Food Producer Tours Advice

I will be doing a 10 day trip in France early-mid May. I am passionate about food and especially enjoy visiting small scale food producers (e.g. cheese makers, charcuterie makers, farmers). I will be in Paris briefly, Grenoble, Provence (L'Isle Sur la Sorge & Roussillon), and finally in Lyon. I would appreciate any advice, suggestions, or leads on small scale food producers to visit during my trip. Thanks so much!
Alyssa

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
7025 posts

Market days will give you the widest introduction to various local producers and specialty shops will alsohave a good selection to taste and buy. Rick's Provence book lists www.moulin-huile-julien.com, a family-run, organic olive oil operation, as well as some wineries. For more local advice, you could search or contact http://www.visitprovence.com/en, and the local tourist offices in each town you will visit. However, it will be rare to find producers who can lead your visit in English. (Other are easier to visit, such as foie gras farms near Sarlat, or the Roquefort cheese caves near Millau.)

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6888 posts

Alyssa, a couple of crazy thoughts. For a cheese maker, you might want to visit Fromagerie Laurent DuBois while in Paris. Here's a link to his website. http://www.fromageslaurentdubois.fr/?lang=en See the blue, white and red around his collar in the picture. He earned that as the best cheese maker in France. Here's a snapshot that shows where his shop is located. http://gyazo.com/82d4e0208fb6f574479e5cf2e6b2103a They can vacuum wrap your selection and you can take it home with you. We did this. We kept the cheese refrigerated in our hotel room until we left for home and then I packed it in the middle of my checked luggage. Somehow, I "forgot" to declare it when we arrived in the USA. Many of his cheeses are made with unpasteurized raw milk and may not be allowed here. The lady in the cheese shop told us that. Great cheese.

Secondly, if you like truffles, chocolate and mustard (yes mustard), one metro stop will do it. Madeleine is the metro stop. 1) Maison de la Truffe is at 19 Place de la Madeleine. You can get both white and black truffles there. They also have a restaurant. 2) Maison du Chocolat is at 8 Boulevard de la Madeline. We brought home lots of chocolate from this wonderful shop. The two locations are a couple of blocks apart and are not the same street although the names sound similar. 3) Mustard. And who doesn't like mustard. The Maille mustard store is a 6 Place de la Madeline. It's roughly midway between the two shops above. You've probably have seen their mustard in the USA but they have mustard on tap. 3 varieties on tap. Just like beer but it's mustard. We bought a couple of beautiful mustard jars for gifts and took some mustard on tap home with us. Again, we kept it in the refrigerator in the hotel until we left for home.

Finally, if you want the ultimate in food tours, sign up for a tour of Rungis. It's the largest wholesale food market in the world. You have to be there by 5:00am and it's a long tour. Here's a link that describes what's there. http://www.rungismarket.com/en/jaune/visiter_rungis/index.asp It's massive.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5179 posts

The Maille mustard store! Seasonal flavors that you can't buy here. Great gifts. I dropped about $200 there one day but brought back mustard gifts for everyone on my list, plus stocked my own pantry.

Posted by Dave
Ventura, CA, USA
820 posts

Larry-that's a great post, thank you from me too. The Rungis tour looks incredible, unfortunately we will miss it by a day, it goes on the second Friday of the month for individuals who are not in the student or professional ranks.
The Madeleine stop is some pretty efficient shopping! And, yes, everybody loves mustard.