Visitors to one of Paris' trendiest areas may find a taste of home, as the popularity of La Marais fuels new interest in the area's Jewish culture and food. Diane Hodges reports.
The Marais district of Paris has become the city's new hot spot for art galleries and trendy restaurants. But its also the home of Paris's Jewish community, And tourists who arrive in the area looking for fine dining, may find just the opposite, according to American visitor Irene Borger. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM LOS ANGELES, IRENE BORGER, SAYING: "All these foods are kind of a taste of my past, and I don't eat them much anymore. But they remind me of my grandmother. And I'm taking photographs for my mother, because she's going to laugh, because this is really, home cuisine. It's not 'La Grande Cuisine.' La Marais was once home to the grand mansions of the French nobility. But when they moved on, Jewish refugees from other parts of Europe began moving in. The area was the center of Parisian Jewish life, until the country fell to Nazi troops in World War two. Now the Jewish Quarter is making a comeback, and its food provides a symbol of their enduring values, says Parisian resident Elian Mouyal. (SOUNDBITE) (French) RESIDENT OF SCEAUX IN PARIS REGION, ELIAN MOUYAL, SAYING: "I think, like all cuisine's, Jewish food is about families, friends coming together, and the pleasure of being together, of sharing, of giving, and passing it on also to the children, so that tradition lives on." A tradition that many are digging into with gusto.