LESSONS FROM DAY 1 IN PARIS


Eight inches shorter than me, half my dress size and brimming with a fire pistol temper, she is my cousin from Paris. When my mom suggested that I stay with my cousin on my first days in the city, I had no idea what I was getting into. Maly is the feisty pint-sized version of me, who took charge of guiding me through France's largest city. Don't let that sweet photo of her fool you, she is a feisty one!

Before we set out for our adventure in Paris, Maly gave me a couple of ground rules, of which I only remember one: if someone pushes you, you push them back harder. And then she taught me a couple of words that would be useful for navigating through the city, let's just say they were quite naughty. I  don't think this is what my mom had in mind when she suggested I visit my cousin.


Since I only had a day in Paris, we hit several of tourist spots including l'Arc de Triomphe on the western end of the Champs-Élysées, and the Galeries Lafayette, which is a ten story department store in the 9th arrondissement.


The dome-shaped architecture of the building is stunning with ornate gold flowers pinning the palatial arches and balconies of Galerie Lafayette.


Even more magnificent is the intricate detail of the large stained glass dome window overhead. I probably could have spent the entire day studying the structure of the building.


My favorite part of the Galeries Lafayette was the Lafayette Gourmet, one of the fanciest grocery stores in Paris. Photos are not permitted, but as you know I always try my best to share my experiences with my well-loved readers. So I took a risk by surreptitiously snapping photos from my pocket. 

It's such a shame that photos aren't permitted, nearly every food item was so beautiful that I personally would have been hesitant to eat it. Above are two green tea flavored desserts made by Sadaharu AOKI. The first one looks so velvety that you can almost feel the plush surface from the picture.  The second is Biscuit Joconde, which features layers of a rich green tea pastry cream, stacked with thin layers of chocolate. 


As you can probably guess from these photos, Sadaharu Aoki is an incredibly talented pastry chef producing gorgeous pieces that are as divine to devour as they are to admire.
 

If beautiful pastries did not whet your appetite, perhaps the foie gras and caviar counter will. With so many options, how can one choose?

 
 
  
 

You may have seen caviar before, but have you seen snail caviar? No? This was my first time too! The gentleman behind the counter described snail eggs as having delicate flavors that burst with surprising sensation in your mouth. 


It looks more like luxurious jewelry than food. Quite precious indeed at $109/oz. It must be an impressive experience to try, but I'll wait for a day when someone gives me a good recipe.

  
 
 
 I think I could live on cheese and bread for the rest of my life!

And of course black truffles! This was the main purpose of my journey to France. I will be sharing much more in future posts about the amazing lessons I have learned on truffles. Stay tuned!

  

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65 comments:

Joanne said...

I am absolutely certain I could live on bread and cheese for the rest of my life. Maybe there was a mix-up at birth and i'm actually French. Not Italian. Hmmmm. I'm going to investigate this.

All of those little pastries look amazing! I SO want to go to France now!

HippieMom said...

Ah!Ah! You took pics @Lafayette Gourmet!! Welcome Back! Great to hear from you.

XoXo

Margot said...

Oh how I miss France already! I cannot wait to read the rest of your posts about your trip. The pictures (EVEN FROM YOUR POCKET) are breath-taking. It's such a beautiful city. And oh, how they take pride in their food!

Sook said...

Looks like you had fun! Nice!

Ravenous Couple said...

wow! great post to start off your France trip with some food espionage..you go Christine! :)

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I love the Paris photos! How great that you have a local tour guide! I miss Paris...

Angie's Recipes said...

The petit fours are so graciously arranged...I bet you had some great time in Paris!

high low said...

Love the City of Lights! Welcome Back!!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Welcome back! The photos look amazing, and good work on those undercover shots - this way we all get a taste!

Juliana said...

Oh! Great pictures, and what a torture not be able to taste them :-)

The Diva on a Diet said...

~happy sigh~ I just love Paris. Looks like you made wonderful use of your day. Love the illicit "pocket shots" ... tres magnifique!

