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Food Shopping: How to Buy Cured Meat in Paris

The French cuisine is a delicious mixture of many different dishes. One ingredient that is often featured in many of the native dishes, like charcuterie, is cured meat.

If you take a culinary tour, you'll be taken to many local shops and butcheries that sell this delicacy. However, if you're venturing out on your own it can be a little tricky when it comes to shopping for this. You'll find there are numerous varieties and curing methods and choosing the best one for your meals can be a little difficult.

Below you'll find some helpful tips as to how you can shop for and choose the best selections when in Paris. 

how to buy cured meat in Paris

What is This?

This is a meat that's been preserved through some type of drying, salting or smoking method. This helps to prevent it from going bad and can add an interesting flavor to it. You'll find that almost any type of meat, like beef, veal, and pork, can be preserved so you have a wide variety to choose from and can often find them in any local market. 

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Natural vs. Processed Options

One thing you'll come across when searching for this product is various information as to how it is preserved. A naturally preserved one will only use healthy and edible ingredients, like sea salt, spinach, and beet powder. A processed one is not naturally preserved because it's been coated with nitrates and nitrites which add to the longevity of it but is a huge health hazard. It's important to look at the labels on the preserved options to ensure that it's not highly full of preservatives. For instance, if a label states that it is 98% full of preservatives, this is not a natural or healthy option. 

Types 

When spending the day shopping for preserved selections you'll come across a few different types in various stores. Many of these can be found in local butcheries and markets. 

  • Pâtés 

This is a finely grounded mixture that's blended with herbs, vegetables, and a touch of wine. It's a spreadable option which makes it ideal to use on bread. 

  • Boudin

This is a sausage made out of pork blood and stored in a natural casing. It's well-known for its unique blend of seasonings.

  • Saucisson

Saucisson is a dry sausage that's similar to salami. It's known for its bold taste and white casing. This is a very popular preserved selection not only in France, but you'll find that people around the world enjoy it very much as well. 

  • Jambon de Paris

This is a very traditional preserved option in the city. It involves slowly cooking a large piece of pork and seasoning it with herbs and spices. Once it's done cooking it's then cut into paper-thin slices. 

It's important to keep in mind the types of cheeses, breads, and wines you plan to serve with the selections you choose. For instance, pâtés go very well with baguettes and a glass of Pinot Noir. 

Shopping for cured meats isn't as daunting as it might seem. With the information above, you'll be well on your way to finding the best and naturally preserved ones to use with your meals. 

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

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