Text: Carly DeFilippo
If your cooking seems a bit bland, spice it up with some of the best herbs and spices. There are several shops that can supply you with all of the zesty flavors you need to impress a dinner party or charm a date – one of the best being Goumanyat in le Marais – a cross between a shop and a museum.
Tucked away on a quiet, almost alley-like street behind the Marché du Carreau du Temple – Goumanyat is a truly marvelous spice shop. Not your average épicerie, you ring the buzzer and wait, hoping the shopkeeper will let you enter.
To your right, aromatic, full-leaf, loose teas and exotic specialties, like Madagascar or Tahitian vanilla beans. To your left, the “smelling bar” – a veritable culinary perfume counter – where you are invited to inhale and discover the highest quality of spices that Paris can offer. The mixed spices are especially tantalizing, from Mille et Une Nuits an oriental mixture that dates from the middle ages to Meat Lovers, whose name says it all.
The shop, which supplies many restaurants in Paris, is named after the wealthy, cultivated king Goumanyat, who reigned over a country of lush valleys and was known for his admiration of fine flavors. The present day staff of Goumanyat evoke this passion for sensorial pleasure, with a knowledge that is both accommodating and erudite, and are willing to offer their gastronomic opinions on more than their available products. In particular, Goumanyat is known for its unique range of saffron products, offering free saffron candies to curious new clients and regulars alike.
The prices at Goumanyat are not particularly high, given the quality of their products, and you can peruse and order from their online catalogue of spices, seasonings and other fine products. However, an in-person visit is the real pleasure, if for the “smelling bar” alone.
3 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 3rd
Ph. 01 44 78 96 74
Hours Tues-Sat 11am-7pm
Metro: Temple (3)
Some other places to liven up your cuisine are below:
21 Rue Montorgueil, 2nd
30 Rue Francois Miron, 4th
31 Boulevard Villette, 10th
Le Palais des Délices
20 Rue de la Charbonnière, 18th
Marche des Barbes
Blvd de Rochechouart, 18th