Results tagged French from David Lebovitz

The name of one French dessert that people find confusing is crème caramel. Caramel-topped custards like this are called flan in Spanish, which confounds people who come to France and see a slice of flan in a bakery, that looks like (and is) a tart baked with a flour-stiffened custard, rather than the wobbly, caramel-topped custard that some of us are used to. To confuse people…

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Pierre Jancou is one of my favorite cooks in Paris. He does the seemingly simple task of taking raw elements – such as a pan of root vegetables – and making them taste better than you thought that vegetables could taste. I first came across his cooking when he was the chef/owner of Racines. I’d ordered a simple pasta Bolognese, which isn’t something I would usually order unless I was…

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My desert island food is corned beef. Hot, piled up on a sandwich, between two pieces of rye bread with spicy brown mustard smeared liberally inside, corned beef is the one food that I could find myself being happily enjoying if trapped on a desert island. (With unlimited ice-cold pitchers of tropical cocktails, of course.) I also want cole slaw and half-sour pickles, too. Although if truth…

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    Not long after I’d arrived in Paris, I met Jacques Genin. At the time, he was working out of a small workshop deep in the 15th arrondissement. Inside, he and his team of five or so worked in a very tight space: A large table where they worked sat in the center of the room, taking up probably 90% of the space, enrobing machines…

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I was never afraid of keys until I moved to Paris. People have all sorts of phobias, many that seem curious to others who don’t share them, such as auroraphobia, a fear of Northern lights and euphobia, which is a fear of good news. Papyrophobia is a fear of paper, and macrophobia is a fear of long waits. But I’ve never heard of a fear of keys,…

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It always amuses me to see recipe for things like French Chocolate Pancakes, French Crullers or a “French” Watermelon Cooler. I guess adding the word “French” makes things seem more appealing…unless they’re using French chocolate or French watermelon, then they have the right to call it that, and I’ll allow it. But I remember the look on his face when I was trying to explain…

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I once told a crowd that I was preparing a dessert for, that I don’t like sweet things. I didn’t realize it would get such a big laugh – so I guess I should have worked on the delivery of that line a little bit beforehand. But I had to explain that I like things on the tangy and tart side, which is what happens…

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Some say that the French can be very narrow in their definitions of things, which is why traditional French cuisine can be so simple, yet spectacular; because the classics don’t get messed with. Other cuisines, however, do get modified to local tastes, like les brochettes de bœuf-fromage, or beef skewers with cheese, at les sushis restaurants, popcorn available as salty or sweet (!?), and while…

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I don’t really have a favorite café in Paris. Contrary to what people think, few people that live in Paris will cross the city to stop into a casual place for a drink or something to eat. Most will go to a local spot where the servers know you, where you’ll get a friendly greeting because the staff recognizes you as a regular. Which is…

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