It's not all flour and butter in the City of Light
Stroll the aisles of any Parisian supermarket today and you’ll see gluten-free biscuits, pastas, and snacks jockeying for shelf space with organic and diet-friendly products; out on the street, gluten-free focused bakeries and canteens rank among their gluten-rich rivals on best-of food lists and entire television programs are dedicated to analyzing the business behind this emerging trend. This is, however, a relatively recent phenomenon. Up until a handful of years ago, le sans gluten (and its ancillary food predilections veganism and detoxing) was seen as an abstract, American fascination; a dieting fad without a willing audience in Paris. Now, the term is permanently anchored in the local language and Parisians, those intolerant to gluten or simply curious, have a plethora of options. Below are four worth checking out on your next visit.
Pastry chef Marie Tagliaferro can be credited with creating a dialogue around gluten when she opened her bakery-café in 2011 near the Canal Saint-Martin. Since day one, Tagliaferro, herself a Celiac sufferer, has been driven by a desire to offer suitable and equally delicious alternatives to those who can’t indulge in traditional pastry. In her new to-go boutique in the 9th arrondissement, she offers fresh twists on classics like the tarte au citron, the éclair, or the Paris Brest.
28 rue Vignon, 75009
This is where gluten-free baking gets serious. Thomas Teffri-Chambelland, a biologist by training, was already well established in the baking world when he decided to pursue a new challenge: baking with rice and buckwheat flour. To do so, Chambelland and his partner Nathaniel Doboin built a mill in the South of France where their rice flour is produced. The Pain aux Cinq Grains and the Pain du Village are among their most popular, grain-rich loaves (used for their fresh sandwiches) but they also specialize in baked goods, offering cookies, cakes, fruit tartes and even cheesecakes that taste as good (if not better) than their gluten counterparts. A selection of their breads are also served in the Restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée Hotel.
14 rue Ternaux, 75011
Wild & the Moon
Gluten isn’t the only thing to get the axe at this new leafy canteen in the Marais; the snack and cold-pressed juices are also dairy and egg-free. Owner Emma Sawko, who also opened an outpost in Dubai, insists her offering—juices, smoothies, soups, crackers (made from vegetable pulp) topped with fresh avocado, kale chips or raw cakes—fits into a healthful lifestyle, not merely a diet, predicated on minimizing waste.
55 rue Charlot, 75003
If there is a darling of the green and locavore movement in Paris right now it’s 28-year-old caterer and naturopath Angèle Ferreux-Maeght, whose sliver of a detox to-go window in the 1st arrondissement draws crowds at lunchtime for flavorful vegan and gluten-free lunchboxes (think lentil and quinoa salad with onions, turmeric-roasted cauliflower with black sesame, sweet potato fries, radish petals, crunchy broccoli and a coconut chocolate mousse). It all wraps up beautifully for a picnic in the Palais Royal Gardens, a mere five-minute walk away.
34 rue Coquillière, 75001