this is the archive for the ‘in france’ category:


what we ate in paris

we love holidays because they are like cheat season chez nous… we eat what we want, when we want it, in order to fully appreciate the experience. paris was no exception… i even had a list prepared! here are the highlights of our 4 days:

crêpes de sarrasin, from the street. these had cheese, ham, mushrooms and egg, and were a steamy and deliciously stringy mess.


we had to try the croissants! they were ok, but my heart is loyal to their much fluffier portuguese version. the boy loves palmiers, so we gave those a shot too :)

ah… the croissants aux amandes are much more my style – oh the crème! and we tried the macarons, of course. we picked up some from ladurée, in their mini-version, and ate them in park nearby. they were surprisingly nice, and the small size was just right.


more galletes de sarrasin! we were staying in montparnasse, so we indulged in these quite a bit. with bacon and eggs, and with honey and goat cheese… mmm…


random sweets: tarte au citron and éclair!


oh, the omnipresent baguette! the french might not use the beret anymore, but true to stereotype, the ratio of baguettes/person is still surprisingly high. and rightly so, since they are heavenly. we treated ourselves to one every morning, slathered on with divine salty butter.


more baguettes with jam and cheeeeese! we had this cheese platter at the café des 2 moulins, while watching asian tourists smiling for the photo and cracking their tiny bowl of super-expensive crème brûlée.


ah! les escargots! my dad had delighted me with tales of snails from his years in france. so we went ahead and tried them too. and they were delicious, and tasted nothing like i thought they would. :) and we also tried fondue (finally!) and it was good as well.


one of the dinners was at breakfast in america, because by then we were feeling like less gourmet, more comfort food. and what better than a egg-filled burrito to satiate our hunger? :)


i’ve saved berthillon’s ice-cream for last. i wasn’t prepared for discovering this ice-cream, fully convinced no ice-cream could top our beloved vanille marille… boy, was i wrong. this… this was… magnificent. i have no words, and while i was eating it, i was delighted and furious at the same time. how dare they make this… this impossibly good ice-cream so far away from where we live?! oh the injustice!

paris

despite all our traveling, we’re not good tourists, we never have been. for years we’ve avoided the stereotypical holiday destinations, with their promise of charm and delight. places with impossibly high expectations, and therefore, likely to disappoint. paris was one of these places that we kept putting aside for someday… eventually. we’ll always have paris, afterall.

the paris in my head was a strange mélange of the deliciousness portrayed in david leibovitz‘s blog and the 60s of zazie dans le métro (we spent our time there in exclamations of “le panthéon! les invalides! le tombeau véritable du vrai napoléon!”)

it was the paris of my father’s stories, complete with escargots and metro rides. a paris accumulated over years studying french language, geography and literature in anticipation of this moment when i finally got to use all this knowledge i amassed during my teenage years.

so how was paris?

like the stories, it was lovely. we walked around the city, elbowing other tourists, musing at the buildings and the architecture, stumbling on familiar looking sites, eating all the promised delicacies (which i’ll tell you all about in another post). i feel like we’ve cleaned out the list of essential must-do’s and clichés, preempting the predictable exclamations of “you’ve been to paris and didn’t go to _______?!

so yes, we climbed the eiffel tower, saw notre dame, le sacré coeur, le louvre, le moulin rouge, l’arc du triomphe… we walked along the seine and the champs élysées and even visited amélie’ poulain’s little café and a couple of famous cemiteries. we walked over 40km in 4 days, in a permanent mix-state of dejá vue, awe and giddy delight. like promised, paris was beautiful, crowded and expensive.

i feel like now that we got all of this out of the way, we can start preparing a second visit, one in which we actually get to see the city beyond the pretty façades. :) à bientôt, paris!