Following research, we loved what we saw about Sol Semilla and asked to drop by to take some shots. They were kind enough to provide us with the following meal, however all thoughts and opinions are – as always – formed independently and without agreement to be favourable.
Over the past few months you’ll most likely have begun to notice us moving to cover more and more vegetarian and vegan locations in the places we visit around the world, ever since we went vegetarian somewhere around this time last year.
For the most part, the locations we’re going to are centred around serving healthy vegetarian and vegan food, and for the most part they’re lovely locations with great tasting food that we’d highly recommend to anyone who asks, but from time-to-time there are locations that really make us happy, that not only deliver utterly delicious veggie food, but also make the most the location they’re in to create a fantastic interior design that really appeals to travel/design hunting travellers such as ourselves.
One place in particular that really goes that extra mile to create a nicely designed healthy eating space is Sol Semilla in Paris.
Sol Semilla is a health and super food shop with a difference. Rather than just trying to encourage people to use the natural products that you can find around the world to enrich and regulate your health, the team also operate half the shop as a restaurant that delivers a simple menu where the food is nothing but extraordinary.
Before ordering, we chose to look over the items on offer and though the menu may seem short at first glance there is actually quite a generous selection of drinks, dishes and desserts on offer that had us wanting to try everything.
Having spoken to one of the members of the staff that come across as more as a friend than, say, a waiter; we came to the conclusion that we should start our time off with one of the superfood drinks on offer alongside some nibbles whilst we continued to decided our choices for lunch.
The nibbles were in fact a collection of berries and roasted cocoa beans, of which I am now utterly in love with. The flavour contained within them is stunning and quite particular. Without any added flavouring or sugars, the natural unlocked sweetness within may seem bitter on some tongues, but it’s far more complex a taste than that.
Care For A Drink?
Purple Power is the most ordered of the health drinks by the locals who regularly drop in to grab either a bite to eat or some health food supplies for their own drinks, smoothies and meals back home and we must admit that it’s quite the flavourful drink. It’s not overly complicated (the basis of the drink is Maize, Ginger, and Apple Juice) which means that the taste of the few individual flavours isn’t diluted or too confusing.
You can really feel the energetic buzz from the drink as you gradually sip it down. There’s some subtleness to the drink that has an electric effect across your tongue that is worth the trip alone, so it comes as no surprise that it’s as popular as they say and available to purchase pre-bottled to take home.
There are a number of other drinks too which we were also lucky enough to try called;
– Magic Potion : using Cat’s Claw, Acerola and Pear Juice
– Blue Like You : Klamath, Mint, and Cardamon
– Apple Green : Apple Juice, Spirulina, and Acerola
Each of the drinks have their own unique characters that I’d find hard to describe due to the unique ingredients of each one, but of the few I’d say that Blue Like You was certainly the most electric in terms of flavour, but Purple Power was the stand out in terms of flavour and how it made me feel as I slowly sipped it down.
Delicious Dishes Of The Day
From the menu there are two main dishes you can choose. You can either choose to have the Daily Special which normally consists of a vegan plate of superfoods mixed with rice, buckwheat, acai caviar and seasonal veg, or, you can choose one of the four soups on offer which were:
– Comfort Soup : comprised of Mesquite and Cumin
– Detox : Nopal, Cat’s Claw and Cardamon
– Energy : Spirulina and Ginger
– Vital : Maca and Curcuma
Of the four, our friendly Parisian waiter Jonathan recommended that we try the Vital soup, and as you’ll see; he was utterly, utterly right.
As I sit here now writing this post just before I’ve had my lunch and I’m having to look at these pictures, my stomach is being tortured due to the memory of just how incredible this soup was.
Unlike so many soups that we’ve had in the past, all of the flavour in the broth comes straight from the vegetables themselves and the flavour is incredibly moreish.
Honestly, thinking about it now is making my stomach do flips.
Alongside that, we also decided to take the Daily Special mixed plate of vegetables and superfoods that changes from day-to-day, that for the main part of the cooking process, uses the many superfoods on sale at the shop side to Sol Semilla.
Much like the bowl of Vital Soup, the flavours unlocked are breathtaking, and unlike some vegetarian and vegan food that tries to create a strong flavour through the use of many different types of spices, the opposite is done with this collection of grains and seasonal veg.
