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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It’s perhaps not much of a secret anymore that some of the best places to eat in Paris are the wine bars. Unlike some of the ‘wine bars’ in the US (where that glass of oaky California Chardonnay will run you $14…not including tax and tip), Paris’ wine bars are gathering places, where people might stop in the morning after the market for a friendly…

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Last year I read about a pastry chef-turned-candymaker in Los Angeles. She was becoming known around those parts for her tender caramels, blended with wisps of sel de mer (sea salt.) Inspired by the amazing CBS, caramel-beurre-salé caramels produced by the master himself, Henri LeRoux, Christine Moore’s caramels are indeed the best I’ve had in the US. A friend drove me out to the Silverlake…

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Winter Fruits

Pears Good pears are in danger of disappearing. The best-tasting varieties (Comice, Bartlett, and French Butter) become easily bruised as they ripen, so large stores are reluctant to carry them. So what can you do? Buy them when you see them. Don’t be afraid to purchase rock-hard pears of these varieties: unlike most other fruits, pears don’t ripen well on the tree and should be…

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There’s always much debate over when it’s okay to telephone someone at home. How late is too later? How early is okay to call? Are they friends, or family? When I moved to Paris, a friend told me, “Never call anyone before noon on Sunday.” I made that mistake once, and that was all it took. So I’m sound asleep at 8am this Saturday morning…

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