November 28, 2012
On a recent Culturefish “Must Do” walking tour around the center of Paris, our guide Pierre enthusiastically described a major turning point of Parisian culture. During the Age of Enlightenment, the city was a hotbed of thinkers and politicians who were getting hyped up on a new drug being served around town: coffee!
The famous Café Procope, Paris’ first café, was serving this new, caffeinated beverage to the likes of Voltaire – rumored to have consumed 40 cups of coffee a day – among a star-studded cast of other enlightened historical figures, including Benjamin Franklin, Rousseau, Diderot, and Robespierre. Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »
September 28, 2012
As I parked my Velib on a rare sunny afternoon in Paris, just steps from the Canal St Martin, I could already tell I was in for a treat. I made my way up charming rue de la Grange aux Belles to the narrow storefront of Ten Belles, snuggled next to a lush, overgrown plant store (le Bleuet Coquelicot). I highly suggest a peek inside… adorable!
Ten Belles, this brand new Paris coffee house is a collaboration of the team behind Le Bal Café and Frogfight organizer, and well known Paris barrista, Thomas Lehoux. It’s intimate ambiance and focus on refined and meticulously cared for coffee make it the perfect stop for coffee enthusiasts, even attracting other known Paris baristas on their days off. Ten Belles served up one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had in Paris, and the charming baristas make it all the sweeter. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 12 Comments »
July 12, 2012
Returning home to New York hit me with the biggest culture shock I’ve ever felt. Now, I’m no stranger to culture shock. My first notable quake occurred when I moved to Paris at the age of 18 with just a handful of French words at my disposal (croissant, café, cigarette…).
The move hit pretty high on the Richter scale, but eventually I assimilated as best I could, and my American friends who came to visit told me I seemed “French.” (For the record, the French always said I seemed “Swedish.”) Continue Reading »
Posted in Parisian Living | 19 Comments »
September 9, 2011
Coffee and focaccia – Breakfast in Genoa
In Italy, coffee is delicious, quick, and to the point.
You arrive, you order, you drink, you go. Now, your day can start or your afternoon can continue.
Your barrista probably knows your name, the name of first born child, where you live and, most importantly, what kind of coffee you want and how you want it.
Small and quick, the morning coffee fix
Your coffee will be served velocemente…. you will stand at the bar, you will chat about the weather, your vacation, your work, your kids, your partner, your pet …. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Italy tips & suggestions | 13 Comments »
August 31, 2010
In Part 1 of this series, Erica Berman shared her most telling anecdotes about the difference between life in France and life in Italy. While most of us can only envy the lifestyle that makes intimate knowledge of those details a part of daily life, Erica’s insight into the particularities of French and Italian culture helps us live the dream. In part two, she moves beyond general life to get to the juicy stuff : how the natives operate.
Photos Erica Berman – Seafood Pasta in Italy this summer
Differences between the French and the Italians…
- Nothing is a problem for the Italians…everything is a problem for the French. I think there are numerous posts to be written on this thought… a suivre!
- Italians miss pasta and coffee when away from their beloved Italy. The French are hands down pining for bread and cheese when far from home.
Croissants in Paris
- The French do not ask personal questions. Italians ask many. The French find asking questions a sign of indiscretion, and they take the utmost pride in being discreet, sometimes to the point of ridiculous (when applying for a job they may not feel comfortable asking the salary).
- The Italians are curious and their inquiring minds want to know. In elevators in Italy I have had personal conversations on where I’m from and why I’m in Italy with people I have never seen before and will probably never see again. In France a bonsoir or bonjour is possibly all the chatting you will get after years of being neighbors.
- Italians remember you after seeing you once. The French might, of course, remember you, I am convinced they do, but will do their very best to pretend that they have never seen you before (my corner bakery in Montmartre is in the running for longest possible non recognition of a regular customer – almost 18 years. The bread is so amazing and their complete neutrality so fascinating, I keep on going).
Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Parisian Living, Travel | 49 Comments »
April 16, 2010
Taking photos of the Seine and Sacre Coeur are a must when visiting Paris, but my camera is filled with images of gorgeous meal after gorgeous meal, thousands of food photos bursting with freshness, color and deliciousness. As my time in Paris winds down – I leave later this week! – I promise to share every last morsel, starting with part one below that originally appeared on my food site, Eat Boutique. Bon appetit! -Maggie
Let’s be honest. Paris may be a foodie mecca, but all that amazing food isn’t a breeze to find. You have to research, ask the locals and scout out those hidden gems (far away from all the tourists). I did a lot of those aforementioned tasks and have produced my first “Paris Foods You Must Eat” list. Expect many more parts to come, but give me some time. I’ve got about two thousand photos to sort through, and many more neighborhoods to explore before I sleep, err, leave!
Growing up along the East Coast, I thought I had had the best seafood in the world. Um, that was until I tasted the scallops and oysters in Paris. Both are far sweeter here, with a lot more character and taste. The above scallops were caramelized and served on a beautiful plate with spring asparagus, carrots, beets and mache at one of my favorite restaurants in Montmartre called Le Miroir (94, rue des Martyrs, 18ème. Tel: 01 46 06 50 73. Metro: Abbesses or Pigalle.) If they are serving scallops the day you dine there, order them. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 9 Comments »
May 2, 2009
Photo Erica Berman
Despite my recent tirade and blog post ranting about the poor quality of coffee in France, I am pleased to announce that I recently had a fabulous cup of coffee in Paris. It was a coffee surprisingly worthy of any I have had in Italy, right in the heart of the Marais! Last Saturday after being jostled about in the Merci boutique (had to check it out – and found it overrated, overpriced, and overcrowded even if for a good cause, but lovely!) my friend Francoise and I made our way to the Marais and ended up at Pozzetto gelateria on rue du Roi de Sicile.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 5 Comments »
April 9, 2009
Photograph: Alain Ollier
Considering how much coffee Parisians drink, it’s high time they started drinking it right. And now they can, thanks to La Caféothèque, a cozy coffee sanctuary located in the 4th arrondissement. Owned by Gloria Montenegro Chirouze, the former Guatemalan ambassador to France, La Caféothèque combines a mellow atmosphere with a sophisticated and principled approach to importing, roasting, and consuming coffee.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Food | 7 Comments »