And this: "if someone pushes you, you push them back harder" ... sounds just like New York, you should feel right at home! LOL

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

YAY - you saw the dome and made it to Layfayette Gourmet!!! LOVE the undercover shots - you did a great job! Last time I tried, I got stopped 2 pictures in and was too afraid to try again..

Cant wait to read about the rest of your trip!

Miss Mitten said...

I want to try everything you posted! You look like you are having such a great experience there. Looking forward to everything else you will be sharing!

Janice said...

What a fabulous trip so far, I'm loving your pictures and enjoying your adventures.

Bob said...

Wow, I want to go. Wicked bad. Glad you're having a good time!

Lori Lynn said...

Oh Christine! Such beautiful photos. Thanks for the virtual vacation. I look forward to seeing more of your trip.

Intrigued by snail caviar!
LL

Kitchen M said...

Wow... I've never seen or heard of snail caviar. It looks so beautiful! though I'm not sure if I want to eat it. LOL

So, did you try Mr. Aoki's cake? I'm so jealous!!

OysterCulture said...

Oh, what fun! That looks like a grand adventure!

5 Star Foodie said...

Thank you so much for this fabulous virtual tour! The pastries and the caviar look absolutely fantastic! I really hope to go to Paris this summer!

Kim said...

What a fabulous experience! I really enjoyed all of those wonderful pictures. Each and every picture helps me to visualize a trip to Paris! Have a wonderful time and a safe trip!

Bellini Valli said...

What a way to spend a day...I can't wait to hear about your truffle adventure and covet shopping in foodie stores in Paris.

Pam said...

OMG...Such beautiful photo's....have fun!

xoxo

Esme said...

Welcome home-looks like you had fun.

3 hungry tummies said...

The photos look great despite being taken without permission :) I like the sound of the snail caviar! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

KennyT said...

Hahaha, you could still take beautiful photos!!! Good girl! Thanks for taking the risk for us!

El said...

It looks like you're having a blast. Eat and Enjoy...and don't get caught by the food photo police!

Emily said...

Paris looks amazing! I would love to visit someday. Love seeing all the beautiful food photos and can't wait to hear more about your trip!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow she sounds like fun, enjoy yourself girlie i am sure u will love love love Paris

Simply Mel said...

I'm so jealous if I am right in thinking you went to the Provence Culinary Getaway - TRUFFLES!

Divina Pe said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing all the goodies. A visit to Paris is a must one day.

Mari said...

I am glad your having a wonderful time. Beautiful pictures, delicious desserts! May you continue with joy and lots of blessings.

Penny said...

You got back just in time for a snow storm. Love your pictures and I'm looking forward to more. Welcome back. We missed you.

kat said...

Jealous! I got busted taking photos in the food halls at Harrods in London, its such a shame as it was all so beautiful

Kris said...

It all looks so wonderful. Everytime I go to Paris it is like the first time!!

Gulmohar said...

lol...but still you managed to take wonderful pics...enjoy the rest of your stay (with your cousin !)..take care

A Year on the Grill said...

More more more

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Wow - you have the best life!

Dolce said...

If you have to go for foie gras, the best is "foie gras d'oie" (goose foie gras), and avoid "bloc" to go for "entier", else "au torchon". These are the best quality :)

Lovely pics. God I am so jealous right now!!

Dolce said...

If you have to go for foie gras, the best is "foie gras d'oie" (goose foie gras), and avoid "bloc" to go for "entier", else "au torchon". These are the best quality :)

Lovely pics. God I am so jealous right now!!

Bridgett said...

Oh wow, it looks like absolute heaven there and your cousin would be a blast to hang out with! I am glad you are enjoying such a gorgeous city.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I knew you would have a great time and bring back fabulous pictures. Welcome home.
Sam

Danielle said...

your photos are breath taking! and you cousin sounds like a hoot!!! glad you had a great time :)

Megan said...

I am drooling over these pictures! I can't believe you took them from your pocket... but I'm so glad you did! Those pastries are beautiful... and oh, that foie gras!

