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vendredi 25 mars 2011

Marché du Mois: A Little Market

This month's marché is special because it marks A Little Market's first ever crossover from virtual to "ephemeral", with the launch of its temporary boutique in the 1oth arrondisement. Since March 8th, 15 vendors from A Little Market's online store have been womaning stands at Lieu 37, an open space for artists and artisans of all sorts.

In an earlier post on this blog, I raved about what a great idea A Little Market is, and how commendable it is that the site aims to bring together local artisans and give them a way to enjoy both community and visibility. The temporary boutique is great because it extends this sentiment even further.

I had the opportunity to visit ALM's offline site and I was truly inspired by all the creations I saw there. On display is a wide array of products, ranging from children's clothing, jewelry, bags, and even hand made shoes.

For a limited time only, Lieu 37 is not only allowing these women to share their handiwork with others, but is also offering the opportunity for visitors to meet the vendors and hear the stories behind their craft.

While browsing in the boutique, I heard the fairytale story of Audrey Fallope who not only got her gorgeous slippers, but makes them, too! After years of wanting to be trained in the art, Audrey eventually realized her dream of making hand made shoes that she now creates made to order. These classy leather shoes blend business and girly, and you can't get any more one of a kind.

Another favorite producer was Oh La La! Paris , who makes bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings using bold and simple forms. This brand's signature necklace, a fashinably french moustache on a simple chain, shares shelf space with equally adorable acessories, including a new line of engraveable necklaces. Check out their site or take the opportunity to visit the market to find out more.

There's much more to discover at A Little Market's boutique, and not much time left to do it! So don't miss out on this special opportunity, which is the first of what the team hopes to be a of many "real life" boutiques to come!

A Little Market Boutique Ephémère
37 rue des petits écuries
75010 Paris
m° Bonne Nouvelle or Château d'Eau

Open until April 8th
Monday-Saturday 11h-20h
Special Sunday openings on 27 March and 3 April

And don't forget the site that started it all, www.alittlemarket.com, where you can discover even more locally based vendors.

Libellés : , , ,

jeudi 10 mars 2011

Saveurs Paris Ile-de-France: La Marque Régionale

I found out about the Saveurs Ile-de-France brand while wondering around the Salon de l'Agriculture. It was in the Saveurs sponsered section of the salon that I discovered great regional and artisinal beers. I hadn't realized that the brand extended beyond marketting at the Salon until I unloaded the stash of organic beer I bought from Brasserie Chevreuse and noticed that the bright green Ile-de-France tote bag that the brewer had sent me and his beer home with contained information about this regional brand.

Saveurs Paris Ile-de-France is an ambitious and organized system of classifying agricultural, artisinal, and even industrial food products that come from the Ile-de-France region (which includes the areas surrounding Paris to total a little over 12,000 km of land).

Broken down into three distincts colors, these brands are an easy guide to use when you want to be sure to buy local. Here's a little translation of the color coding, in case you stumble upon the brand, or try to seek it out:

Green Saveurs labels denote that the agricultural product
was cultivated or produced within the Ile-de-France,

Blue labels indicate that the product was made by an artisanal food producer within the region, and

Grey labels mean that the item was produced by a small or mid-sized agro/food business located in the Ile-de-France.

The brand and its coding system were created by an association called CERVIA (Le Centre Regional de la Valorisation et d'Innovation Agricole et Alimentaire). Created in 2007, the association works to increase the appreciation of local agriculture as well as engender support for producers in the Ile-de-France region, combining both promotion and innovation in the field.

While the labels are probably their most visable contribution to the local cause, their website is also worth visiting. I was really impressed by how informative and interactive it is. My favorite feature is the fact that you can find recipes inspired by local products. The "Cuisiner et Savoir" section of the site allows visiters to chose an item that is typical of the Ile-de-France region (asparagus, apples, even croissants!) and then be offered a variety of recipes in which local produce plays the starring role. Regional alcohols are also included in the list. So, if your looking for local cocktail ideas, why not try the Gentil Coquelicot (The Nice Poppy)?

Le Gentil Coquelicot
For 1 Person:
3 tsps Liqueur de Coquelicot (from Provins)
2 tsps Cointreau
Crémant de Loire

Pour your liqueur and Cointreau into a Champagne flute, then top off with your Crément, or any sparkly wine of your choice.

I'll bet you could find a nice apèro to go with this cocktail, just check out their site!

Libellés : , , ,

lundi 7 mars 2011

Farinez-Vous: Move That Bakery!

