homesubscribe to newsletterpinterestfacebooktwitterrssinstagram
Parisian livingrestaurant reviewstravelartseventsshoppingour Paris apartmentsfood
link to HiP blog home page
link to HiP blog home page
search
Paris apartments
About HiP
contactcontact
vacation rentals
special offers
ParisLondon
ProvenceTuscany
Paris vacation rentals
pinterestfacebooktwitterrssinstagram

Le Beurre: Why Butter is Better in France

Why does French butter taste so good?

Frédéric BISSON

I hated butter when I was a kid, unless it was melted in mashed potatoes. Fast forward 20 years and here I am, living in France, regularly licking butter off my fingers while making tart crust or smooshing fat slices onto naked hunks of bread in the morning. Somewhere along the line, someone slipped me a sliver of Echiré and changed my world. There’s no going back once you’ve experienced the tender melt of cultured-cream butter on the tip of your tongue. But I wondered: what exactly makes this ubiquitous ingredient so good here?

Why does French butter taste so good?

JenSteele; jules

According to Luisa Weiss, author of My Berlin Kitchen and founder of the blog The Wednesday Chef, the easy answer is fat. “The main difference between American and European butter is that European butter has a higher percentage of fat than American butter,” she explained over the telephone from her home in Berlin. American butter averages 80 percent fat, while European standards hover around 85 and 87 percent, with the legal French minimum being 82 percent. It’s not a huge difference – we’re talking 5 to 7 percent – but it’s enough to give European butter a deeper, richer flavor than its American counterpart.

Why does French butter taste so good?

Luca Cerabona

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 4 Comments »

January Events in Paris: Fête du Graphisme, Gueules de Parisiens, Cocktail Week & More

Isabelle Bonté, Sneakers

Isabelle Bonté, courtesy of Sneakers objets de désirs

The champagne has been poured and resolutions made, but January still has plenty in store. From Haute Couture Fashion Week to the always-anticipated soldes, it is a good month to be in Paris. Here are some of our other favorite events this month:

The third annual, five-week-long Fête du Graphisme kicked off this week and runs until February 16. Centered around the world of graphic design, with a collective exhibition entitled “Celebrate the City,” the fest too features projections, meet-ups, workshops, soirées, and more. For more details, peek here.

HiP Paris blog, January Events, Etienne Pouvreau

HiP Paris blog, January Events, Martin H. M. Schreiber

Etienne Pouvreau; courtesy of Martin Schreiber

Continue Reading »

Posted in Events | 2 Comments »

Le Super Petit Marché: A Retro Grocer Selling Artisanal & Local Produce in Paris’ 18ème

Le Super Petit Marche A Retro Grocery Store in Paris 18eme

When Martine Boutin left corporate life in Paris’ La Défense business district to become her own boss, she first considered opening a dating agency or a cheese restaurant. Instead, she opted to open a retro-style grocery shop near the mairie of the 18th arrondissement, to keep the neighborhood stocked with products that are often only available at farm shops in the countryside.

Le Super Petit Marche A Retro Grocery Store in Paris 18eme

Martine, the granddaughter of farmers, grew up in a small country village of 700 in the department of Vendée, between the Atlantic Coast towns of Nantes and La Rochelle, so turning to farm products was an obvious step for her.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | No Comments »

Inaro: Local, Artisanal, and Organic Small Plates and Wine by Paris’ Canal St. Martin

Inaro, Tables

Opened in June of 2012, Inaro, a cosy restaurant specializing in apéro dinatoire style dining, has recently made itself more available to neighbors and lovers of all things local. Starting this month, the space is open in the afternoon, providing French-origin lunch options with a menu that is entirely locally sourced. Organic bread and artisanal ingredients are available for take away or to enjoy sur place in the comfortable dining space, which is lined with wood brought from Brittany and constructed by owner Johan Bonnet’s carpenter uncle.

Inaro, Aperitif

At Inaro, the constantly changing seasonal menu is accompanied by a wine list that favors organic and sustainably produced wines. Working with small, independent producers is at the heart of the restaurant’s philosophy (despite the fact that Nespresso managed to secure a place at the espresso machine, a familiar elephant in the room for dining establishments in Paris) and the perfect-for-sharing menu makes this a great spot for a quick drink or a laid-back dinner.

Inaro, Interior

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments »

My Green Getaway: Eco Friendly Vacation in Bio-Friendly Brittany

Eco House Tremeoc Brittany

Summer is here and the crowds are starting to flee Paris for the coast. As I tend to do things in reverse and will be staying in Paris this July to enjoy all of the amazing summer festivals and events, I hit Brittany for a two-week jaunt in May, just before the summer throngs descended upon its lovely shores.

Canal Nantes – Brest

After searching long and hard, mere days before our departure, for last minute lodging that would be not only earth-friendly and green, but appealing and available, I stumbled upon two different eco-homes in Brittany that were, amazingly, available for our dates. Note to self: Planning in advance can be helpful, but if you are willing to chance it, great places that are still available are often ready to discount in the spring. Plus the weather is fabulous and the beaches are empty!

Ground House – Mellionec, Brittany

Our first week was spent in the Ground House , located in the center of Brittany’s rolling green farmland in the town of Mellionnec, one hour from the ocean. This completely self-sustaining eco home, built into the earth on one side and full of huge windows overlooking the garden on the other, was just the thing we were looking for. Built by its English owners and featured on the famous UK show ‘Grand Designs, this passive solar house was built with salvaged materials and features an organic garden, a compost heap, dry/composting toilets, and solar heated rainwater for hot water.

Canal Nantes Brest / Farm Centre Bretagne

Not well known, the center of Brittany (Centre Bretagne) offers an abundance of hiking, walking and biking options. Additionally, we were pleased to discover that the area immediately surrounding the Ground House is a serious haven for bio (the French word for organic) fans, with an organic grocery store, a couple of organic restaurants, local artisans, organic shops, and markets where local farmers sell their produce, meat and dairy directly. Continue Reading »

Posted in Green, Homes, Travel | 7 Comments »