Stories of the spice trade and the legendary Spice Roads have always been invitations to dreams of adventure, beckoning towards far away lands and adventures round the world. Spices came from Asia and other unexplored regions of the globe, bringing with them legends born along their lengthy journey to Europe. The dreams and stories that accompanied these exotic spices along the winding and dangerous roads they travelled brought some of their magic to Paris. In Europe, their rich and fashionable customers used them lavishly, with awe, and sometimes for intrigue. All were fascinated by these condiments which had travelled from the other side of the world to find their final destination on their table. the best couscous of the city, or savor the Jewish specialties of Europe, which will take your taste buds on a journey around the globe all their own.
The medicinal virtues of food were actually the main criteria for the conception of a meal. A medieval cook became somewhat of an alchemist—curing the bodies of guests with the virtuous cuisine he had prepared, responsible for the health or sickness of their patrons.
Spices were fundamental ingredients of the cuisine of the rich. Unbelievably expensive, these exotic flavors were a way to showcase your wealth : The elite of past centuries dazzled their numerous guests with course after course of spiced dishes - sometimes overly so. The habit of excessive spices consumption ended slowly with the 17th century. The discovery of the new world, with its chocolate, tomatoes, turkeys, and so many other new delicacies changed European cuisine forever. the best couscous of the city, or savor the Jewish specialties of Europe, which will take your taste buds on a journey around the globe all their own.
Your private guide will help you to discover the epic Odyssey of these spices while exploring what you could call the ‘highly seasoned’ part of the great city of Paris. It is one cherished by its inhabitants, a tasty, spicy, and colorful melting-pot that will give your taste buds a memorable journey through the past and the present. the best couscous of the city, or savor the Jewish specialties of Europe, which will take your taste buds on a journey around the globe all their own.
Starting with medieval Paris, you will taste the best couscous of the city, or savor the Jewish specialties of Europe, which will take your taste buds on a journey around the globe all their own.
Tour Outline: The heart of Paris holds many traces of its medieval times. Between La Sorbonne, the Museum of CLuny, Notre-Dame, the mansions of Le Marais, and the winding streets along the river bank, remnants of the Middle Ages tell thousands of stories. Some of this legacy is also found in its delicious cuisine.After beginning with a mouth-watering and fortifying lunch in one of the oldest buildings in Paris, follow your guide to explore what would have been the life and diet of those living in the time before the New World, as you wind through medieval streets. Discover the ancient food order, a spicy world where each food had a social status, before imported goods like tomatoes, chocolate or sugar revealed new fascinating tastes and introduced a completely different relation to food.
Highlights: Enjoy a traditional French lunch in one of the last remaining medieval building of Paris, follow your guide on the ancient path to Hotel de Ville and discover the charm of the medieval Marais, with its inner courtyards, narrow cobbled streets, and traces of the past around every corner. Regretfully departing from Le Marais, you will follow your guide to the Cité Island to admire an architecture that has survived centuries and revolutions at Notre-Dame and Hotel-Dieu. Finally make your way across the Seine river to the ancient student neighborhood Saint-Michel, walk through a medieval herb garden, and after a stop on the legendary Place de la Sorbonne, end the tour inside the 15th century courtyard of the Cluny Museum.
Tour Outline : Paris has always been a crossroads, a melting pot of cultures. Spice up your stay in Paris with a colorful journey in the most lively neighborhoods of Paris : Belleville, Les Buttes Chaumont, and the Bassin de la Villette. The cosmopolitan ambiance of Paris is world renowned. A visit of Paris would not be complete without Belleville and the lesser known area of la Villette. Asian, Africans, Middle Eastern diasporas all dwell here in a lively community. Colorful window shopping, the best world/French fusion cuisine, history, and culture of this multi-ethnic area are on the menu of this tour.
Highlights: Begin with an aperitif at the most lively terrace of Paris. Sample some of the most delicious couscous found in the city, discover little known passages and rustic streets. Visit the romantic garden of Buttes Chaumont garden and the very trendy area along the canal of La Villette and the Canal Saint-Martin.
Tour Outline: France, with the ‘Code Civil,’ was the first country in the world to grant citizenship to Jews. Follow the fascinating history of Jewish communities in Paris, from the Dark Ages to the 20th century, and get a taste of Jewish cuisine, one of the best in the world. Once religious freedom was proclaimed by the French Revolution, Paris attracted Jewish communities from Poland, Russia, Armenia, Algeria, and Tunisia, and the Marais became a crossroad of cultures. Even today, the Rue des Rosiers, at the heart of the area, welcomes ethinicities and cultures from all over the world, as well some of the most delicious food establishments in the city.
Highlights: Visit the old cloister in the convent des Billettes, and make your way through the inner courtyards of the mansions Hotel Saint-Aignan, now Museum of art and history of Judaism, and the Hotel de Soubise. Stop for a delicious lunch break in one the best Jewish restaurant in Paris (Seferiade or Ashkenazi—your choice). Visit a synagogue, and if you wish, attend a tefilin ceremony. We will stop for a relaxing tea break at Mariage Frères, while hearing of the many ways Jewish traditions enriched French foods, arts, and city. The tour ends at the Shoah Memorial.