Anyone remember that episode from Dexter’s Lab where all he can say is “Omle du fromage”? Always cracks me up!
Anyway, the reason it came to memory was that my next few posts are going to be about French food!
Friends Anjuly, Shuli and I took off to Paris for a few days last week. Now I know it sounds really rosy and beutifool and romantic, but let me straightway that if you were caught in that hellish blizzard for three days and had to bear the wrath of Easyjet’s management, then my friend, a dreamy holiday can suddenly turn into a hellish refugee experience that makes you feel like Tom Hanks in ‘The Terminal’. (Plus my wallet got stolen in the metro. Eeek!)
But there were certain things that did salvage the trip, and for me, they were mostly connected with food! We didn’t have a big budget being students and all, so we used to spend on an average about 15 to 20 Euro per person per meal. Not bad, right?
So this first entry is about Crepes, since they’re among my favourite type of food. I had previously tried them in Mumbai and in Osaka, but never the real thing in its most authentic form. So this was really exciting!
We’d spent the day working up an appetite walking up and down the Louvre and then walking along the Seine, which was gorgeous by the way. A friend of Shuli’s, a resident of Paris suggested a “small green cafe with a lamp outside” in the island of Ile Saint Louis.
We made our way there with rumbling stomachs and freezing to death only to find that there was more than one small green cafe with a lamp outside!! So we quickly did our ini-mini-mynie-mos and picked one at random! The thing is, I would tell you what the name of the place was, except I don’t have their card anymore because my WALLET GOT STOLEN!
The Crepes! Ah those wonderful silken fluffy thingies! SO light and SO delicious! Our first round was of savory crepes. I believe I ordered the “Complete” but without the egg. So basically, it had Ham, Cheese and home-style sauteed Mushrooms with Salad on the side. Now, a thing about savory crepes (crêpes salées) – they are made from a buckwheat flour which make them look dark brown as opposed to than the sweet crepes(crêpes sucrées) made of wheat flour which make them look creamish white. Anjuly ordered the same thing but with egg and Shuli ordered one with just Mushrooms and Cheese, no Tomato.
Traditionally, savory crepes are accompanied by cider to balance the salty with the sweet on your palate. So who said we’d be left far behind?
After demolishing the savory ones, we moved on to Dessert crepe!! Yay!
That night as we were bragging about our exploits to a particular Parisian, friend of a friend, he suggested that if we really wanted to show our respect, we’d go simple rather than fancy shmancy. That meant only one thing : Crepe with Sugar. Only.We could add some lemon if we wanted. Apparently it tasted divine.
So the next morning, feeling all French approved, I asked the friendly waiter of the cafe beside our hostel to get me a Crepe Sucrees, with lemon.
“With lemon, s’il vous plait.”
Here he tried very hard to stop his face from contorting into a frown. I shot a look at Shuli.
“Am I not doing this right?”
The waiter smiled his patronising smile and said, “Whatever you want.”
And then he got us some lemon. A whole lemon.
“I guess its just a matter of taste,” said Shuli, trying to take the edge off our miserable attempt at being French.
French or not, it was great! Being a sucker for the sweet-and-sour combination, I had a rocking breakfast.
One last thing about Crepes. I never really understood the full extent of Nutella’s popularity and presence as an accompaniment to crepes until I went to Paris. I always thought it was one of those things that would never happen in Food mecca. Turns out, it does!