It took me nearly 20 trips to Paris to venture off the beaten tourist path and explore other photo opportunities the city has to offer. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t previously discovered this bridge, but crossing the Seine from Ile Saint-Louis to Rive Gauche, I found something I have never before seen. The entire fencing along the bridge was covered in padlocks and colorful streamers. Upon closer inspection, most of the padlocks had names, initials or other writing on them.
Like the colorful pairs of lace-tied sneakers thrown over power lines in some cities, these locks formed a latticework of color and texture spanning (more…)
The fame of Boeuf Bourguignon was resurrected recently by the movie “Julie and Julia.” A staple of Julia Child’s cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Boeuf Bourguignon (or Beef Burgundy) is a very old dish that begins with the basic products the average French household could afford at the time. An inexpensive cut of beef is slowly cooked in table wine until it is tender enough to eat.
Over time, the dish evolved to become what many consider to be the basis of French comfort food. Mushrooms sauteed in butter, onions simmered in butter, a carrot, garlic and herbs. And let’s not forget (more…)
Groceries in Paris
Any good cook or self-respecting foodie knows that great food starts with the freshest ingredients. Most Parisians don’t own a car, don’t drive to the grocery once a week, and don’t purchase prepared, frozen foods. Paris is a very pedestrian city where one walks, bicycles or takes public transport to and from work. They pass numerous shops during their daily commute and have access to fresh produce, fish, meat and baked goods for every meal.
Not only do they have smaller waistlines, consume more wine and have fewer heart attacks than Americans, they demand higher quality products from their local grocery stores. One stop inside (more…)
The Best Chocolate Éclair in Paris!
One of my first stops on every arrival in Paris is at a local Patisserie for a chocolate éclair. The pastry is firm to the touch but soft and buttery inside. They come in two varieties, Mocha and Chocolate. The creamy center that fills your mouth with every bite is the real treat and varies widely from bakery to bakery.
Of course, there is much debate over who makes the best chocolate éclair in Paris. There are many formal and informal contests every year to pick the year’s “best”. On this trip I headed directly to Stohrer (51 rue Montorgueil) which is always ranked in the year’s top 3. One step inside the shop and I had severe sensory overload! Something in the back of my brain started flashing WARNING!, DANGER!, WARNING! It was just my first day in town. How was I going to pace myself over the course of this trip? OK, I’m in Paris! I can diet when I get home.
Decisions, decisions. Chocolate or Mocha? Mocha or Chocolate? And what about all the rest of the food porn that was so brilliantly on display behind spotless glass? Everything looked so amazing (more…)