Results tagged poisson from David Lebovitz

The Vevey Market

vevey market

I was having a conversation a while back with someone who worked for an international hotel chain and she told me that their hotels in Europe don’t have alarm clocks in the rooms because Europeans – when they take their vacations – aren’t all that interested in keeping track of what time it is. We Americans, on the other hand, seem to have a need to know.

tiny potatoes rhubarbe

Last Tuesday morning I was invited to the market in Vevey to meet and shop with celebrated chef Stéphane Décotterd of Le Pont de Brent. I guess I’m now European because when my alarm went off at 5:45am, I didn’t really want to know what time it was either.

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The Barbès Market

fish radishes

Every once in a while there are contests in Paris to decide who makes the best croissant, a hot new restaurant list get published somewhere, or a market way on the other side of Paris that supposedly has great onions grown in the same soil where Louis the XIV once took a squat, becomes a “must visit”. It’s pretty encouraging to see and hear about new places, especially when it’s a young baker or chef getting some recognition for maintaining the high-quality of one of France’s emblematic pastries or breads. And often I add the restaurant to my hand-scribbled list in hopes of one day being able to say “I’ve been there!” (The jury is still out on those onions, though.)

strawberries at market

When I moved here years ago, I’d gladly cross the city to find and taste all these things. I remember one day tracking down what was known as the best croissant in Paris, as mentioned in an issue of The Art of Eating. At the urging of a visiting friend, we trekked out to some distant bakery in the far-away fourteenth arrondissement, only to find the baker closing up shop for his mid-day break. There seems to be a corollary around here: The longer you have to travel to get somewhere, the more likely it is to be closed when you get there.

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Sardine Pâté Recipe

sardine tail

If we Americans are good at anything, it’s shopping. It’s in our genes and we were simply born to shop. And we’re also good at getting deals. I don’t think many people pay full-price for anything anymore, and unless something is discounted, we won’t buy it.

When I moved to France, folks were amazed at my ability to search out le deal. I felt silly going into the local papeterie and buying 8 sheets of paper for €4, when I could get a whole ream at Office Depot for about the same price. Except no one told the French Office Depot team that Office Depot is supposed to be a discount store, and after I took Romain to one in New York, where everything was essentially free, he was shocked, and said, “Office Depot in Paris is the last place you go if you need something.”

pita chips

Nevertheless, I keep hearing about ‘recession-friendly’ prices and ‘budget-friendly’ budgets, and whatever. I’m a bit skeptical of the whole thing since someone in the states was telling me that they bought their new, jumbo flat-screen television online to save the tax, because they were trying to save some money. Um, and why are they buying a new jumbo flat-screen television then?

I guess I shouldn’t talk, though, because I’m a shopper, too.

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The Ones That Didn’t Get Away…

fish
another fish