April 30, 2012
Yes, more chocolate! Paris does not lack for it. But in a town that boasts everything from over-the-top delicacies to perfectly executed classics, we’re always impressed when a shop manages to distinguish itself from the cacao-hawking competition.
Puerto Cacao is not the most decadent, shocking or renowned chocolate shop in Paris, but it might just be the most conscientious. On a recent visit, we sat down with store manager José Evrard to learn more about owner Guillaume Hermitte’s vision for an équitable (fair-trade) chocolate shop that does as much to promote social good as it does to promote deliciousness.
Amazing hot chocolate! Tory Hoen
Hermitte’s team works directly with Venezuelan cacao producers, cutting out unnecessary middlemen who might drive up prices for consumers and deprive cacao producers of fair payment. In addition, they work with “entreprises d’insertion,” organizations that help people who have encountered various difficulties (poverty, imprisonment, etc.) re-enter the workforce and improve their lives. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 5 Comments »
March 17, 2011
I always know I’m in New York when, on Sunday, everything is buzzing and churning as if it were any other day of the week. Does no one in this city ever rest?! It makes me pine for Sundays in Paris, when the city retreats into its secret corners and everyone does their own thing.
But if you’re new to Paris or simply passing through, Sundays can often beg the question: now what do we do?
Never fear. Though the city’s pulse has slowed, its heart is still beating, and Sundays have their own unique array of activities to be uncovered. Here are a few of our favorite weekend activities.
1. Linger over brunch. Brunch has most definitely become “a thing” in Paris, and there’s no shame in passing your entire day partaking in the act. Check out some of our favorite spots here.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 14 Comments »
July 16, 2010
At the risk of sounding cranky, there are two things I hate that everyone else seems to love: brunch and bowling. In my humble opinion, both are a lot more trouble than they’re worth. We’ll leave bowling for another day, but for now, brunch. It’s not the actual food I object to—it’s the scene, particularly in New York, where a 1-2 hour wait at popular spots is standard. Seriously… who wants an omelet that badly?
So the fact that Paris used to be a brunch-free zone came as somewhat of a relief to me. (Traditionally, the French eat a very simple breakfast of whatever’s lying around—coffee, a tartine… a cigarette—and then wait it out for lunch, the main event). Of late, however, the concept of “le brunch” is slowly but surely creeping its way into Parisian culture.
Initially, I was skeptical, but I’m happy to report that the French put their own unique spin on the hybridized meal. Just as it’s hard to find a true dirty martini in Paris (a tragedy), it’s still rare to come across a true American-style brunch, which is fine with me. As long as you’re not holding your breath for Bloody Marys and maple syrup-drowned pancakes, you’ll be more than satisfied.
Here are a few HIP-approved brunch spots that indulge American-style gluttony without sacrificing French-style gastronomic refinement.
Coquelicot. One of our favorite bloggers and Francophiles, Nichole Robertson, tipped us off to the great brunch at Montmartre’s rustic Coquelicot boulangerie. On the weekend, a lavish brunch—which entails a variety of pastries, a soft-boiled egg, toast with smoked salmon, fruit salad, and steaming bowls of coffee—is served all day long. 24 rue des Abbesses, 18eme (01 46 06 18 77). Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 7 Comments »
May 26, 2010
As a New Yorker, I find it equal parts utter insanity and totally logical that as soon as I moved to Paris last year—with visions of millefeuilles, pains au chocolat, artisan chocolates and good old Nutella street crepes dancing through my head—I wound up Velib’ing through the back streets of the eleventh arrondissement seeking the city’s then cupcakes-only bakery. It took a few wrong turns down some side streets, but I found Cupcakes & Co, with sunlight happily spilling across the sole café table—an auspicious signpost pointing to the delicious display case of American delights.
Rebecca and Maggie Bellity, the two sisters who opened Cupcakes & Co in 2008, pride themselves on using natural and organic baking ingredients for their petits gateaux. And even though the concept arose from their travels to the states, their recipes are all French. They’ve dreamed up combinations like jasmine and vanilla, lemon and coconut, coffee and hazelnut and over a dozen others that set my heart racing and ensured many weeks of repeat business.
That was well over a year ago. And as my American obsession has waned (grace à new obsessions with macarons, violet éclairs and salted caramels), the Parisians’ has exploded. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food | 23 Comments »
April 2, 2010
Paris parties are the best sort of parties. They incorporate my most favorite food groups – cheese, bread, wine and sweets – and my first Paris party was not lacking for any of these. The cheese plate looks small above, but it was immense and attacked repeatedly.
The homemade gougeres were, also, quite cheesy. This very full platter disappeared all too soon, which put a big smile on the face of the maker of these puffy, savory pastries. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 6 Comments »