Gourmet Shops of Paris: An Epicurean Tour

Pierre Rival, Author, Christian Sarramon, Photographer
Pierre Rival, Author, Christian Sarramon, Photographer Flammarion-Pere Castor $40 (160p) ISBN 978-2-08-030472-8
Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
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Warning: don't open this book if you're hungry. Its photographs of confections and chocolates, cakes, teas and coffees, breads, cheeses, caviar, truffles, wines and other gourmet treats are so mouth-watering that they're tempting even if you've just eaten. Rival, a food and wine writer for the fashion magazine Citizen K, and Sarramon, whose photographs have appeared in many European magazines, unveil images of gourmet Paris: sumptuous boutiques where confectioners compress chocolate eggs into cube shapes and pastry shops whose ""spring 2004 collections"" include pistachio sponges filled with bitter chocolate cream. Although there's a significant amount of text, the real draw is the photos, full-color tributes to the booty found in dozens of the city's gourmet temples. There are no street-side crepe booths, chestnut vendors or fruit stands featured here, but the authors do present a nice variety of famous places, like La Maison du Chocolat, Laduree (which claims to have invented the macaroon) and Poilane boulangerie (although, interestingly, there are no shots of superstores Hediard and Fauchon). Lesser known treasures appear, too, such as Marie-Anne Cantin, a cheese shop where one can pick up a piece of Camembert that's been ripened by the proprietor herself. The icing on the cake is a pink ""notebook"" in the back of the book that lists the authors' favorite gourmet shops, their specialties and their locations.
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