Thursday, April 17, 2014

Postcards from Paris: Things I Didn't Eat

I took many more photos than usual on this trip, perhaps because I spent less time eating pastry and looking at pictures of our cats on my phone. (I still spent lots of time looking at cat photos).

Before I begin with photos, here are a few statistics from our 4.5-day stay in Paris:

Miles walked:
  • 54.8 miles, or about 12 miles per day (plus 10 trips on the Metro; we took it easy this time)

Sweet things consumed:
  • Half of a vanilla eclair (husband ate the other half)
  • 1 chocolate-almond croissant
  • 1 raisin escargot, or spiral croissant
  • 1 crèpe with apricot preserves (I found some on my boot the other day....) 
  • 3 crèpes with Nutella (including one sprinkled with almonds)
  • 4 tiny pots of apricot jam with my breakfast (a "flute" of delicious, buttered bread from Paul)
  • 1 tiny apricot sorbet cone from Berthillon
  • 1 large, peculiar roll: pumpernickel with chocolate chips?
  • 1 scoop of cioccolato fondente gelato from Amorino
  • 1 molten chocolate cake with pot of crème Anglaise (part of a prix-fixe meal, so no choice)
  • 1 bizarre, round brownie at the airport because we were stuck there for several hours
  • 1 chunk of the huge Toblerone bar my husband got at the duty-free for flight home
This averages to just 2.75 desserts a day (not including jam, which is practically a vegetable).

I'm supposed to be limiting my sugar intake since I got some bad liver test results so, as you can see, I had great self-restraint on this trip. For me, that is. On previous trips to Paris, I'd begin with a couple of smallish croissants at breakfast (un pain chocolat, un escargot aux raisins) along with a tartine of bread slathered with Nutella. Then I'd sample eclairs and other pastries from the more intriguing pastry shops I encountered throughout the day. And maybe have a little gelato or sorbet. After dinner, there'd still be room for a Nutella crèpe from the little stand at the end of our street. (I heard that, in Paris, it's a crime if you don't patronize your local crèpe stand every day, so I can't be blamed for this.)

I will get back on the straight-and-narrow of avoiding sugar to save my liver soon. But first we have to finish my husband's birthday cake from That Darned Patisserie (three layers of chocolate cake with orange mousse filling and vanilla buttercream frosting). I regard it as a health measure — preventing withdrawal.

So even though I was an ascetic instead of a gourmand on this trip, I think it will be easier to show you what I didn't eat in Paris: 

Fromage! I had some, but none of these regional varieties, most of which we don't see in the US.

Chickens and ducks, still with their feathery heads and creepy feet. 
I had chicken, but mine was decapitated, etc., and roasted to perfection.

A tiny sample of the glorious vegetable display at the Galeries Lafayette. 
Much too perfect to disturb, if you ask me.

When the French have trashy food, they make it even worse than ours: "Fitness chocolate cereal"? 

This little market had more than a half-dozen chocolate cereals,  including one that appears to have
 cream-filled pieces. American cereal aisles seem wholesome by comparison.

We had breakfast every day at Paul, but I didn't have even one of their eclairs. 
I didn't have even one of the fantastic chocolate tarts I customarily buy. 
I didn't have even one of these giant macarons, which are the size of a small whoopie pie. 
(There are no whoopie pies in Paris, as far as I could see. And I looked.)

I left every single one of these pastries for someone else, I regret to say.

And I was too lazy and cheap health-conscious to wait in line for the renowned pastries 
and macarons at Ladurée, a jewel-box of a shop half a block from our hotel. 
I was positively Spartan!

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