Sunday, January 16, 2022

Le marché de la truffe noire à Courbevoie

Yesterday I went truffle hunting in Paris at Le Marché de la Truffe de Perigord in the suburb of Courbevoie, just a bit north of Paris, near Pont de Levalloise (end of line 3). And then a short bus ride (275) to Stade.

But first I ate lunch. The renown truffle pasta at Big Mamma East to fortify myself for the jaunt to Courbevoie. ‘Pâte à la truffe’ with freshly made ribbon-shaped pasta with frilly edges, mascarpone, black truffle cream and little mushrooms (18€).

If I’d waited and I could have had truffled eggs instead. 
This is an annual controlled marché with a guarantee of buying fresh, quality truffles. An approved inspector checks each of the truffles. They are weighed and classified by species and quality. 
Only Tuber Melanosporum and Tuber Brumale(from Burgundy) species are accepted for sale in the winter markets. Most of the marchés take place in the Dordogne so it is quite a treat to have them come all the way to Paris to share their treasures.

The first truffier was very helpful explaining the differences between Perigord black, Italian white and Provence Summer truffles. By the way you don’t need to smell the actual truffle to get their amazing scent. Instead inhale the glass cover and float away on a dreamy cloud.

When you go snuffling for truffles, you dont want to get the wrong thing.  Learn this word. TUBER MELANASPORUM. Read carefully the ingredients on any black truffle-flavored product you buy. If it says bits/brisures or extract of so-called ‘black truffle’ you could be getting an imported fake treated with aroma chemicals instead. It must indeed say ‘Tuber Melanasporum’ and Perigord if it is black truffles.
I can’t begin to tell you how rare these treasures are and how difficult it is to find them. And climate change is reducing the available quantities yearly.

Some of the displays were sooo tantalizing.
It was hard to know what to buy 

And what to choose…

My haul of truffle-flavored (all made with Tuber Melanasporum) olive oil, mustard and salt. I felt a bit nervous about buying an actual truffle 😬 They have a short shelf life unless you freeze paper-thin slices or know of other preservation tricks. The flavored salt will be for occasional  inhalation purposes only. Ah…the smell of it. Truffle-flavored brie made a terrific breakfast sandwich with a hint of the mustard. 

Truffles are not a piece of cake to paint by any stretch of the imagination…hmmm

The way my coat and scarf smelled after the marché was incredible! Like a walking truffle.

Later I passed by Maison de la Truffe and le Grande Épicerie Petrossian Comptoir de Truffe to comparison shop their truffles. Their prices for fresh truffles were +600/700€ more than buying directly from the Périgord producteurs charging 1300€ a kilo.

I was quite tempted by the truffle cleaning brush at Maison de la Truffe and well within my budget. 

Look at this terrific gastronomic weekend truffle trip in Perigord. It looks good to me.
I came away from the Courbevoie marché, heavily and heavenly smelling of Perigord black truffles. I may go back today for another ‘dip into the truffle pool’. Yum Yum I hope you love truffles too or are ready to give them a try after today’s post. Do tell. Another Paris shop facade on Etsy. Bonne Sunday PBers❤️

Friday, January 14, 2022

A Stroll down rue Cler


Yesterday the weather outside was frightful, but never mind. The kids were wearing black shortie puffer jackets open in front.

I took a stroll down Rue Cler, one of Paris’ best Foodie streets.

We’re in Clementine orange 🍊 season, the main fruit to get us through the winter. Do not buy those charming ready-filled sacs or prepared cartons of fruit. You’ll be throwing out quite a few. Instead hand pick just what you need.

Chocolatier À La Mere de Famille
 has expanded from a closet-size to a much bigger shop.

And now they carry yummy pastries from Stohrer of rue Montorgueil!

I wish I’d had Bonnie along who knows Italian traiteur Davoli on rue Cler really well. Later she wrote me,” 
Check out the case…there are little signs on everything. 
For sides: the arronchini (rice balls) filled with ham & cheese are excellent and their purée (mashed taters) are exceptional. Don’t know how something so simple can be so good! We had their duck a la orange (hunks of duck w/orange slices and sauce, chicken & mushrooms in sauce, risotto w/seafood. Tell them “for one person…or two”, if you want leftovers.  They give you a receipt and you pay at the outside register (on the left). Then they give you your food.  Very nice and efficient. Inside they have NY-style cheese cake, bags of truffle chips, etc. 

