Thursday, April 29, 2010
Cookies, brownies, cheesecake, cupcakes, now whoopie pies...what will be the next food trend to be thrust onto the international scene? Cupcakes have barely started to catch on among normal people in Paris so the whoopie pie seems a little forced and rushed, and definitely doesn't represent the best that we have to offer. Still, kudos to embracing new things, Paris!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So when an American is invited to meet a French significant other’s family member (not me, lest the rumors begin) for the first time, the stress runs high. How to make a good impression on this family member? What to wear? What to talk about? What to bring to the picnic?
I can answer none of these, except for the last one. When it comes to bringing a food item for a picnic, any American in
Voila the results. I thank my friend for her ganaching skills and congratulate her on her newfound talent for pastry bagging (that sounds dirty…). The lavender cakes are floral, springy goodness. The vanilla cakes with dark the dark chocolate covering are exquisite and classic, like mom’s. Well, I imagine if my mom made ganache, it would have tasted like this…
I hope they succeed in impressing the family member tomorrow, or else there is no hope of an eventual engagement ring…
Laden with butter, cream, and sugar, we grabbed bikes and shot towards Saint Germain, back by the Bon Marché. glish baker who pumps out classy looking cakes with a taste to match. She’s only been open since late 2009, but she’s been baking for ages (she told me). We sat down to our Kusmi tea with a red velvet and a strawberry cupcake. Delight ensued. The cake was moist and delicious and the icings surprising (the strawberry had a meringue icing – so not American). All in all a good way to wrap up the crawl.
Now if only I could find out a way to end this sugar high so I can fall asleep….
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
When I went to the Ile de Re last weekend, right by La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast, I was skeptical about eating anything that wasn't dead, processed, packaged, and sealed. Still, I couldn't turn down a tasting of some of the region's finer, yet raw, products: sea urchins. Les oursins in French are those prickly little echinoderms that, when cut in half, produce a lovely little appetizer. Paired with sea snails and shrimp, I was more than skeptical. I was ready for the hospital again.
Fortunately the tasting ended in smiles and not IVs. The urchins were salty and savory. Not too slimy but definitely fishy enough. The shrimp were...well...shrimp. The sea snails were actually delicious with a little bread and it all washed down nicely with some white wine. Would I do it again? Yes, but not in a heartbeat. Nor would I actively seek out raw seafood anytime soon. The thought of ripping off that shrimp's head in the bay of Mont St-Michel and eating it still turns my stomach. At least I have only fond memories of the urchin. Granted, it was still moving when my plate arrived, but I like a little animation with my meal. And in lieu of a piano player or stand up comedian, I guess flailing echinoderm arms will have to do.