The recent issue of Elle à Table reports that eating a croissant may be a healthier and a more diet-friendly alternative the breakfast tartine, a split baguette spread with butter and jam. A croissant ordinaire or croissant au beurre (made with pure butter) has 200 calories, and 25 grams of carbohydrates. A tartine composed of one-fifth of a baguette (about 2 ounces of bread) spread…

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The best bread in Paris isn’t made in any Parisian boulangerie, it’s made chez Christoph, the home of an affable German fellow who stunned me at a party a few months back when I savored more than my share of his excellent, hearty, homemade multi-grain bread. He told me that each Saturday, he bakes just two loaves of multi-grain bread to last him through the…

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A couple weeks ago, someone sent me a thoughtful gift from the US. A few days later, I get a bill from the delivery company; 42 euros for taxes (the gift was valued at 80 euros, making the tax about 55%.) So I head to the office of the delivery company, where they show me the official rules for gifts sent and received in France:…

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Rome, Italy

In Rome, I was happy to relax a bit in my friend’s apartment between eating and sightseeing. I had brought some books to read, but I was thrilled to discover on the bookshelf one book I’ve wanted to sit down and read for some time, but never got around to it…

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Knuckleheads

So I’m in the supermarket line with my basket of groceries. The man in front of me unloads his basket, then dumps his plastic basket on top of the neat stack of other shopping baskets. But instead of nesting it snugly within the other baskets, he just drops his basket on top, askew and cock-eyed, handles facing upward. So I need to put my basket…

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The famous Italian “30-Second Breakfast” of a espresso and a pastry, consumed quickly at the counter, before sprinting off on your Vespa, is one of the charms of Italy. The coffee is so good no matter where you go, from small corner caffès to trattorias and pizzerias, the end of a good meal is always punctuated with a shot of espresso. Each time I sip…

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“Can I get that, um, on the side?”

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The first time I ever had gelato was about 20 years ago when it seemed to be all the rage in the 80’s, that staggeringly over-the-top era of excess, when we all seemed to be fascinated by Studio 54, record-shopping at the Gap (anyone else remember that?), Bianca Jagger, ultra-suede, and Bill Blass-designed Lincoln Continentals. There was place around the corner from Chez Panisse in…

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At Giolitti, where I got my daily cono of chocolate gelato in Rome… Giolitti via Uffici del Vicaro, 40 Rome tel: 06 6991243

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