Saturday, May 14, 2011

Food for Thought

Beignet, Clafouti, Flan de Coco...that kind of food.

Beef Bourguignon, Chicken Tagine, Mushroom Crepes...yes, that kind of food. 

Since I have returned I have been asked if I liked the food, what was my favourite food and did I try 'thus-and-so'?  

Well, we had one enjoyable meal after another with scarcely a misstep.  Now if you wonder where I am going to get 'food for thought' out of all this excellent Parisian food just stay with me here...

(Some of the food photos will be from sister Marilyn's camera; I am sorry but I do not remember the names of all the dishes we had.)  

That is the chicken tagine that I enjoyed more than once...

When we first arrived I suggested to Marilyn that we should find some famous cafe, sit down, order coffee and philosophize the afternoon away.  

Marilyn and I were so busy playing tourist that we didn't take the time to sit and philosophize.  One of the most famous haunts of French philosophers from the last century was Le Deux Magots...yes, it says Two Maggots.  

But it wasn't until the end of the second week, when I was with Gail, that I found this cafe.  Gail's guide book warned us away from Les Deux Magots if we were looking for food of quality.

Famous folks like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir sat at these tables and talked the days and nights away.

One of my regrets is that I don't have photos of either Gail or me eating a baguette.  They make wonderful sandwiches and every day Gail and I got into the habit of stopping at the local patisserie for our baguette and pastry for our evening meal.  

The best food Marilyn and I had was at Chez Fernand.  They did not open their doors for dinner until 7 in the evening and we were among their first guests.  The ideal meal, for us, was an entree (which we would call an appetizer here), main plat (which is just what those words imply...main plate) and of course we would end with a delightful dessert.  Marilyn thought their food was not necessarily Parisian but had more of a southern French flavour, more rustic and earthy.  When we both ordered the same main plat they brought one small casserole pot for the two of us to share. the remembering.

This baked egg dish was so rich I could not finish it...

We lived on a street that had at least 9 restaurants within shouting distance which meant we had to close our windows at night if we thought we needed to sleep.  

(notice the copper pots used as exterior decoration)

At 11 or midnight, or later on the weekends, the people were still eating, drinking and enjoying one another's company.  It was a delight to hear and watch.  We did wonder what time they all had to be at work the next day.  We had the serious work of touristing so we had to be in bed before midnight!

The very interesting thing about the food/health aspect was that I noticed the servings were never super-size and you would see people of all ages walking, walking, walking.  Their food is delicious but it is savoured, not devoured.  They are able to take the meal experience to a whole new level in social networking. They take their time to eat, to live, to enjoy.  

Therein lies the 'thought' in 'food for thought'.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum. That all looks delightful! Thanks for sharing. Good inspiration...