After nearly five days in Paris, I hold fast to my theory that food tastes better here.
It is not a cockamamie theory. The explanation is simple. The French value good food. Good food needs the best ingredients. And that is what you find here. (At a far better price than in Wisconsin, I might add.)
We took the little cart to Rue Cler on Saturday and made the rounds. Salami from Davoli La Maison Du Jambon. Pork sausage from Boucherie Roger. Pont d’Eveque cheese from La Fermette. Fresh produce from Les Quartres Saison and necessities from Leader Price and FranPrix.
Even the cheapest items were a good value. My husband found a serviceable bottle of Bordeaux for fewer than two euros. We bought a pricier bottle of white Bordeaux from Magda Traiteur on Rue de Monttessuy last night.
To date, in my American kitchen in France (our flat is owned by an American), I have made salami sandwiches, salads, grilled cheese-and-sausage sandwiches, sausage and peppers and sausage and fettuccini — simple fare, to be sure. It all tasted better here.
Maybe you need to be very relaxed to make good food. I think that’s part of the equation. But the other part is that the ingredients are the best I can afford.
I feel better cooking here, even though the kitchen is smaller (and not very conducive to good food photos).
But I am not telling you anything you don’t already know if you have cooked in Paris.
And if you haven’t, you must. You really must. It is much more economical and certainly healthier on both figure and wallet than eating out all the time.
French Toast with Nicoise Lemon and Vanilla Syrup
8 thick slices day-old baguette
¼ cup cream
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon sweet butter
¼ cup vanilla syrup
Whip together eggs, cream, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Soak baguette slices for about 2 minutes. Lightly toast in skillet until golden brown. Serve with syrup; top with more lemon zest and powdered sugar, if you have some (I did not).
The second photo is taken from Rue de General Camou, in front of the American Library in Paris.
As Elouise put it, “I absolutely adore Paris!”