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Sitting on the border of Germany and France, the historic town of Strasbourg, France, has many lures, including its unique blend of French and German influences; its designation as the official seat of the European parliament; and, perhaps most unique, its population of storks (which migrate each year from Africa to take up residence in giant trees that line the city’s streets).
But visitors to this Rhine River city in the country’s Alsace region will quickly realize it is also known for something else: gingerbread. Take a walk along the cobblestone streets in Strasbourg’s Petite France district, and you’ll likely stumble upon Mireille Oster Pain d’Epices, a family-owned spice and gingerbread shop that has been a city staple since 1933.
Run by Mireille herself, the shop takes guests on a rich and flavorful journey as they nibble on chunks of home-made gingerbread, chocolate “stork” eggs, candied fruit and more. A world traveler, Mireille has spent years collecting various ingredients during her time abroad, including ginger, lemon, dates and goji berries. However, she says the most important ingredient she adds to each little square of gingerbread — along with flour, honey, spices and butter — is love.
Note: The spice shop is part of Viking River Cruises’ “Taste the Best of Alsace” optional food walking tour on the line’s Rhine Gateway itinerary, which travels from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam.
The DetailsMireille Oster Pain d’Epiceswww.mireille-oster.com