It is a testament to the French's ability to keep you on your toes that this normally cerebral and rather reserved country does, at times, embrace the sappy and sentimental. When this occurs, maudlin Americans like me are happy to reap the benefits. An opprotunity to do so arises with the cheesy makeover and rennovation shows that are all the rage on France's less sophisticated television channels.

I'll be the first to admit that I cry while watching Ty Pennington's Extreme Home Makeover. There is certain humanizing and reassuring affect this reaction has on a person who regularly growls at noisy babies on the metro (I'm sorry Mommy friends, but it's true, the Line 13 makes me mean!). It's nice to be reminded that my capacity for sympathy and loving thy neighbor is still in tact, albeit a bit too buried under urban soul decay.

However, the true tragedy present in Ty's show is not the families and their stories of sickness, death, and disaster. The true tragedy is that this show exists at all. If you take a moment to wipe your bleary eyes and see the show for what it is, it is sorrowfully obvious that the real tragedy is the fact that Ty Pennington and his team are doing the job of the American government.

While donated goods from Sears and other giant corporations may seem like an appropriate way to solve a problem in a world where The U.S. and France offer monetary aid to Haiti (which finds ways of not getting there in its entireity) instead of arranging for reparations to make up for the colonialism and subsequent debt that has burdened the country for years. I argue that instead of a bus of interior designers from Los Angeles salvaging the remains of the only free clinic that existed in a hurricane-ravaged town, perhaps the American government should simply provide health care and hospitals that are accesible to the locals and kept up by their tax dollars.

The reason I'm ranting about the US government and Ty Peninnington on my "Life in Paris" blog is because France is not immune to the poor governing and politics that leave citizens to pick up the slack and help out their fellow man. That's where Farinez-Vous comes in. Parisian bakery, located in the 12th arrondisment, not only espouses an artisinal and locavore approach to the trade (their flour is milled in the nearby Normandy region and all their ingredients are seasonal) Farinez-Vous is also engaged in the type of social action that picks up where the French government pathetically drops off.

Farinez-Vous's goal is not only to make equitable and delicious baked goods, but also to "be a place conducive to solidarity and sustainable development." One way the bqkery engenders development is by hiring employees who are in a state of "conversion", or in other words people who lost there jobs and have found themselves in a country with an overwhelming unemployment rate and an unquenchable thrist for diplomas corresponding to every imaginable career choice.

At Farinez-Vous, professional or academic background is irrelevant, employees working here get to start from scratch and nurture, as their website explains, "two primary strengths: training in a rewarding job and real opportunities in terms of employment."

It is rare to find an employer who sees beyond age and background and offers the opportunity to grow and learn in a new trade and that's why Farinez-Vous gets my, "I-wish-our-country's-politics-didn't-make-your-existence-necessary-but-I'm-glad you-exist-all-the-same" medal of honor. If any of you know Ty Pennington, could you see if he'll come over and award it? I'll translate through my tears.


9 bis rue Villiot

75012 Paris

Metro: Gare de Lyon (Lines 1 & 14)

Open: Monday-Friday; 8h-18h30

Libellés : , , , , ,

jeudi 3 mars 2011

Food Rituals: Pizza Party

Every Wednesday, me and Clément hold a pizza party for two in our little apartment. Pizza Night is the one night of the week that I consistently look forward to. On Wednesday morning, Clément gets up early to make the dough and let it rise all day, and in the evening, I pick out a bottle of wine and come up with ideas for toppings on my way home.

Pizza Night became a weekly ritual when my mom sent us home from California this Summer with a pizza-sized baking dish and me and Clem decided to try to recreate Pizza My Heart's menu.

We quickly worked through all of their veggie options and then moved on to our own creations, including Winter Pesto pizza and pizza topped with home-marinated artichoke hearts!

Pizza night is our food ritual, in all the time that we've practiced Pizza Night, I think we've only rescheduled once or twice. Like any one who works from home or has a busy life knows, it's important to organize and prioritize your time, allowing yourself to say no to anything that might conflict with what precious time you have to spend with the important people in your life. Every week, we prioritize pizza and in doing so we also value the time we get to spend together.

This is the first time I've ever kept up a food ritual for so long, but I know it isn't anything new- it occurred to me that a lot of my readers probably have their own food rituals that they share with their families, friends, or themselves on a weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis.

If you have a food ritual, please share it with us. How did you come up with it and why do you keep up the ritual? If you don't have a food ritual, I challenge you to give it a try. It's something nice to look forward to during the week and a lovely thing to come home to at the end of the day!

And of course, ideas for new pizza recipes are always welcome!!

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