Years spent exploring France’s territories to unearth rare flavors, tasting and tasting again, the ultimate challenge to her own palate and those of the tasting committee members. In all, they blind- tested 18,000 products made by 2,000 artisans, whittling the choice down to the 2,500 – several of them new or produced in very limited quantities – that are displayed today on the shelves of the deli in the heart of the seventh floor. Fourteen categories of specialties are available, from preserves to condiments or confectionery, not forgetting the aperitifs so dear to the French.
All around the area, seven iconic areas dedicated to ‘high-taste’ products have been installed. Each features a great name in a particular field: Dubernet for foie gras, Byzance for smoked fish, Maison Balme for truffles, La Juicerie for a healthy diet, La Maison du Chocolat, Le Palais des Thés for tea and roaster Lomi for coffee. A fresh-produce market… with a view over Paris The cellar with its 1,500 wines is supervised by Le Repaire de Bacchus, which has selected four hundred vintages, including some celebrated grands crus, as well as 150 organic wines, 300 spirits, around 100 champagnes and the same number of beers and ciders. There is also a champagne bar for a brief, intoxicating pause on the way from the specialized bookstore to the Gifts and Boxes section, before heading on up to the ninth floor.