The city of Torino (or Turin) is one of the great centers of chocolate. In the early part of 1500, a Italian named Emmanuel Philibert served hot chocolate to celebrate a victory over the French at Saint-Quentin. And in 1763, Al Bicerin opened it’s doors and began making a celebrated coffee-and-chocolate drink called il bavareisa. The hot drink was a soothing mixture of locally-produced chocolate,…

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Have you ever tasted passion fruit? If not, I suggest you do as soon as possible since now is their primary season in many parts of the world. If it’s your first taste of this amazing fruit, you’re in for a real treat. Slice one in half and spoon the seeds and pulp right into your mouth. That explosion of flavor is indescribable; a melange…

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As the shops re-do their store windows after les soldes, in their half-finished state, there’s always a little note (usually hand-written), saying something along the lines of, “Please excuse us, the window display is in the midst of réalisation” An elderly couple, parents of a friend who live across the street, invited me for dinner last night. Both are in their early 80’s and their…

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Garrett’s caramel corn for breakfast… Is that wrong? (Merci Louisa!)

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Some people love it, and others leave it. It’s White Chocolate, that controversial melange of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk (more on that later). Often there’s vanilla, or vanillin (a synthetic vanilla-like substance) added as well. Many people will say they don’t like white chocolate, citing a preference for the dark side. “It’s not chocolate!”, you’ll hear. Well, no, it’s not. It’s different. A different…

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I ain’t Mr. Organic. I’m one of those people where “local-trumps-organic”. And taste trumps everything. But I do generally prefer to buy from a local grower if possible, rather than from someone far away. (Unless it’s Target…then all bets are off!) That’s what I like about daily life in Paris, those things are still important. You need to know the boulanger, the butcher, the fromager,…

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A baker takes advantage of the sub-zero temperature of Paris… …where rooftops multi-task as cooling racks…

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Roquefort cheese is produced in the southwestern region of France and is designated as AOC, the first product ever to do so in 1925, and is a designation meant to denote quality and provenance from a certain region made in a certain manner. Cheese experts (and me) agree that Roquefort is one of the top, all-time-greatest cheeses in the world. And I was excited to…

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Americans often wonder how French people some know we’re American before we even say one word. It used to be our sneakers; they were the dead giveaway. Nowadays, wearing sneakers, or les baskets, is as French as carrying a baguette. The other way they can tell us-from-them is that Americans tend to smile. A lot. We are a rather happy tribe. And Americans tend to…

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