Have you ever been somewhere and been unable to really believe you actually went there? I always thought, “No I am immune to Paris’ charms.” Well, I am a damn fool.
That’s how I feel about Paris. I can wax poetic on its beauty, but more importantly I can say that I am proud to have eaten wonderful food at every meal.
People always told me that French food is great and I have to say I never quite believed them. There was a fancy French restaurant near my house growing up and the nights that my parents forced me to dress up and go there with them I only ever ate one thing: french fries. I will say those french fries weren’t standard McDonald’s quality, they were beyond excellent.
Before I went to Paris I began to hum silly songs in preparation. These included Anastasia’s “Paris Holds the Key,” Cole Porter’s “I Love Paris” and “La Vie en Rose.” Not going to lie, I think my friend Marisol was about to tell me to shut up and try out for American Idol.
Anyways, besides serenading Paris with my baritone vocals, I ate a lot. Paris really does do wonderful things with food. The city’s culture is one that adores the art and science of cooking and devouring scrumptious morsels. During my time in Barcelona I have enjoyed many good meals, but I have constantly felt something lacking in Catalonian cuisine. Catalans don’t really enjoy food as much as the French.
In Barcelona you grab a dried-out baguette with some squishy serrano ham and some old, crumbly manchego cheese and that’s lunch. But I have always believed in enjoying my food. Food isn’t just about sustenance, it’s about hedonism and epicurean pleasure.
In Paris I ate wonderful breads with every kind of jam and butter for breakfast. The bread came fresh and from a baker and the jams and butter were of types I have never encountered. For lunch I had crepes with nutella. For dinner I dined on some of the juiciest steaks known to man and grilled vegetables that make my mouth water as I remember them. Imagine biting into something and hearing Edith Piaf break out into La Vie en Rose. It was magnificent.
The food in Paris is so fantastic that not only were Marisol and I recommended a few restaurants, we were given a list of 500 by a friend. Thanks, Jess!
It’s as my father said, “Don’t rush Paris, always imagine that you’ll come back soon.”
No, I didn’t rush. I savored every bite.