Wanted to drop this onto the Paris board for anyone travelling there in the near future.
I booked a market tour through Context Travel that was absolutely fantastic. If you're a food lover coming in from outside Paris, it was a great way to see and taste how a lot of Parisians eat.
Our guide, Paris by Mouth's Meg Zimbeck, met us at a park in the 12th and we walked over to the huge Beauveau market on Rue d'Aligre. We bought bread at an organic boulangerie (Le Pain au Naturel) and talked about the recent history of baguettes and trends in baking. From there we went to an absolutely fantastic fromager (Philippe Langlet) for a variety of cheeses, including a chevre from 6-day old milk that was like nothing we could get in the States. We walked through the farmer stalls and picked out fruit and indoors to check out the poultry and charcuterie shops. All the while, Zimbeck walked us through how the average Parisian approaches day to day shopping and what's on their palate.
We circled back to the park and spread out quite a picnic onto one of the concrete ping pong tables. Zimbeck did an excellent job of walking us through the different cheeses, noting where and how they were produced and provoking a good discussion about what we as a group did and didn't like. The salami and rillettes of both pork and chicken were just outstanding.
It made us think. It made us eat. I can't imagine a better way to tour Paris.
The tour: http://www.contexttravel.com/city/Par...