Everything was miniature and everything was perfect. It was exactly the Paris I’d imagined in my mind, right down to the effortlessly fashionable couples walking home from work in the evenings, hand-in-hand with baguettes sticking out of their bags. All of the buildings were beautiful and boutiques lined the streets with clothes that didn’t really fit me but were elegant nonetheless. The bistros had great fries, the macarons were flowery yet not at all soapy, and street musicians played accordions! It was all like being in a movie.
Here is a list of all of the things I ate in Paris that I can remember. I ate them with Lily, Sarah, Christine, and Kelsi and Pia, the super awesome humans from Bonne Maman who organized this insanely delicious trip. Thank you 4ever, Bonne Maman!!!
A warm baguette with a lot of soft butter and a pile of perfect ham. A warm baguette with a lot of soft butter and a pile of perfect ham!!! Sorry, I just sit here for a few minutes and relive this experience in my brain. *Closes eyes and tilts head back*
Chewy crunchy nests of kadaif topped with whipped cream and flavored with rhubarb, rose, halva, pistachio, and mastic, and shared with my all time favorite speed skater who just happened to also be in Paris, Sugar Todd!!
An omelette that looked like a shiny yolky yoga mat but tasted like custard and cheese at Ladurée.
A large airy coffee flavored sphere of meringue and cream, a merveilleux, “like a structured Eton mess,” as Kelsi so perfectly described it.
Rice pudding. Pardon, riz au lait. I like rice pudding now. Actually I love it! I’m turning into my dad. In fact as soon as I post this blog post I am going to get working on a replica of the kind I had at Chez Georges, which was very loose and vanilla-y. We also had some at L’Ami Jean which came with some crunchies and ice cream underneath it and it was delicious but it was much thicker than Chez Georges'. I like it loose, I discovered.
Chèvre chaud salad, my new favorite salad, and an instant newcomer to my arsenal of dinner recipes. Essentially fried goat cheese on mustardy dressed greens. Until we tracked one down, Lily wouldn’t shut up about them and their greatness. And now I refuse to shut up about them and their greatness. They’re peak simple and peak amazing. The one at Chez George had the best dressing, and the one at Les Antiquaires was covered in bacon and prosciutto. My ideal would have been a combination of the two but honestly they were both freaking ideal.
A crêpe from the street stand with a halo of crispy cheese.
Extremely thick white asparagus at L’Ami Jean that had some excellent salty crunchy business all around it, followed by a pot of pork that came with some flaming sticks on top that smelled like a campfire.
One perfect soft doughy flaky croissant from Des Gateaux et du Pain.
Cute miniature colorful snacky bites on the Bonne Maman boat! For two of the days that we were in Paris, Bonne Maman decked out a boat in the Seine with recipe demos, craft workshops, candle making, tea bag sewing, and manicures, it was like a fancy French summer camp! Complete with a David Lebovitz sighting! It was so fun.
Bonne Maman preserves galore. We sat at a table on the Bonne Maman boat with every type of Bonne Maman preserve you could imagine (and even some unimaginable ones because half of them aren’t even available in the U.S., like rhubarb and black cherry) and a spoon. It was a dream! And then it was a very put-together dream when Sarah and Lily styled it all as I ate my raspberry crêpe. We got to try a delicious new line that is about to be released in the U.S., called Intense, which has even more fruit than their original preserves. I'm so excited for you guys to try it.
Cheese and lots of it. Duh.
Tonka macarons!! Which moved me to smuggle back some tonka beans. Can I say that? Is that legal? And the aforementioned flowery non-soapy macaroons that made me want to track down the exact flowers/flower flavorings that Ladurée and Pierre Hermé use. And an asparagus macaron which didn’t taste asparagusy so much as just springy and fresh.
Eclairs and cream puffs and caramels and chocolates that were all just like little works of art. We got like one of everything and I tried the pistachio flavors first, the rose flavors second, and the hazelnut things third. None of them sucked.
Things I Didn’t Eat
L’as Du Falafel- It was closed and I was very sad! But I am going back to Paris next month for my friend Rob's wedding so I will definitely be eating that falafel.
The fries at Bistrot Paul Bert- One day!!!!
Jam! I know, I thought all Bonne Maman made was jam, but brace yourself for a tidbit: jam is what happens when all of the fruit cooks down until it’s smooth, while preserves maintain the integrity of the whole pieces of fruit. So Bonne Maman doesn’t actually offer jam! Mainly preserves, and some jellies.