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The Theoretical Cook

A FOODY IN THE THIRD WORLD

Friday, October 27, 2006

Paris Supermarche



There's a book about the epicurean delights in Paris. I never got to read it; I just saw it in a bookstore in Amsterdam after I had already left the city. Of course, my primary 'guide' to Paris was Adam Gopnik's book - this explains why I trudged all the way to the Rue St. Germain so as not to skip the Brasserie Lipp, the Deux Magots, and the Cafe Flore. It was also Gopnik's ruminations that made me linger in the Luxembourg Gardens, truly magical with the leaves and the dappled sunlight. Looking at a baby girl running around the fountain, chasing the little ducks in the water, I felt I understood why Gopnik felt the need to raise his baby in Paris. It is a beautiful place. I think the only thing that balances out my enthusiasm for the place is the fact that I stayed in the 19th Arrondisement which, to a certain extent, is pretty much like Manila.

My generic travel guide also pointed out the following foody places, and I made sure I did not miss them: Berthillon (for the best ice cream), Amorino (for the best gelato), and Marche Montorgueil for the gastronomic shops. In the end, however, the nicest places were those that I stumbled on my own: 1) Godiva (while walking along Rue St Honore); 2) Jean Paul Hevin (for the photogenic chocolates); 3) Cafe Rotana (for providing a warm warm place to a cold cold girl). The neighborhood patisserie where I bought my daily baguette was also something else, and the fact that it was open until almost midnight made it even better. In fact, if there's one thing that I learned from my five days in the city, it's really developing a taste for this baguette. The baguette, especially when freshly baked, is such a source of comfort- something about the hard crust and the soft dough.

The funny thing is that while in Paris, I cooked myself (and my Indian host who immediately left for Bordeaux leaving me to fend for myself) Asian dinners everyday. I went to a Chinese supermarche, upon the advice of my host, to buy green vegetables, Japanese noodles, and other stuff. After a day of sightseeing and eating bread and other strange food combinations, there was comfort in going 'home' and cooking a hot dinner of rice and noodles and vegetables.

Oh, and my first meal in Paris was in an Italian pizzeria. :)

7 Comments:

Blogger JMom said...

So you're on vacation!! Sounds like fun so far. Funny how your first meals are so far from where you are :) I did that too though, when I was in Europe. After I week I was hunting for Chinese restos for some rice! Luckily we were already in London by that time and their Chinatown is fantastic.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Theoretical Cook said...

Hi Jmom! Yes, I was hunting for Chinese restaurants all the time! :)I would like to check out Chinatown in London. A friend of mine survived the ridiculously high standard of living in London by living right smack in Chinatown:)

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