I don’t know about you, but as much as I love shopping I don’t do too much of it when I travel. There are of course certain exceptions and being in Paris is one of them. I skip the fashion items and head to the gourmet food establishments to spoil myself and buy gifts from Paris for myself and my foodie friends.

When I think about all the amazing food in the city you really are spoilt for choice. Everybody will have their own favourite items to buy, but these are some of mine.

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel

Cheese and wine

My top 10 foodie gifts from Paris

Salt

Everyone needs salt so you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s one of the things that I always buy. It might sound simple, but it gives me a great deal of pleasure when I am back home using it to be reminded of a fabulous holiday. It keeps well so there is no problem with it going off and spoiling. It is also easy to transport and you don’t have to worry that it might break in transit.

I only buy Fleur de Sel which translated means flower of salt because of the flower-like patterns that form in the crystals. The salt is formed when the sea water evaporates and leaves a thin, delicate crust on the surface. The resulting flakes are so fragile they have to be harvested by hand. The texture is also a little different as it has 10% moisture content. The flavour is subtle and delicate and once you have tasted it I am sure that you will be a convert.

My choice is usually Le Saunier De Camargue and Le Guerandais from Brittany.

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
Salt selection

 

Macarons

I don’t really remember when my love affair with macarons started, but I do know that I can’t go to Paris and not buy some. I am drawn to the pretty colours like a moth to a flame. The iconic places for some of the best macarons around are La Durée or Pierre Hermé

La Durée was the first to sandwich two macarons together and put a creamy filling in the centre in 1930. They now sell around 15 000 of these delicious bites every day.

Pierre Hermé  I think is more trendy and regularly changes the flavours of the macrons with the seasons. There is a signature collection as well. I love the Mogador (chocolate and passion fruit) or Isaphan (Rose, litchi and raspberry), but you really won’t go wrong with any of the flavours.

Tip: Macarons are best eaten fresh so try not to keep them for longer than 2-3 days.

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
Macarons

 

Truffles

This is another item that I adore. Wherever I am, if I see a menu item that has truffle in it, I have to order it. I remember the first time I tried truffles. I was staying at a small hotel in the north of France. I ordered scrambled eggs for breakfast. They arrived with shavings of truffle on top. This was about 30 years ago and I had no idea why there were brown bits over my eggs with an extremely funky smell. Just one taste and I was hooked.

At the Maison de la Truffe you can find truffles in every imaginable form. Canned, bottled, whole, truffle purées and dried shavings. In winter you can buy white truffles up until December which is considered to be the superior of the 2 truffles, but quite honestly I am not that fussy.

Tip: If you can’t afford truffles then try some truffle butter or olive oil infused with truffle. Out of these two, I prefer the butter which I think enhances the flavour of the truffle.

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
Truffles

 

Caviar

On the same square at the Maison de Truffe, you can find the Prunier. They produce their caviar in Bordeaux and are part of the Caviar House Group, one of the top luxury brands in the world.

Caviar is one of the world’s oldest delicacies. Ancient Greeks, Romans and of course the Russian Tsars indulged in caviar. There are sustainable sources available today, which is always my preferred option.

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
Caviar from Prunier

 

Mustard

I don’t suppose that mustard would be the first thing that would come to mind when you think of buying goodies to take back home. I love the Maille brand which I buy at home as well. They started making mustard 270 years ago and the first boutique was opened in 1747 in Paris. Naturally, their mustard is grown in the Dijon area. In 1937 Dijon was granted an Appellation Controlee, which means that it has to follow prescribed rules to be called a Dijon mustard.

It makes sense to head to their shop, which is on the same square as the truffle and caviar shops so it’s easy to pop in and pick up a couple of bottles. They also have wonderful gift sets and smaller bottles if you would like to sample a wider range of mustards. You can choose from mini gift sets or fancier ones or simply choose your own favourites.

 

 Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
Fields of mustard

 

Salted Caramels

This is a subject that I could wax on about lyrically for hours. I am not a recent convert following the trend, but the first time that I tasted them in Brittany about 15 years ago, I was hooked. These days there is no shortage of copycats which are mass produced, but once you have enjoyed the creamy deliciousness followed by the sharp pop of the salt of the French caramels you will be hooked for life.

The original version is buttery, creamy and rich and who better to buy them from than a chef who comes from Brittany? If you want the best then there is only one name to consider, Henri Le Roux.  He also makes a legendary version as a spread.

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
© Joy/Flickr – Salted Caramels

 

Cheese

There is something about the thought of cheese that leaves me weak at the knees. It is my all-time favourite snack, but when you are faced with the choice you have in France where do you begin?  It can be confusing.

Depending on who you talk to you will get a variety of answers, but on average there are around 350 – 400 different types of cheese in France. These are split into are regional cheeses, artisanal cheese, bulk manufactures and farm cheese as categories to choose from.

Cheese is also a seasonal product and there is an optimal time to buy it as well as eat it. If you are uncertain about what to buy then a good starting point is to go to a fromagerie and tell them what you like. A good fromager will be more than willing to help you with your selections and will also allow you to taste before you buy anything.

Fromagerie Laurent Dubois always has someone on hand to help you with your choice. This is just one of many amazing cheese shops in Paris. If you find yourself walking past a fromagerie go in and explore. I dare you to try something new!

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
French Cheese selection

Champagne

It is widely believed that a Benedictine monk at the Dom Perignon Monastery is the inventor of Champagne in the 17th century. It’s a great story, but I am not sure if it is true or not because bubbles occur naturally during fermentation.

