20 September 2018

French toasts

Unless it's an Anglo eatery, in France, French Toast will appear in the dessert section of the menu as pain perdu and is not served as breakfast.

Above: bistrot versions of pain perdu as lunch and dinner desserts:

1) creatively rounded into a "cake" form with a layer of rhubarb inside
2) lusciously caramelized and served with vanilla ice cream
(click to enlarge)

Below: breakfast / brunch French toasts at Franco-Australian Hardware Société, Montmartre

- Where to find these and more in upcoming October newsletter -

18 September 2018

Café des fleurs #2

Just like its name, great place for a tête-à-tête. 

7 rue Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle 75002

private events, meetings, parties

17 September 2018

16 September 2018

Weighing in

Yesterday I happened to walk into my local butcher shop just as everyone was still reeling from the size of an American woman who had bought a chicken.

Knowing I am originally from the U.S. they asked me if it’s true that obesity in America has become epidemic, repeating something I’d heard from a group of French doctors I'd been training at The American Hospital of Paris: In Paris, as most hospitals don’t have scales to accommodate people of such proportions, they get sent to a veterinary clinic outside the city, in Asnières, where livestock gets weighed.

Obesity (not to be confused with being surpoids or overweight) in Paris, while it exists, is still a visual rarity, as noted with surprise over and over by Anglo visitors. French girls and women are depicted in illustrations as stick thin, which of course is not true nor is it the norm or even desired norm.

But fashion and beauty, synonymous with Paris, is a big part of French culture; most café terrace chairs face outwards so passersby can be seen - and appreciated. If one is to look up at the sky just about anywhere in Paris no electrical or telephone lines will be visible because, as a French architect friend explained, "It ruins the eye!”

I used to wonder if Mireille Guiliano's best-selling “French Women Don’t Get Fat” shouldn’t have been titled, “French Women Won’t Get Fat.” When I was growing up, my father, who never lost his French accent or sense of élégance, used to admonish all of us, “Take a little pride in your appearance!” This was in the U.S. where, later, because of small "French touches" to my wardrobe - a scarf here, a one-of-a-kind necklace there (I designed my own) - I unwittingly became a sort of "fashion trendsetter" on campus, particularly in grad school.

Concerning obesity, health is one consideration yes, but for now, at least, the French still like to quote Russian novelist and philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky at dinner parties: "Beauty will save the world."  

La beauté has been an integral part of French culture for centuries - besides fashion we see it in French art, architecture, gastronomy, design, not to mention French savoir-faire drives the world's luxury market - and is highly valued. BPJ


If you would like to schedule my cultural Talk, “A French Paradox: The French 'Non Diet' and The Art of Eating for Pleasure” for your group, company, or special occasion in Paris, I can be contacted via the ABOUT page on this blog.


15 September 2018

Blue cheese

...(made with lavender), orange cheese (hot peppers), red cheese (sun-dried tomatoes), speckled cheese (red peppers, hot peppers, pesto), more, at small charming food and crafts fair all weekend.

Below: stall of multi-flavored sausages and wines; outdoor cantine; fountain of Saint Sulpice

 Place Saint Sulpice 75006

14 September 2018

Salade de chèvre chaud

In France, it's the Prince of Salads. It's on almost every café-bistrot lunchtime menu and when done right, as it is here - still crisp green beans, cherry tomatoes, chives, smoked duck breast, walnuts, batavia lettuce, a light vinaigrette, all topped by a quality goat cheese grilled atop slices of country bread - it's one of life's greatest pleasures.