More from Bonnie - “Jeusselin directly across the street has the best quiche in Paris…no lie!  (I spotted those good looking quiches). They will also fry you up a cheeseburger from their wonderful ground beef.” Next time Bonnie.

What I did get was a chevre goat cheese sandwich from the boulangerie on the corner. I fell hard for their pumpkin seed bread and bought a matching baguette. The pain au pistache/chocolate pastry was a mistake. Too sweet. I tossed it :((

If you want to sit down there’s Le Petit Cler. I ate there a long time ago. Classic simple, reasonable French bistro food from the same owners as La Fountaine de Mars.

 has a small shop on rue Cler if you’re in the mood for their praluline cake with the candied pink praline rose bits on top and who sn’t?

Do you love ❤️  classic French shop facades too?

At the rue Cler Fromagerie

Piles of chevre goat cheese inspired me to dig out my Paris cheese 🧀  map and put it on Etsy. Just the tip of the iceberg of all the foodie possibilities on rue Cler. Plus when it’s market day and the street is full of food stalls, you can really go to town. A wee taste of wintery Paris to tide you over till you can come for a visit. Stay warm dear PBers where ever you are 😊🐻❤️💋☕️

Sunday, January 09, 2022

La Galette du Coeur, La Galette des Chefs, St Germain des Près


Every January, I look forward to the annual Saturday morning pastry chef soirée. 

It’s always held outdoors at Saint Germain de pres. Usually quite chilly and yesterday rain was predicted. 

But that didn’t stop the dedicated galette seekers from showing up.

Its a chance to get your paws on some of Paris' top pastry chef’s galette des rois/Epiphanie kings cakes, all funds donated to the charity 

Every year there is a giant galette des rois made by major Paris catering company, Potel et Chabot . Take a look at their website. Wow!

This year’s big galette had a chocolate filling rather than the usual almond frangipane. Ki
ds get free tastes and grownups pay 2€. The translucent crown 👑 was made of a sucre/sugar a kid told me…after I touched it and got sticky fingers 😮

The variety of fillings and decoration on the kings cakes is daunting. 

These were the biggest gold 👑 crowns I’ve seen yet. 

There is a limited number of cakes from each chef or hotel on offer so competition can get fierce. 

Some interesting ‘lewks’ at the gathering…most toute en bleu marine with a some exception. 

This year a fève/charm dealer showed up. The bear 🐻 was calling my name but I resisted 😬

Every year they serve up steaming bowls of traditional garbure, a warming, hearty soup/stew from the Pyrénées.

These two gents
 will tell you (in French) how to make it yourself. 

Of course during the week I was running around gathering galette research, mainly at Lafayette Gourmet, since so many pastry shops have stands (Yann Couvreur, Pierre Hermé, l’Eclair du Genie, CinqSens Paris, La Glacerie, Chez Meunier, Dalloyau, Marcolini, Alain Ducasse, Jean-Paul Hévin to name a few). 

As hinted previously January’s Paris map is on the Galette Des Rois. Tadum as the French say. 
Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast!
If you like this post please support it by buying my Paris letters and watercolors. Pass this on to someone you think might enjoy it. Happy Sunday and stay dry please Seattle readers🙏👑🫓

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Last Christmas windows, Lapérouse Cafe


Yes you read right. I was running to buy stamps as usual and noticed Printemps still had up their Christmas windows!

Is it too late to show you?


And probably they will go down end of the week…

The theme is busy Santa’s elves chicly dressed in blue velvet and gold stars. 

Elves usually wear green…never mind. A little late Christmas cheer never hurt anyone 😊

As I rounded the corner I discovered 

A new cafe Laperouse in Printemps decorated toute en bleu.

Isn’t it lovely? I’m a busy elf myself doing Galette des rois research for the January map. 

When the sales person offered me a gold crown 👑  along with an individual (small) size galette (this never happens) how could I resist?

Some days are full of surprises.

When I got home there was a porcelain fève/charm inside the galette! This just never happens!!
A Big merci to the Galette des Rois gods 🙏 I really needed another mini feve to add to my collection…hmm. More galette drawings coming soon on Etsy.