I have now been a month in Paris, the city of lights and Libraries.
In terms of culinary adventures, I have had many. A food hypocrite, I have tried my luck in restaurants that serve aloe vera on sticks and in others that serve bone marrow sprinkled with parsley.
I have learned that oatcakes do not exist in France, that a wonderful mecca called La Grande Epicerie does exist and that I may be able to digest wholegrain wheat so long as nobody informs me that I am in fact eating wheat and not a gluten-free variety. The question arises: can an intolerence be exagerated in the mind, with physical consequences? Further research shall be done.
To elaborate on roads wandered and discoveries made, I went to Voy Alimento two weekends ago with a collection of Swedes. Beside the Canal Saint-Martin, I was very exited to go after reading all about their super-food policy on their website http://www.sol-semilla.fr/content/7-decouvrez-notre-restaurant. I arrived at a tiny restaurant with five tables, two cats and a chef that looked like she had been preserved in amber. After a wait, we were seated. I ordered the raw plate while the others ordered the ‘plate du jour’. I feel that the concept of slow food may have been adopted as a lifestyle by this restaurant. Hunger is definitely a good method of guaranteeing appreciation.
I had cactus, an intense goji berry mixture,cashews, blueberries and the fabled aloe vera skewer. It may give you a better idea of the place if I tell you that I sipped at the salad dressing thinking it was a drink. Unfortunately the exercise was nullified slightly by the fact that I nibbled my friends left-overs, my guard down because of the hyper-holistic environment, only to realise after that I had eaten a lovely load of bulgur wheat. So sensitive diners beware; while all food served in Voy Alimento is ‘super’, not everything can be considered as ‘supper’. (heh).
The second dinner date I had was at a Lyonaise restaurant (food from Lyon) called La Tete de Goinfre. I braved ‘escargot’ and can say that if you like calimari or muscles you will like snails. Warning, they tend to come smothered in butter. I didn’t have the stomach to try bone marrow (served in the bone) but I smelled it as it was brought past me. That is the closest I shall ever come to eating bone marrow. I felt very manly eating in this restaurant. If you ever feel that you are lacking in iron, come sit at the check tables in La Tete de Goinfre; it’s in the air, oozing out of the dark wooden panelling and battered wine boxes.
I Found Asia.
That’s right, the entire continent. It was hiding at Olympiades, the end of line 14, in the 13th arrondissement. I went, I rejoiced in the fresh, cheap spices and herbs, the tasty rice noodles and canned lychees, I bought soft tofu for 1.30e and I left, admiring the korean barbeques and vietnamese restaurants as I went.
I Found Co-op.Winning at life and finding things.
Benefits of a Co-op: cheaper prices and a community feel, often with books and lifestyle additions on sale. If you are in Paris for a while I would recommend seeing if the co-op nearest you needs help a few days a week in exchange for lower prices or if you can join to avail of membership discounts.
How to find your nearest co-op: http://www.biocoop.fr/magasins-bio/trouver-ma-biocoop