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

you are making me miss paris so much with these pictures! i was just there in october on my honeymoon and i was totally smitten with the city. enjoy your stay over there!!

Mimi said...

Great pocket pictures! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.
Mimi

Debinhawaii said...

OK, how is it that photos snapped from your pocket look like professional shots?! Amazing! I think I could live and die at that store. ;-) Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip!

Patty said...

Brilliant photography! And from your pocket, even! Your photos as always are gorgeous and are fully transplanting me to Paris. I can't wait to go and have been counting down the days until I get to go. Snail eggs??? Amazing. Simply amazing. I had no idea that they would be considered a delicacy, so I've certainly learned something new from your post (as usual). Thanks again for sharing and yes! Your cousin does look very sweet!

lululu said...

maly's photo might be a sweet one, but i can look into her eyes and see confidence, just like yours!
it's been many years since my last visit to paris. it was a rush one day trip. the weather was gloomy, and i hd a bad experience with the local parisans there. but it doesnt stop me thinking to go there again. those nice pictures are perfect reminders.

nancy at goodfoodmatters said...

Wow, you did so much in Paris in one day. Everything in Paris is cast in gold color, it's how I remember the city.

Snail caviar is a new one on me---my, my---looks like little pearls!

Enjoy all your moments in France.

Katy ~ said...

Breathtaking food art. Where would one begin. Thank you for sharing such temptation!

Sara said...

So glad you're back! Looks like an amazing trip! Snail caviar? I had no idea! Can't wait to hear about the truffles. And now I want to go visit Maly, she sounds like my kind of girl!

Pierce said...

Bread and cheese, and you are in Paris...pure heaven!

Velva said...

Paris just leaves me breathless. Looks like you and your cousin navigated the city of Paris just fine :-)
The photos are beautiful. I love the idea that you were snapping photos in secret-proof that you are a foodie. :-)
I am really looking forward to your posts about your truffe experience.

Glad you are back!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Love all the beautiful food shots. Looks like your fiesty little cousin led you in the right direction. The French are very rude...I am French and I detest that about us.

Why o why did I think you were in SF! Diva on a Diet and I had dinner last night, I would have loved to have met you too if you were free.

Julia said...

O. M. Double G. So amazing. Can't wait to hear more! Welcome back, but I'm sure you'd have rather stayed a little longer!

Skip to Malou said...

Those naughty fingers won't stop snapping pictures huh!.. I would be giggling if I were there with you haha... That's how I get caught all the time...
But even then, these undercover pictures are still as lovely..I love the virtual tour... and I want to meet your feisty cousin Maly when I go to Paris... if and when!

Karyne said...

Great pictures! Thank you!

Tricia said...

Welcome home! And what gorgeous photos! You are one lucky woman to have a cousin-doppelganger living in one of the BEST cities in the world, glad you had a fantastic time!

my spatula said...

oh, how i miss paris!! love all your photos and thank you for bringing back so many fond memories!

Stephanie Savors the Moment said...

How cool you have a cousin in Paris to show you around. Those food photos are fabulous! Thanks for risking it - can't wait to hear about the rest of you trip:)

Carolyn Jung said...

You took those food shots from your pocket? They're incredible looking. I think you have a future as a spy. heehee

www.dhaleb.com said...

I love Galeries Lafayette, especially their delicious gourmet section! When my bf would be stuck in conferences all day, I would just wander around this store listlessly. This and Le Printemps across the street :)

Very sneaky sneaky of you to snap some wonderful photos from your pocket! You're quite the camera ninja!

Victor said...

Everything looks so good. I dream of one day to visit Paris.

Dropped by to wish you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

Have a great time in Paris and truffle trailing.

Jamie said...

You have just made me miss Paris and Galeries Lafayette. It's been ages since I've been there and now you have me drooling for Lafayette Gourmet.

Diana Bauman said...

How wonderful, you were able to show me the l'Arc de Triomphe as well ;) Loved the pics at Lafayette Gourmet, the pastries look marvelous.