Rue Cler: A Taste of Parisian Lifestyle

City Travel, France, Tours & Attractions — By on May 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

Lost Girl Adrienne Supino recently went on a little jaunt to France with her family. Sure, she did all the touristy stuff like the Eiffel Tower and the museums… but during her efforts NOT to be a tourist, she discovered a great gem for all you foodies. Check out her memories of putting together the perfect picnic in Rue Cler, one of Paris’s best food-streets. Quick tip: no matter what city or country you’re in, one of the best ways to ‘learn’ a culture is to actually taste it. Ask someone if there is a local market nearby where you can find produce organic to that region. If not, ask for dining suggestions that take you off the beaten path of a typical tourist.

By Adrienne Supino

Someone (I’m not exactly sure who) once said, ” Tourists see what they have come to see. Travelers see what they see.”  Fortunately, my family and I all agree on this bit of travel philosophy, and so when we found ourselves in Paris contemplating the best way to enjoy the city and its people without hopping from attraction to attraction, we jumped at the suggestion to take a leisurely stroll down the street called Rue Cler.

Packed with cheese, flowers, wine, chocolate, fruit, and baguettes, Rue Cler is the place to be if you want a feel for the French lifestyle.  The road is filled with locals chatting with the owners of the tiny stores while doing their daily shopping and offers a sneak peak into the culture that gets lost on the routes of tour buses and guided trips to the Eiffel Tower.  From fromagerie to flower shop, the small walking street provides a taste of true Parisian ritual and all the necessary pickings for a great lunch!

Feeling left out of the shopping fun and tempted by the piles of fresh fruit, bunches of flowers, and chocolates staring out from the windows of the chocolate shops, we decided that the most appropriate thing to do would be to do as the French do–eat.  Obviously, we needed to try everything so it was a good thing that there was 6 of us to carry it all!

In an effort to counter the effects of all the wine we drank and pastry we had already eaten over the past 6 days, we agreed to start healthy at Top Halles Fruit and Vegetables.  We pulled sweet and sour passion fruits, some pink lady apples, and searingly orange clementines from the stands before going further down the street to brave the cow-like smell of The Fromagerie.  The creamy chevre (goat) cheese that we got was well-worth the stench of the shop.  After grabbing two baguettes from the patisserie we caved in to the pull of a quaint little chocolate shop, Le Chocolat, where we found the most delicious dark chocolate bells filled with a smooth praline cream for dessert.  Finally, with a beautiful bouquet of pink tulips under my arm and a crisp white wine in my hand we headed off to the courtyard outside our hotel room to lay out the perfect, mid-day picnic.

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