Champagne’s reputation has become synonymous with luxury and romance. It comes only from the Champagne region in France. When you are in Paris pick up a couple of bottles to take home with you unless, like me, you drink them first and have to buy some more at duty free as you leave.

Popular choices are Veuve Cliquot,  Dom Pérignon, and Moët et Chandon, but there are also a number of smaller producers that deliver amazing quality.  I look for some of the boutique producers like Philipponnat or Lallier that deliver spectacular results for when I want a really special champagne.

 

Champagne Dom Perignon
Champagne Dom Perignon

 

Tea

I am pretty sure that you would not normally consider the French as tea drinkers or for that matter connoisseurs, but you would be incorrect. Tea in France can be traced back to 1639 when it was used by the aristocracy and the king to treat ails like gout.

Unlike in England, tea drinking did not filter down to the general public. It was seen as being a decadence that was associated with the wealthy. In the late 17th century tea almost vanished in France as the gap between the rich and the poor grew bigger.

In the 1980’s there was a resurgence in the demand for tea. English style blends were too strong for French palates so new blends were created. Some of the oldest brands around are Dammann Frères dating back to 1692  and  Mariage Freres, started by 2 brothers who were tea traders in the 1854.

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
Mariage Freres Tea

 

 

Honey

Did you know that you can buy Parisian honey? A group of beekeepers around Paris have set up hives on the rooftops of some of the city’s landmarks like the Ecole Militaire and Musée d’Orsay. There are now more than 700 hives spread through Paris.

It is strange to think that there are bees in the city, but Paris has some wonderful open spaces, parks, gardens and pretty window boxes everywhere. There is also no threat of pesticide killing the bees. Bees are on the decline throughout the world and are vital for pollination in agriculture. I think that this is an admirable project that we should support.

The honey simply called Le Miel de Paris and can be found at museum shops or bought at Le Bon Marché

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel
Honey

More: Paris Guides

There are so many choices for delicious gifts from Paris that I could ramble on for quite a while, but I want to inspire you rather than bore you. So, I hope that you have found something new or at least this has given you some good ideas to impress your foodie friends back home and bring back fond memories of your trip to Paris.

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Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs that gather dust | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel | #travel | #europe | #travelblogger | #foodie | #gifts | #presents
Gifts for foodies

 

Foodie gifts from Paris. A guide to inspire you not to buy the usual boring souvenirs that gather dust | #champagne | #macarons | #salt | #honey | #tea | #paris | #france | #cheese | #mustard | #caramel | #travel | #europe | #travelblogger | #foodie | #gifts | #presents
Delicious gifts from Paris for foodies

 

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Your entire list is marvelous — all things I love, and I always find wonderful cheeses in Paris. Parisian honey is something I knew nothing about, and I’m so pleased to to find out about La Miel de Paris. I do think the special salt is a great gift idea. No risk of a bit mess if they broke in your suitcase!

  2. I also generally do not shop or bring anything home when we travel. But foodie purchases are the one exception. What a great list! We love French finishing salt. But macaroons are a hit and miss for me. I did not know that salted caramels were a thing in Paris. I will have to try them next time. Caramel is my favourite treat. Canadian alcohol taxes are so high, we often bring wine back. French champagne would be a perfect treat to bring back. Thanks for this list. Pinned this one to remind me.

  3. These are the kind of gifts people should bring for me from Paris! I’d love to receive macaroons, salted caramel, truffle, caviar or cheese! I’d never really thought about salt, actually I didn’t know there was something special about salt in Paris but I wouldn’t mind that either! I love your foodie gift list 🙂

  4. I can only imagine just how tasty the macarons were, I too am a lover of them haha but only good ones haha, and the Salted Caramel, I can eat till the cows come home – I’d be in health trouble if they were given to me as a gift – But i really hope somebody does haha 😀

  5. I loved this post!! These are all such fantastic suggestions. If someone is going with just carry on only luggage and is worried about liquids and weigh, salt is the perfect suggestion as you don’t have anything to spill or break. I would have suggested the salted caramel but there’s no way I could save it until I got home.

  6. We too don’t indulge in much shopping while travelling except for few souvenirs. Foodie gifts are something we pick up and they are usually the specialities of the region we are visiting. Paris is a city of gourmets and hence there are so many things that one can pick up. You have provided a nice range of foodie gifts. We probably would go with salt, tea, and of course macaroons, simply love them.

  7. I don’t even know where to begin! First, the idea of giving salt as gifts is an awesome idea, especially if the type of salt you are buying is not available in your country! Brilliant!!! Next, I went woooww on the cheese choices! 400 choices is just amazing!!! Of course, you can’t go wrong with the salted caramel, champagne, truffles (big lover of truffles, too!). Gotta visit Paris soon!

  8. When I saw your title, I could guess cheese, Macaron, Champagne and Salted Caramels but I wouldn’t guess the others. I mean I have never ever heard of a flower of salt!! Does it taste like normal salt? What a bout the smell? Can you add it to any food?

    • Yes, it does taste like normal salt, but it obviously has no additives like iodine which is often added to salt. It can be used on any food, but the flakes are quite large so you need to break it down. It has no specific smell unless it has been flavoured with herbs, for example.

  9. It is funny why I never thought of Paris from a food perspective. Goes to show that I am not one. 🙂 Love this list. Did not know about the salt flowers. Wish I could have seen those. Love the champagne here as well as cheese. There is so much variety that I always get confused on what to buy and those macaroons are just yummy. Thanks for this lovely post.

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