We'll start early, arriving to see the Marché d'Aligre bustling with activity. Often overlooked by tourists and much coveted by locals, this market boasts an array of items from les fleurs to les fruits, with just about everything in between. With a long history of serving its quartier—the Marché d'Aligre was inaugurated in 1781—some even consider it le Second Ventre de Paris. Our culinary expert will guide us through the maze of stalls, identifying seasonal produce and discussing issues like food provenance and the concept of terroir (the character of the soil).
On our stroll, we will also select some wares to sample together as a group. Taking in row upon row of artfully arranged fruits and vegetables, we'll admire this particularly elegant approach to food. We may also pay a visit to a fromager's stall to view the delectable wares on display, such as artisan raw-milk cheeses so special they're unavailable anywhere else in the world or take in charcuterie, homemade paté, and foie gras at the boucherie stand. We'll spend some time with the lively vegetable vendors from France and North Africa, pick through the displays of Atlantic and Mediterranean seafood, or even taste some mouthwatering olives from Provence or Italy. After some time in the market, we may also visit some of the specialty food stores or historic cafes in the neighborhood. As our walk comes to a close, we will leave with an understanding of the role the market plays in Parisian life, as well as an ability to navigate le marché.
Note: we also offer a Paris Food Tour on the left bank that focuses more heavily on French traditions and specialty food shops.
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Lauren first began guiding in 2009 at the Vatican. Realizing her passion for teaching, the experience propelled her into graduate study. She completed a master’s degree in art history at the Courtauld Institute in London. In 2015 she moved to Paris on a Fulbright scholarship to conduct dissertation research. She completed her PhD from Rutgers University and now lectures at the Paris Institute for Critical Thinking. Her specialization is modern art in France with a focus on gender studies and women artists. Lauren’s writings have appeared in academic journals, and she is currently expanding her PhD dissertation into a book on early 20th c female artists and their representations of the nude. Beyond art, she is passionate about wine and frequently travels around Italy with her sister who is a sommelier. When not writing or traveling, you can find her in the Louvre, Orsay or at the Pompidou. Since 2009 Lauren has led around 1,000 tours in museums in Paris and Rome. As a licensed guide, her goal is to make art and history come to life and create lasting memories. She offers her expertise in a way that is engaging and relatable to visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
As a life-long Francophile, Jennifer realized her dreams of moving to France in 2003 where she quickly discovered that her true passion was learning about French cheese and wine. She holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Washington and spent several years as a chef and a pastry chef in the US. After settling in to a small winemaking village in the south of France, she started writing a food blog, Chez Loulou - A Taste of Life in France, which led to her ongoing project to taste and document every cheese produced in France. She is now based in Paris where she continues to seek out, write about and share her knowledge of French cheese on both her blog and with passionate cheese lovers from around the world. This project has led her to be interviewed by several French themed publications such as France and Living France magazines, and be invited to share cheese knowledge on podcasts such as The Earful Tower and Paris Cocktail Talk. She was also interviewed about the best cheese shops in Paris by CN Traveler and was featured on the NPR affiliated radio show, Louisiana Eats!, with Poppy Tooker. In 2015 Jennifer was invited to sit on the jury at the Best Baguette in Paris competition along with 14 other French chefs, pâtissiers and fromagers.
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