Paris

Paris Butcher Shop How-To: 6 Tips to Buy Meat Like The French

Viande&Chef

The Paris butcher shop is among the most pivotal institutions of any neighborhood’s market street. This is where the savvy shopper goes for the highest-quality meat, freshest prepared foods, and best advice.

Whether it’s a traditional, mom-and-pop boucherie or one of the more sophisticated ones that have opened in recent years (see my top 5 below), the Paris butcher shop does require a little bit of gumption, as you simultaneously try to figure out what’s what, one-up the garçon boucher‘s playful banter, and ignore the little old lady pushing her shopping trolley and sniffly dog up against your ankles.

But I wouldn’t dream of trading this for the anonymous styrofoam trays of the supermarket: I’d rather eat less meat less often, but go for the good stuff with the artisan touch and the traceability.

On that subject, I am thrilled to announce there’s a new sustainable butcher in town. Benjamin Darnaud, a young French chef I’ve been friends with for years, has just opened Viande & Chef in Paris’ 10 arrondissement. He buys whole animals from a select few artisanal farmers, and his talented team comes up with innovative ways to use every last part, rather than supply a disproportionate amount of the more prized cuts. This nose-to-tail approach means they may not have the exact cut you’re looking for that particular day, but they’ll make it up to you tenfold with delicious and quirky stuff. (We thank them for allowing us to take pictures in the shop; photo credit: Anne Elder.)

Without further ado, here are my 6 tips to win at boucherie.

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Clotilde’s Paris Favorites

Clotilde's Paris Favorites

I receive frequent requests for restaurant and food shop recommendations in Paris, so I decided to put together this map of Paris favorites highlighting the places where I’m currently most excited to eat or shop. I will be updating the list monthly, pruning from and adding to it, so you can check back regularly to see which new places I include.

If you want to tag along as I eat my way around the city, you can also follow me on Instagram. I often Snapchat my restaurant meals as well, and you’ll find me under the username clotildenet.

Clotilde’s Paris Favorites

Planning a trip to Paris?

I am available to take you on a private walking tour to show you some of my favorite food spots, or to draw up a customized itinerary for you so you can make the most of your time in Paris. Please get in touch and I will be happy to provide more details and a quote.

French Food Cheat Sheet

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If you could snap your fingers right now and be transported to Paris for a single meal, where and what would you eat? Do you have a Paris dining or food shopping conundrum you’d like me to help with?

Paris Chocolate Shops: Do’s and Don’ts of Buying French Chocolate

Henri Le Roux: Filled chocolates

You can’t spend time in Paris and overlook the chocolate side of the experience; I won’t let you!

The French have elevated the chocolate craft to an art form, and although there are spectacularly talented artisans all around the country, it is in Paris that you’ll find the highest concentration. This means it is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to some of the most delicate, most intensely flavorful chocolates in the world… and buy a few gifts for others, too, if you’re feeling generous.

I must warn you there are lots of sub-average chocolate shops as well, so you have to know what to look for. And the good places are typically set up to look like luxurious jewelry boutiques, so the shopping experience can be a little intimidating. But I’m here to help! Here is my guide to artisanal chocolate in Paris.

You’ll find my Top 5 Paris chocolate shops at the bottom of this post, along with a few helpful phrases. The photos illustrating this post were taken by my intern extraordinaire Anne Elder; our thanks to the Henri Le Roux team for letting us shoot at their rue des Martyrs shop.

Chocolate bars from Henri Le Roux

Chocolate bars from Henri Le Roux

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Paris Cheese Shop How-To: 6 Tips to Buy Cheese Like The French

Paris cheese shop

Taka & Vermo, a Paris cheese shop in the 10th arrondissement.

Walking into a Paris cheese shop can be a daunting affair if you don’t know what you’re looking for, or how to ask. The great thing, though, is that most fromagers (cheesemongers) in the city are more than happy to help you select the perfect cheeses for your cheese plate.

Laure and Mathieu, creators of the artisanal cheese shop Taka & Vermo in the trendy 10th arrondissement of Paris, gave us* a tour of their shop and the aging cellar downstairs, where many of the cheeses are left to get nice and creamy in ninety-nine percent humidity.

Tips for a smooth Paris cheese shop experience

They allowed us to take the beautiful pictures that illustrate this post, and shared their passion for their craft. Visit them to taste their goods!**

Scenes from a Paris cheese shop

Raclette is traditionally eaten in the winter, melted and poured over boiled potatoes. It is also quite popular to host raclette parties with friends, similar to those for fondue.

1. Know your cheese families

In your French cheese adventures, you’ll come across three major types of milk: cow, goat, and sheep. But within each milk type, the choices are endless: among goat’s milk cheeses alone you will find many different shapes and aging stages, from chèvre très frais (very fresh), to frais (fresh), crémeux (creamy), or secs (aged).

Tommes, those large, quintessential rounds of mountain cheese, can be found made of cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk, but most cheeses with a flowery (or bloomy) rind, like Brie or Camembert, are made with cow’s milk (fromages de vache). Same for cheeses with a sticky orange rind (croûte lavée), which are often the most pungent, stinkiest cheeses of all — think Munster (the real French kind from Lorraine and Alsace) or Epoisses from Burgundy.

For a classic sheep’s milk cheese, or fromage de brebis, seek out Roquefort, a blue cheese from the south of France that is protected by a denomination of origin (AOC), and is a unique addition to any cheese plate. Our Paris cheese shop owner, Laure, lists it as one of her favorites.

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12 Amazing Instagram Accounts for Paris Lovers

Cuillier Coffee Shop at 19 rue Yvonne Le Tac in Paris' 18th arrondissement.

Coffee shop Cuillier in Paris' 18th. Follow me on Instagram!

In idle moments, I love to graze through my Instagram feed and discover what everyone is seeing, cooking, and eating. This visually-oriented social network has become very popular among the Paris crowd, and it strikes me as the perfect way to experience the city vicariously, get ideas for your next meal out, or daydream about a future trip.

So if you’re looking to infuse your follow list with more beauty and flavors from the City of Light, here’s a selection of inspiring Instagrammers to get you started!

1. Paris Promenades

Audrey Felix is a Paris apartment hunter and the author of Et si on se promenait… à Paris!, an armchair traveler’s dream come true. Her Instagram is full of shots from the quaint courtyards and dashing apartment buildings she gets to visit daily.

Follow Paris Promenades on Instagram

Follow Paris Promenades on Instagram

2. Lindsey Tramuta

Lindsey Tramuta is an American expat and the author of the blog Lost in Cheeseland, and her Instagram shows she has a keen eye for what makes life delicious and beautiful in her adopted city.

Follow Lindsey Tramuta on Instagram

Follow Lindsey Tramuta on Instagram

3. Cédric Grolet

Cédric Grolet is the young and talented pastry chef at five-star hotel Le Meurice, and his Instagram gives you a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into his pastry lab.

Follow Cédric Grolet on Instagram

Follow Cédric Grolet on Instagram

4. Paris je t’aime

Run with brio by the Paris tourist board, this Instagram is full of gorgeous skies, breathtaking architecture, and charming daily life scenes. If you weren’t already in love with Paris, this would seal the deal.

Follow Paris je t'aime on Instagram

Follow Paris je t’aime on Instagram

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