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ARI SHAPIRO, host:

It's a long weekend, the weather's warm. Let's go to Paris.

(Soundbite of airplane)

SHAPIRO: Clotilde Dusoulier is a 28-year-old Parisian who writes about food on her Web site, Chocolate and Zucchini, and she now has a new book called "Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris." It's about her favorite places to eat in her hometown, and she recently agreed to take me on a tour of some of the spots she loves in her Paris neighborhood.

Clotilde? Hi, I'm Ari.

Ms. CLOTILDE DUSOULIER (Author, "Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris"): Nice to meet you.

SHAPIRO: It's great to meet you, too. Thanks for meeting me here.

Ms. DUSOULIER: You're very welcome.

SHAPIRO: We headed for one of her favorite local haunts, an award-winning bakery, and we chatted along the way.

(Soundbite of footsteps)

SHAPIRO: Just a few years ago, you were a software programmer - is that right?

Ms. DUSOULIER: Yeah. I trained as a software engineer. I worked in the industry for two years before my passion for food and cooking overtook my weekly schedule, and I had to let go.

SHAPIRO: Was it scary to give up a daily, salaried job to write full time about food?

Ms. DUSOULIER: Yeah, I just thought, you know, I have to give this a chance and see whether it thrives. We're just going to hop across the street and visit (unintelligible) Bakery, voted best baguette of Paris last year.

SHAPIRO: Fabulous.

Ms. DUSOULIER: Bonjour.

SHAPIRO: Bonjour. Well, I have to try one of the best, I guess, in Paris, right?

Ms. DUSOULIER: Yes.

(French spoken)

SHAPIRO: Okay. So, in your hot little hands the best baguette in Paris.

Ms. DUSOULIER: Of last year.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHAPIRO: Of last year.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHAPIRO: So, you just break the end off.

Ms. DUSOULIER: Yes. There you go. Firmly, assertively.

(Soundbite of breaking bread)

SHAPIRO: Oh my God.

Ms. DUSOULIER: There you go. You can taste the difference, can't you?

SHAPIRO: Yeah, I absolutely can.

Ms. DUSOULIER: You can hear that the crust - I'm sorry, I'm going to swallow first - you can hear that the crust is subtlety crunchy when you press the baguette, that creaky sound.

SHAPIRO: A normal baguette wouldn't do that.

Ms. DUSOULIER: A normal baguette might not because the crust might be too thin or the...

SHAPIRO: So, the best baguette will quite literally speak to you.

Ms. DUSOULIER: Yeah. If you bake bread, the ultimate triumph is when the bread sings. It's called (unintelligible) du pain, so the song of bread, where you can hear the crust crackling as the loaf settles.

SHAPIRO: Wow.

Ms. DUSOULIER: And it's just - yeah, it's lovely.

SHAPIRO: Well, what's our next stop?

Ms. DUSOULIER: (Unintelligible) is a charcuterie/cheese shop, so sausages and pates and ham from all over France.

SHAPIRO: Let's go in.

Unidentified Man: Bonjour.

Ms. DUSOULIER: You have sausages hanging from hooks from the ceiling and they're organized by region of France. And depending on...

SHAPIRO: So, the signs here say bass...

Ms. DUSOULIER: Sea bass, (French spoken). And depending on whether you want a dry sausage or a more moist one or one that you want to cut thinly or thickly or one that has more of a gamey flavor, you know, there's a sausage in there for you.

SHAPIRO: In the book, you describe things that make good gifts, and I see there quite a selection of jarred and canned goods in the back. Will you help me choose something?

Ms. DUSOULIER: Sure. Actually, we might ask. (French spoken)

SHAPIRO: Duck ravioli, wow.

Ms. DUSOULIER: (French spoken)

SHAPIRO: There are amazing varieties of mustard here that I've never seen before.

Ms. DUSOULIER: (French spoken)

SHAPIRO: The (unintelligible) and spices and figs and tarragon, hazelnut. Do you have a favorite mustard? (French spoken)

Ms. DUSOULIER: (French spoken)

SHAPIRO: (French spoken)

Ms. DUSOULIER: The great thing with this sort of products is you just buy the baguettes and spread little toasts with that spread. And it just makes your life a lot easier.

SHAPIRO: And these are also things you can take back to the U.S. whereas those delicious looking pates and cheeses may be not...

Ms. DUSOULIER: You can enjoy while you're here, but you can't really take them home unless you smuggle them in, which I would not recommend.

SHAPIRO: I have to say a friend of mine during this visit said, you know, we do have a vacuum sealer, which apparently is a favorite tool for smugglers to take a camembert back.

Ms. DUSOULIER: Yeah, because the dogs can't smell stuff through a vacuum-sealed bag.

Unidentified Woman: Merci beaucoup.

Ms. DUSOULIER: Merci.

Unidentified Woman: (French spoken)

SHAPIRO: You undoubtedly know this, but you are living the dream of millions of people the world over.

Ms. DUSOULIER: It's hard to think about that on a daily basis, but what I do know is that I thank my lucky stars.

SHAPIRO: Well, Clotilde, thank you so much for showing me your neighborhood.

Ms. DUSOULIER: Thank you. It was my pleasure.

SHAPIRO: My mother's going to kill me for talking on the radio with food in my...

Ms. DUSOULIER: Your mouth full?

SHAPIRO: My mouth full. I'm sorry, Mom.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Woman #2: (Singing) (French spoken)

SHAPIRO: "An Edible Adventure in Paris" with food writer Clotilde Dusoulier. You can find an excerpt from her book and her recipe for pear and chocolate tart on our Web site, NPR.org.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Woman #2: (Singing) (French spoken)

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