The buckwheat and rice was great and a great side to the vegetables used, and of the vegetables the carrots were a personal favourite, but it was the acai caviar which really delighted both Franca and myself.
Needless to say that the food on the plate didn’t last for long.
All of the cooking is taken care of my the delightful Joelma, a Peruvian native who has been cooking vegetarian food using the very same ingredients since her mother taught her when she was young, and I really must say that she is quite the chef. Her food is amazing. It’s not easy to create such delicious food that contains so much flavour with so few ingredients. It’s something I long to master for myself.
Did Someone Say Dessert?
Yep, that’s right. Desserts are also on offer, and they’re just what you’d expect from a superfood specialist chef and health food shop.
There are three desserts you can order, of which we couldn’t help but order one of each so that we could share the delights between us – and we’re so glad we did.
In the picture above you can see:
– Sun In My Body : Mixed Fruits, Banana, Apple and Urucum
– Coconut Mousse : Coconut and Acerola
– Xoco : Raw Cacao Truffles
Of the three, we both had differing favourites. Franca loved the raw cacao truffles, which were absolutely stunning. The coconut mouse was again really special as the texture and flavour were both perfect offering a subtle taste that was delicate and worth taking time over.
For me personally, I only had eyes for the small glass of Sun In My Body.
I’m a big fan of banana’s, so I knew that I’d love this dessert, but it’s not the banana or the mixed fruits, or even the uselessness of the urucum that had me falling in immediate love with this dish, no; what had my mouth eager for another spoonful was the hidden kick of black pepper that brings the whole mixture to the level of dessert heaven I don’t too often visit.
Again, the mixture of flavours isn’t so complicated – most dishes are only 3 or 4 different ingredients – but it’s the perfection over time of trying again and again to mix something different together, constantly striving to create super-tastes with super-foods, yet it’s not just trial and error here, it’s a dedication to knowledge that helps them craft these edible treats.
Doing It Differently
As we’ve mentioned, what seperates Sol Semilla from other health food shops or vegetarian restaurants is how they combine the two together, but even then they’re a little different.
What the owner Jean Francois and his team strive to do is to educate those who enjoy the food about the superfoods they’ve used to create these inspiring dishes.
As we admired the design of the shop and enjoyed the food on offer, we watched on numerous occasions as most of the customers on the restaurant side of Sol Semilla finished their meals and came to speak with Jean Francois about the food they’d tried and the ingredients inside the dishes.
We watched as Jean Francois spent 10 to 15 minutes with each customer about the multitude of uses superfoods such as Urucum and Acai have not just as foods, but also for other things such as skin care.
It was incredible to watch and observe someone converse about something they love rather than just another product in just another shop on the high street. Seeing the passion as he spoke was remarkable and as we found later, his love comes from time spent in South America over the years where he learned so much of what he knows today about the possible things you can do with foods so rich with all the vitamins and minerals that are just there for you put to use.
Superfoods For Sale
The products on sale are all sourced from South America by Jean Francois himself and the small team he works with. They take great care to work directly with the farmers and can tell you everything you need to know about just where they came from.
There are a number of products on offer, all packaged by the team themselves once they’ve been imported.
As you’ll see above, the packaging is really special. It’s not complicated and provides you with all the details you need regarding the origins of the product, as well as important imformation such as agriculture trademarks and marks from The Vegan Society.
23 Rue des Vinaigriers
Travelling through France was quite hit and miss when it came to finding delicious vegetarian or vegan food and whilst on occasion we did find some nice places, not one of them had anything on the food available at Sol Semilla.
First and foremost, they care. This isn’t just some passing craze, some short term money making fad, no. This is a group of people who love the products they offer, they love to talk about them, they love to share the knowledge they have whilst also encouraging others to experiment for themselves and find new ways in which to use this rightly named “superfoods“. In fact, there are regular days and events that the team put together where they teach how to make certain foods or ways to use the products they sell.
For us, Sol Semilla is not only the prime example to vegetarians and vegans in France of how you can enrich your life with superfoods, but the example to anyone who cares about their health no matter where they are in the world to look after themselves and put the fruits and vegetables of the world to use.
Do not miss this place!