Paris Days 5 & 6: Macarons & Croissants are All I Need

I ate the most delicious thing ever and it wasn’t even chocolate: the Ispahan macaron from Pierre Hermé. Not only is the pink-colored macaron gorgeous to look at with its white cream filling surrounded by fresh raspberries and topped with a single rose petal, but the taste is unlike anything I’ve ever tried. It’s creamy and crunchy, subdued subtle flavors of rose with bursts of raspberry sweetness. The macaron itself is rose and the cream filling is flavored with rose petals and small pieces of lychee. It is fancy and fussy and uniquely French, but is also one of the most amazing desserts I’ve ever eaten. It’s the best thing in Paris, along with those croissants…

The croissants truly are spectacular. It’s easy to get used to stale croissants at the neighborhood coffee shops at home, and although I made them many times in culinary school I think that due to the labor involved, along with copious amounts of butter, I’d convinced myself I didn’t like them. Oh, how wrong I was. The croissants found in nearly every café and bakery in Paris have all been delicious with light and flaky layers and delicious buttery flavor. My mom loves the ones with the chocolate centers but I prefer the delicious simplicity of the plain. Read more of this >>

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Paris Days 3 & 4: Travelog/Foodie Blog

Le Petit Patissier by Chaim Soutine

This may sound strange, but I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy Paris. I was expecting to enjoy my time here and definitely the food, but not the city itself. I originally decided to visit Paris to learn (meaning eat) about the food and do some soul-searching, to find myself. My plans changed somewhat when my mom decided to join me on my journey. While I welcomed her company along with the nicer hotel that came with it, I knew the trip had become more of a tourist vacation than I’d previously planned. There went my daydream of sitting alone at a sidewalk café, drinking an espresso or glass of wine with my journal or a good book.

Please don’t misread this, I’m not complaining about the change in plans, just explaining why in my mind I had prepared myself not to enjoy Paris, because I hadn’t truly planned on seeing it. Now, more than halfway through our trip I feel as though I’ve gotten to see and experience the beauty that is Paris. We’ve visited most of the tourist destinations – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum with the Mona Lisa, Versailles, Notré Dame and the list goes on. We’ve also enjoyed many meals and snacks, possibly too many… Read more of this >>

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A Foodie in Paris: Days 1 and 2

Eiffel Tower

In dire need of an adventure both culinary and otherwise, I boarded a plane with my mom for a mother-daughter French excursion. We arrived in Paris on none other than Bastille Day and spent the day roaming the St. Germain arrondisement. Our first meal, dinner/breakfast was at Le Buci, a cute neighborhood café with a surly waiter. Sitting outside we had a perfect spot for people-watching. We ordered the English breakfast which consisted of “coffee or tea or chocolate or white chocolate; croissant + jam or honey + orange juice; fried eggs or fried eggs with ham or bacon or omelette; yaourt (yogurt). It was a lot of food but definitely appreciated after the long flight. Read more of this >>

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Eating My Way Through New Orleans

To me, a native midwesterner, I think of New Orleans cuisine as soul food – a food of the people, a sentiment confirmed by Patrick, the Tulane student who sat next to me on the airplane. I just returned from my first visit to this amazing city and, although I was only there for two short days, was fortunate to experience the local flavors of Creole cooking (apparently different from Cajun).

Throughout my trip, I was determined to try as much local fare as possible. From redfish, crawfish and oysters, to jambalaya and gumbo, to calas and bread pudding, I basically ate my way through the city, with the one exception of cracklins (I had to draw the line somewhere and fried fat seemed like a logical place). I also had my first catfish po’boy which was fabulously deep fried, although I think my favorite new food is crawfish. Also known as crawdads and mud-bugs, these crustaceans were sweet and juicy – like miniature lobsters. Yes, they required quite a bit of work and were messy, but so worth the effort. Now I just have to figure out if and where they can be found in Chicago…

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