Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh Happy Day

In the aftermath of the pie episode, I needed some cheering up. And baking sheets.  So I went to my trusty pal David Lebovitz (trusty with the exception of the whole pimandes thing) and my other go-to source, Posted in Paris.

With a few places on my list to check out, I began my day with some good wandering.  My wandering skills are really getting honed here in Paris.  I got off the bus here.

Not too shabby for starting a good wander. First happy surprise of the day was when I found Angelina, famous tea shop/patisserie in the 1st (more on Angelina here).

Coco Chanel used to frequent this place. So if its good enough for Coco, sign me up. What they are quite famous for is their hot chocolate, but since it was a warm day and I didn't really want to sit by myself, I opted to simply grab two macarons...and a chocolate bar.  Coffee and Mont Blanc were the two flavors I tried - I have no idea what Mont Blanc is, perhaps something nutty. Both very good, coffee was delicious in particular.

Naturally, after visiting a 100-year-old French patisserie, I thought it would be appropriate to find the Japanese supermarket, K-Mart. It helped that it was just a few blocks away.  K-Mart is the best smelling market I have ever been in.  I believe the smell was emanating from whatever large, delicious concoction was being made here:

Best discovery at K-Mart was the tofu selection, which is much, much, worlds-apart-better than the weird French tofu you can get at Carrefour. Around the corner from K-Mart was another extremely old umbrella store (previous weakness for this noted here).  This was was even older than the other!  In particular I liked the photocopy of an announcement from 1769 saying something about the store (listen, it was in French, ok?).

But it was time to get down to business.  I made way down Rue Etienne Marcel to Rue Montmartre, at what I now think of as Paris' happiest intersection - where Etienne Marcel meets Rue Montmartre and Rue Tiquetonne (which is really fun to say out loud. Try it. Right now. Tiquetonne. Tiquetonne.).  Here's why its so happy.

On one corner you have La Bovida. This is a kitchen-wares/cooking/baking store that...wait for it...has actually affordable items. I know, right?  I left with a new bread knife (we are doing a lot of baguette cutting), and a glass carafe with a lid that we are now using to pour our milk-in-a-box into (previously, milk would leak out from the stupid hole you have to cut in the box, and then there would be milk all over the fridge - gross). La Bovida is also awesome because it really has a lot of things for professionals - including smocks, and chef shoes.  And because in France you might actually need a combination cheese/yogurt maker:
Did you know that to make yogurt, you actually start with yogurt? I know, seems silly. In that case, why not just buy the yogurt to begin with!

Just across the street from La Bovida, you have Mora.  Again, a store really for professionals, with more tart pans and chocolate molds than you would think possible.  For instance, are you looking to make a chocolate Eiffel Tower? Look no further.

Chocolate duckies?  Oh, bien sur.

In any event, I left with two small baking pans that fit in my oven. Yes! Set point to the expat. Take that, French oven.
See, it's old.

The last piece of the happy, happy intersection is G. Detou.  This was on my David Lebovitz list, and just to paraphrase his explanation about the name - it's a play on words. G Detou pronounced in French is "jay de-too", which also means "I have everything".  And basically, they have everything when it comes to super random cooking and baking products.  Like 29 kinds of mustard:

And very large bags of chocolate.

I managed to leave the store with only a jar of caramel sauce, a box of very pretty golden yellow tiny chocolates, and two chocolate bars.  But don't forget that I also bought a bar at Angelina (right, I did forget when I bought the others).  I loosely used the justification that we were "entertaining" that evening - family friends from Ohio were coming over before taking us to dinner.  You know, since they were in our apartment for all of 45 minutes.  And I didn't even put out most of the things I bought.
My goodies
Bet you wish we were entertaining you right now. Now I just need a good excuse to eat it all. Like the French vanilla ice cream I bought explicitly for the purpose of eating underneath a generous helping of caramel....