?"
Etoile cookies will do that to you.
I spotted the home-made jams and thought,
"Now here's something that may last more than an hour..."
So I bought apricot with little slivers of almonds called eclat. Miam. Of course the jam is practically gone. It's very easy to eat with a spoon straight out of the jar.
I was smitten with the traditional Alsacian jacquards and red checked fabrics.
This playful wooden toy reminded me of the Andre Helle collection from the day before...
As I was leaving the owner handed me a leaflet on Lips of Gertwiller - now the capitol of Pain d'Epice.

After looking them up this morning, if I wasn’t in New York I'd be on the next train to Alsace and the museum of pain d'epice!
Do stop in  Epicerie - Saveurs d'Alsace but not all at once. This tiny shop is the size of a closet.
81, Bd de Grenelle 75015 Metro La Motte-Picquet
And watch the fun video on how they make Pain d'Epice.


  1. Anonymous9:42 AM

    have you been to Alsace?
    spent 2 weeks there.
    think it is my favorite part of France.
    3 main routes
    castle road above
    cheese road middle
    wine road below.
    wind around like on calendars.
    flowers that won't quit from houses which have seen other places, but none like there.

    1. I did get to go ages ago at harvest time! Unbelievably beautiful. I visited the Hansi museum (the figurative artist above) but not the pain d'epice museum!!
      A new must do non?

  2. I would love to go to that region..Oh he looks quite like Pinocchio too..they were all over Italy:)
    I am a star lover also:)
    That store is precious from the chalkboard/slate? to the hearts and the bonjour..even the writing.
    I love such cute charming shops.

    1. Yes really a precious little gem - this store is. Just waiting to be discovered.

  3. Anonymous10:27 AM

    How delightful to watch the video "Pain d'Epice" - merci Carol pour
    nous donner l'occasion d'avoir une petite fenetre de la belle
    France!!!!! Come toujours! Je ne manque pas l'occasion pour visiter
    la France chaque jour a travers ta blog!

  4. Carol, those star cookies look like Zimtsterne, cinnamon stars, to me. Typical German-Austrian Christmas cookies, made with egg whites, powdered sugar, almond meal, ground cinnamon, and kirsch (you see, almost macarons, albeit fewer egg whites, but for the flavorings). If you'd like to, I can share the recipe.

    1. I would love to know your secret 'etoile' recipe but I'm not sure I would dare to make it.
      I eat raw dough ahem...

    2. I put the not so secret ingredients and a link on my blog today. ;-)

  5. What a charming little shop, full of surprises.
    I could spend hrs in a shop like that. Loved the video ( good for a French listening lesson )Play it everyday & you'll think your still in Paris Ha Ha !!

  6. Anonymous2:24 PM

    I just have to tell you how much I love your blog and how it brightens my day every time I read it. your taste, your watercolors, your photos...everything. I will be in Paris this summer with my daughter and we will certainly be visiting some of the wonderful places you write about, and of course eating macarons.
    Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks so much Jacqui for letting me know.
      Very kind indeed

    2. Lucinda2:38 PM

      I would be led astray by those cookies too. And the apricot jam.
      What fun adventures you have in Paris!

  7. I'm going first! The rest of you must wait. I'll be there tomorrow and then stop in at Secco. Thanks again, Carol.

  8. What a charming little place. I want to go, yes!

  9. Sorry your stuck back in NY. Is this temporary? Hope you get back to visit this place.

  10. Thanks for that Hansi/Andre Helle connection! I love that flat, cartoon-like feels very 20th century modern to me....kind of like Herge's Tintin, also. Hansi painted so many different Alsatian costumes; his work brings out my latent paper doll/child-like tendencies.

  11. These are my most favourite things at Christmas time (not that easy to find here). Like Merisi, I've also always thought of them as traditionally German rather than French - who knew?! Now inspired to try making them myself.

  12. Once again, love your sketches above--Pinocchio? sweet...lovely images here

  13. Oh so tempting! What a delightful epicerie. I do so love pain d'epice- now to know that there is a museum! Those etoile biscuits look so delicious- I know I'd be incapable of not buying them too.

  14. "un petit goût de paradis..." from the video, which I LOVE, thank you!! It all looks so delicious! I love Alsace & all the tradition there. When you go to Alsace, to Riquewhir, can you go to the Hansi museum for me? I didn't get to do it last time...Merci, Rita


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