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Nishikidôri Le comptoir des poivres

Nishikidori (Paris)

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For over 25 years now, globe-trotting foodie Olivier Derenne has been exploring the world’s continents in search of culinary treasures, with an obsession for peppers and spices from Japan in particular. Smack dab in the middle of Paris’s Little Tokyo neighborhood, he displays his various finds in two different shops on either side of the same street: a rare pepper shop called Le Comptoir des Poivres, and Nishikidôri. At the former, choose between 40 different varieties that will get your blood racing: wild red Voatsiperifery pepper from Madagascar, a Dark Red Kampot pepper, a very rare Birdy pepper, alias white bird’s eye chili… In the latter, you’ll find all of the most noble products from the archipelago: a kooky sea pineapple sauce, sensational smoked vinegar, bright-green scallion oil, delicate soy sauces, ceremonial grade matcha, enchanting seaweeds…. You won’t leave empty-handed! // R.F.

Hidden gem: The bottle of entirely natural ponzu, made without added sugar and with yuku, a citrus that’s only grown on a few farms in the Nagasaki Prefecture (€17.50 for 320 ml).

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