{French Food Facts} The Fontainebleau dessert story

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The Fontainebleau is a delicious and airy dairy dessert. Named from the city Fontainebleau, the dessert was born in the XVIIIth century. One says that during transportation from Fontainebleau to Paris, the cream cheese was beaten by the horse-drown carriage movement on the cobbled streets. And so it created this singular dessert half cottage cheese half Chantilly cream. Since then, the dessert is popular in Fontainebleau. It also delights some Parisians and around inhabitants.

Fruits, jams, honey and other treats goes really well with Fontainebleau. A dessert you might find in dairy shops in Fontainebleau and around or some rare high range shops in Paris.

Treat your traveller friends to all the best of French cuisine

Gift ideas: A Basket of French Goodies

Treat your traveller friends to all the best of French cuisine

Photo credit: BeautifulBlooms.com

Photo credit: BeautifulBlooms.com

 

Everything about the French exudes romanticism, from the beautiful architecture of the streets of Paris to the drawling accent of its people, down to the scrumptious, luxurious food that the French have become known for. There are many elements to the complete French experience, and no singular item can truly stand to represent French culture.
If you have any friends who have travelled to Paris to experience the lifestyle of the French, you could give them a head start by offering them a basket of the most traditional French goodies. Food baskets are a great way to bundle a group of presents into one, and although they’re more common in the Yuletide season, they can also be built around certain themes. The Belfast Community Telegraph once gave away a Marks and Spencer hamper of easy-to-use eco products to help their community become more environmentally-aware, and you can also give away gift baskets of little French delicacies to give your friends a taste of something truly French.

Building the hamper itself should be easy, as all you would need is something to put the goodies into. You could go for something traditional like a wicker basket, or something more contemporary like a cookie tin. There are some specialised cookie tin makers out there like the Independent Can Company that allow customers to design their own cookie tins, so you could make a great French- or Paris-themed goodie hamper for your friends.
You could then stuff the tins with your favourite French delicacies — everything from chocolate éclairs, mini-croissants, and French macarons, and even contemporary versions of classic French desserts like crème brulee cookies. Alternatively, if you decide to get a wicker basket, you could even add in some of the more savoury French classics, like delicious fromage and bottles of Bordeaux or Champagne – my favorite :).
Gift baskets are always appreciated, especially if you make the goodies contained in them yourself. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Les macarons !
Photo credit: Xiaolu Hou Photography

Photo credit: Xiaolu Hou Photography

 

  • Les Palmiers
Photo credit: Jessica Williams of butterwithasideofbread.com)

Les Palmiers – Photo credit: Jessica Williams of butterwithasideofbread.com

 

  • Les mignardises
Mignardises - Photo credit: Roger de Percin Berendes

Photo credit: Roger de Percin Berendes

 

  • Le Paris Brest
Paris Brest - Photo credit: Say Hello to My Kitchen

Photo credit: Say Hello to My Kitchen

 

  • Les beignets
Les beignets - Photo credit: TriedAndTasty.com

Photo credit: TriedAndTasty.com

13 must-know websites for a foodie in Paris : my e-shopping list

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Digital is part of our life. Today, one can arrange sushi home delivery, order organic fruits and vegetables or dairy products directly from the farm, book a table or even cultivate a plot of land. Phones, tablets and applications offer a new playground for innovative services that will help us save time, facilitate search, socialize the shopping journey and simply make it fun. Here is a glance at bookmarkable websites for foodies in Paris.

Trust

Food scandals have made the news recently in France. Remember the 100% beef ©Findus lasagna made with horsemeat, then the rotten meat at ©Quick and ©Ikea chocolate tart suspected to contain excrements (I know this is terribly disgusting).

If you don’t pay attention, the “franchouillard” – said of something typically French – meal that you’ll get at a restaurant or supermarket has already made a tour of Europe, if not the world, and barely includes regional vegetables/products.

In this climate of suspicions, some brands differentiate themselves by offering labeled and/or traceable products. Le Campanier or Panier Bio Paris offer you to find organic fruits and vegetables (but not only local) when TousPrimeurs.com let you choose which farm you want your products from. For traceable meat, Carré de boeuf and Les colis du boucher are two websites to consider, although this might be quite expensive for only one person or two. Same concept for fish : MonPoisson.fr.

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Some restaurants are also concerned by providing consumers with detailed information on the sources and background of products they use.  A new label « Des produits d’ici cuisinés ici » has just been created to help locate those places. For “locavores” consumers willing to eat the season and favor local production, run to Saveurs Paris IDF website to find the map of awarded restaurants in Paris.

Save time

Home delivery can be really useful. Either because you have friends over and nothing in the fridge or simply because you’re feeling lazy after a long day of work. Alloresto is a very helpful website which enlist numerous restaurants in Paris offering home delivery. They’re classified by delivery zone, type of cuisine… Awesome to find exactly what you’re looking for depending on your needs.

For those who crave for dessert, Citycake is the website to add to your favorites. You can order cakes from the best pastry shops in Paris such as La pâtisserie des rêves, Popelini, Les cupcakes de Chloé.s, L’atelier de l’éclair… and be delivered at your doorstep.

Coming from NYC, foodtrucks trend continues to pick up steam. But the trucks are always on the go and it’s not so easy to locate them. Simple and useful is the map provided by Pouet-Pouet to help you quickly find one next to you for lunch or dinner.

Social

Share your experience and learn from others’ is something truly enjoyable as a customer. Ratings, reviews and comments are the best word of mouth. In Paris the one online service to book a table is La Fourchette. It makes it really easy to find and book a restaurant in Paris while reading the latest reviews about it. For La Fourchette unconditional, have a look at Loisirs & Privilèges private shopping plateforme which offers 20% cashback on partners websites. Same concept but slightly different offer, Restopolitain offers you one free meal for each reservation. The subscription costs 15€/month.

Gaming

Digital is also one place for gaming. Angry birds, Candy crush and other online games are huge commercial success. What if the game could meet reality ? This is what offers MonPotager.com. You plant you seeds and you see your vegetables grow while one farmer actually do it for real. And after the harvest, you receive your basket full of fresh products. How good is that ?

Monpotager.com

Nougat history, recipes and anecdotes

Interview with Rodolphe Nicolaï – Fouque

Nougat is a honey and almond specialty from Provence. There are two basic kinds of nougat: white and black. Both belong to the 13 desserts of Christmas, symbolizing good and evil.

Nougat reminds me of the long car trip from Paris to Montpellier at Christmas time when I was a child. After six hours driving, Montelimar stop was a tender and comforting break that made the rest of the car travel go more smoothly for my brother, sister and I. A treat that was both appreciated by the kids and the grown-ups.

Black Nougat Fouque

The Fouque family has been making nougat since the 1860’s. It happens one of my Foodie mate get to know them and offered to interview Rodolphe Nicolaï-Fouque leading the family business. Continue reading

Chef tips: Interview with Fabien Pairon – Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) in catering

Fabien Pairon is passionate about his job and French Gastronomy. In 2011, he is awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) for catering butchers – the highest level of recognition in catering – by a committee of pears.

Fabien Pairon portrait

After successfully running a company in Yonne, Burgundy, for four years, he joins the prestigious Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in  2012 willing to share his experience and passion with students in hospitality.

He recently organized the first Pascal Bompay trophy in Sens for professional caterers and amateurs. Always in search of excellence.

Be Miam: The MOF contest, how is it ? What makes the difference?

Fabien Pairon: The contest happens every four years. It is prestigious and requires hours of preparation, a high level of commitments and self-discipline before and after being awarded MOF. What makes the difference is taste and originality but mainly Continue reading