Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Have you ever seen something beautiful and just fallen in love? This happened to me earlier this week as I walked by the Galerie du Marais and saw the work of Antoinette Nicolini. I even bought the overpriced exhibition catalog (I'm fairly certain that with no prices advertised for the paintings, I cannot afford one).  They are just the sort of paintings that I really could look at for hours. Lots of love here.  (Seriously, you didn't read the title of this entry and think this was going to be mushy, right? Surely you know me a little.)

Of course, later the same day I found a different kind of love, one you will be less surprised to hear about coming from me. That's right, it was something delicious.  First of all, I have a new favorite French word - sucreterie - which basically means sweet shop.  And isn't this just the happiest looking place in the world?

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  All of this love happened during a day in which I walked from Place des Vosges all the way back to our apartment - a little more than 3 miles.  It was a beautiful day and I had nothing else to do, so why not walk? (Warning: the previous statement is a lie - what actually happened was that I was too stubborn and/or too lazy to figure out where the bus stop was in order to get home. So I just kept walking.)

I also decided that if I was going to walk such a long way, it was completely legit to eat sweets for lunch. First, I had a macaron from a new place, Pain de Sucre.  I went with the menthe fraiche avec chocolat - though I think they should rename it menthe fraiche avec chocolat surprise because the only chocolate is actually a little disc of chocolate hidden in the middle of the cookie.  They certainly take the idea of fresh mint seriously - it was good but I sometimes felt like I was eating an actual mint leaf. So if you want to convince yourself that a macaron is actually good for you, this might be one way to go.

Then I found a wonderful store called La Pistacherie.  As you may guess, they sell a lot of things involving pistachios. I don't actually like pistachios but I went in because it looked cute.  And that is when I saw this:

These are ice creams.  More like an ice cream center surrounded by a gelatinous sugary coating much like mochi.  Ignoring the fact that it was 55 degrees and raining, I thought ice cream sounded delightful.  I went with mango and it was a solid choice.  It seemed very French that instead of just handing you this ball of deliciousness, they actually cut it into bite-sized pieces and arm you with a toothpick and napkin.

Yum. I did pick up a few more treats on the way home - two different caramels from the candy store shown above (the second photo is their heavenly-looking caramel station, where they must have 15 varieties of caramel).  I went with salted caramel and caramel with fig. 

And because I feel that I owe it to those of you who read this blog to have more to say on the topic of les macarons, I also picked up a few more flavors from Pierre Herme.  Rose, chocolat, and asperge verte et huile des noisettes.  Rose was very...floral. Asperge verte was...weird. I didn't finish it. Chocolat was awesome. 

You may also notice on the right-hand side of my blog I have added a list titled "Les Macarons".  These are links to places where I have sampled their offerings, and some commentary (eg, don't bother going to Delmontel because they are really not that good).

Speaking of love, Baby Oil has developed an irrational and bizarre but clearly abiding love for one of the end tables in our apartment. Seriously. Every time I leave him alone for two minutes, I look over and he is basically making out with the table leg.  See below.  He also loves nectarines. See below.

What can I say. Everyone finds something to love in Paris.