Picnics in Paris was my latest adventure.
See below for my Youtube video and anecdote about the delightful eats we had 🙂
I have to begin this story not in Paris but in Gran Canaria. I was in a cheap cafe with my beau Mario, who was enchanted by the good looking cakes, more because he was hungry than anything else and not because of the quality. I was adament that the mille feuille he was eyeing up was no good. The cream was brilliant white and the pastry was dry as a bone. But instead of taking my advice not to buy it, he listened to the rumble in his belly. Poor fool. It was so bad he decided that he didn’t like mille feuilles.
Fast forward three months and we were in a patisserie in Paris surrounded by artfully structures cakes. Colour combinations of pink and chocolate brown, gold sprinkled bombs and towers of cream stood before us in all their glory and there in the counter were perfect mille feuille with custard cream sandwiched between delicate melt-in-the-mouth pastry. Now this was the place to eat! But Mario screwed up his nose with the memory of Gran Canaria and tentively bought a cookie. A goddamed cookie! sigh.
“You have to try my mille feuille, ” I said.
“Nah,” he replied.
“But this is the real thing,” I explained.
I bit into it. Cream oozed out of the sides.
I groaned with pleasure: “Mmm!”
He agreed to taste it.
I think his words were: “OMG that is awesome taste!” (He’s German but I didn’t correct his English for not wanting to ruin his sugar high, or mine).
And so the love affair with food in Paris began.
I prised my mille feuille from Mario’s fingers and sat on a bench staring at the Arc de Triomphe, eating it slowly.
He fished around in his bag and took out his silly little cookie. I couldn’t help but laugh.
The city of lights is magnificent. In my opinion the quality of food, art and clothing cannot be surpassed.
All of this comes at a price so we were careful to choose only the best foods, cafes and retsaurants within our budget. Quality bio produce, such as wine, cheese and meat, from marche de Raspail (5th Arrondissiment) and the rotisserie chicken, pates and fruit juices at Marche Bastille (11th Arrondissiment) were awesome.
We stopped at many patisseires along the way: Maison Landemaine in Oberkampt and Valentina Boulangerie on Rue de Voltaire became our regulars – I mean we went to these places daily.
Another highlight was chocolatier Chapon, on Rue Du Bac. It was a very posh experience indeed! Mario did mousse tastings as the chocolate expert gave him intricate details – in the same way a sommelier would with wine. It’s a memory that has imprinted on Mario’s mind.
On the last night, he woke me up saying: “The chocolate mousse in very fluffy.”
I wondered why he felt the need to tell me this at 3am and turned around in bed to find him fast asleep.
My German boyfriend was sleep talking in English about French food. Only in Paris! C’est la vie!