October 2010


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I hate to kill everyone’s Paris fantasy but there’s something I have to say.

The food here is mediocre. French food here is good. Cous cous is good. Eat those things, by all means.

But in terms of Japanese, Korean, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese — all the things I crave on a day to day basis — it’s a don’t. These are things that will have to wait when I go home for the holidays. But a warning to you, Reader: Don’t waste your precious calories/depressed dollars on these foods when you’re in Paris (and people do, just check out any Paris food board).

I’m warning you.

It’s terrible, it’s an outrage, it’s a mockery to people who know better than to eat soggy ramen, boring pho broth, naan with Laughing Cow cheese stuffed in it. I once read someone’s post on a food board how Japanese and Chinese food were just a “cheap option for Parisians” which threw me into a rage for days.

If the French are totally condescending about the way non-French people butcher their language, then I can say that they mess up a lot of good food, even the simplest things — like guacamole, anyone??!!!

My friend just got fed up with this food travesty and inspired by this post, decided to make his own Shanghainese shengjian bao, from hand-making the dough to boiling down pig’s feet to get the gelatin for that tiny bit of soupiness. Me being me, I helped out with the construction and eating parts of the project.

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If I were living in one of those hunter/gatherer societies, I think I would have starved to death.

Case in point: I went mushroom hunting last week and I sucked at it. I wanted to be a natural, thinking that suddenly being in nature would make my senses super focused, that I would be the master of scanning the land for mushrooms and tracking all the most edible, delicious mushrooms in the French forest.

I did find lots of mushrooms, but they were all the wrong ones. Like this one for example. I loved this mushroom, it’s so adorable. I would have liked to take it home, shellac it and put it on my bookshelf.

Apparently this is the one that killed Snow White or however the story goes. Even touching one of these is not a good idea.

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I’m not complaining, because as you can see, my life is pretty sweet, but still stress-inducing at times. To cope, my near-daily dose of macaron pistache framboise.