Friday, July 16, 2010

Paris Freakin' Rules

In the words of Top Chef contestant Andrew D'Ambrosi, "I have a culinary boner." Sorry mom, but seriously, today reaffirmed why Paris is the perfect city for me. I started out the day at the oldest kitchen equipment store in Paris, E.Dehillerin.

I read reviews on this place... pots, pans, and all things culinary filling wooden shelves in a two-level, one hundred and ninety year old shop. "Heaven for Cooks... A Cook's Paradise... Magnifique..." Yeah, no one really had to twist my arm to go there. Oh, and if that's not convincing enough... it's only a 20 minute walk from the apartment. I kept telling myself, "You don't have a job, you don't need to buy anything, you're just going to look... just look." I prepared myself mentally while I shoved 250 Euros in my wallet. We made the walk to the shop, which is so much closer than I imagined(very dangerous!!!), and even from the outside I started getting all tingly. A thin layer of dust covered the window displays, which seemed as if they had not changed since the 1800s. Even so, there were things I would still buy today... timeless, heirloom-quality cookware... Okay, wipe the drool from the window, Katrina. We walked inside, and within 2 seconds I already found something I wanted to buy. A French rolling pin, you know, the one with the tapered edges. I didn't necessarily need one, but I've wanted one for some time now. Good thing Quentin was there though, I could have easily spent my entire savings in that place.

Now, if you're the kind of person that buys your salt and pepper from Williams-Sonoma... you probably wouldn't be thrilled by this place. This is a real diamond in the rough... and to me it sparkles. There are no prices listed; everything is cataloged in a book, and if you want to know the price, you have to ask. A good thing for me, it made me less likely to buy. I made it out of there without buying anything, but with a mental list of what I want... for future reference.

After walking off the urge to run back in and buy up the whole store, we came across a small bookstore. There were tables outside with used books for sale, and as I flipped through some of them I realized, they were all food related. I didn't even look up to see what the bookstore was called...

Good thing I eventually did! I didn't need to know much French to know what this place was all about. Once again, Quentin had to hold me back from buying tons of books. I couldn't even read most of them(they were all in French), yet, I still wanted them all. I took a picture of the front so I could remember to come back(not that I would forget).

So if that wasn't enough to fulfill a day full of food-based wonderment, another little shop caught my eye. This time bushels of herbs and spices like you see in the spice markets of Morocco, Abu Dhabi(concepting with Tiff!), and Istanbul lined the walls of a narrow shop near Les Halles. I was in need of a few bay leaves for the adobo I wanted to make for dinner, so I wanted to see if they had some I could buy by the gram. Not only did they have bay leaves, but peppercorns of every color, paprika, star anise, cumin, dried figs, almonds, dates... I could go on and on. I bought a few bay leaves and some peppercorns and got out of there before I could do any more damage.

I went home so I could post this before dinner, since a few of you are food lovers as well. But, seeing that it's already 10:45pm here, and I haven't even started making dinner, I might save the adobo recipe for another day. Be that as it may, I still plan for it to be my first recipe post, as it's one of the few Filipino dishes I know how to make. Oh, and speaking of Filipinos, check out what I found at the grocery store the other day...

Freakin' awesome, right!?!? Who knew Paris could rule so much.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant!!! This time of year kitchen equipment is turning into an avalance. I'm certainly going to take your idea and run with it. Thank you.

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