Eating My Way Through Europe

I have always loved and appreciated good food and upon coming abroad, I was especially excited to try the local and fresh foods of not only Italy, but every other country I would visit. For our ten-day semester break, I had the chance to visit three amazing countries, one being Paris. While in Paris, I not only wanted to see sights such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, but also try true French cuisine. One of my travel companions, Maddie, also shares the same interest in food as I do so the two of us decided to go on a food tour while in Paris.

We chose to go on a tour with ‘Secret Food Tours’ which offers a variety of different types of food tours within a few cities such as Rome, London, and Paris. The specific tour that we chose took place in the district of Montmartre, where Moulin Rouge and the Basilica of Sacré Coeur are also located. The quaint and bustling area has such a fun atmosphere and is especially known for its art and food. Within Montmartre, there are street art stands on almost every corner and a multitude of boutiques, boulangeries (French bakeries), gourmet food shops, and small, local restaurants. There was not a tourist in sight (except Maddie and me) which was a very refreshing change from really having only been around the touristy areas.

The tour guide of the ‘Secret Food Tours’ was a wacky, older French man named PJ. He had a thick French accent, a beret, and a serious passion for food and wine. It was great because he not only taught us all about French cuisine, but also talked about the history of Montmartre and walked us around the area. The tour group was a very odd mix of people: several different couples on their honeymoons and then two twenty-year-old college girls (Maddie and me). It was pretty clear that we didn’t really fit into the group but it was also great to meet and talk to people coming from all over the world on the tour.

The tour consisted of PJ taking us into a boulangerie, a cheese shop, and a meat shop. He would show us all of the different products sold in each gourmet shop and would talk about where the items came from. He then bought freshly baked baguettes, several different and unique types of cheeses and meats, and three types of local wines and took us to a restaurant in Montmartre. In the back of the restaurant, there was a table set up for the group. We were able to sit down and try all of the items while listening to PJ tell stories and give us pointers on how to properly taste wine and what cheese and meats to pair with which wine. Between the delicious spread of fresh food and all of the interesting information and pointers given by PJ, I was loving every minute of the tour.

After finishing up at the restaurant, PJ took us to a small creperie stand on the side of the road and a French macaroon and chocolate shop. There were many different fillings for the crepes and a variety of flavors of macaroons and chocolates. The crepes and macaroons were hands-down the best desserts I have ever had in my life.

This food tour was such a unique experience and definitely a highlight of my time abroad so far. I am looking forward to the many adventures to come and to continue eating my way through Europe.  (Secret Food Tours Website)


Maddie and me with PJ during the tour.


Lauren Andronico