Stop no. 1
Our first stop on the tour was Eric Kayser, a chain with about 90 stores that was featured on the tour due to the high quality (and deliciousness) of the bread there. Eric Kayser was also featured in a magazine article, praising him as one of the best bread artisans in the country. On this stop we tried Mini Financiers (mini almond cakes) and Pain au Chocolat, both of which were a great way to start off the day.
Stop no. 2
Next, we went to a small new shop called Ma Collection Marchande de Saveurs, which recently won a worldwide competition for its raspberry jam – which we tried. It was amazing. All of the products they sold were made in France, and featured beautiful packaging. Now for the shocker: hold your breath kids, their Pâte à Tartiner is a chocolate spread like Nutella, but about a hundred times better – and probably way better for you. If they ship worldwide, I will be buying some weekly when I get home.
Stop no. 3
The third stop on the tour was Un Dimanche à Paris, a Café and Chocolate Concept store. We tried their hot chocolate which was made with Ecuadorian chocolate and spices, and yes, you can buy the mix – but they won’t tell you the spices, that’s a chef secret! It was incredibly rich, and probably the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.
We were also able to try a chocolate candy which was made with chocolate from Madagascar. It was so good, I will never be able to have Hershey's chocolate ever again!
The store also sold Grue de Cacao (Cocoa Nibs), which our guide said were great on seafood and steak, something I never would have thought of trying.
Stop no. 4
For our next stop, we went to Première Pression Provence, where we tried Tanche A.O.C. Olives, which were delicious – even though I don’t like olives! The store sold exclusively French products, which seemed to be a trend with some of the smaller stores we were visiting. The next product we tried was a basil pesto containing goats cheese and almonds, and this pesto had to be one of the yummiest things I was fortunate to taste on the tour. We also tried some olive oils, a raspberry balsamic vinegar and a black French truffle vinegar.
Stop no. 5
On the way to our wine and cheese tasting, we stopped into Gérard Mulot, a pastry shop selling assorted pastries, and some of the best macarons I’d had in my life. From the passion fruit macaron to the salted caramel one, they were unforgettable.
Stop no. 6
Our final stop, while we waited for our order at Gérard Mulot, was a wine and cheese tasting. Although I wasn’t keen on some of the cheeses (probably due to my American palate), they were a great sampling, and really fresh. We sipped on some Chinon wine while tasting, accompanied by a baguette and some rye bread from Eric Kayser that our guide had bought.