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.

At first my folding skills were pretty lame, but the more I folded, the better each bao started to look, if not a bit rustic.

Yes, it was AOC delicious! Meaning that it was way better than anything one would find in Belleville. (I learned that the hard way.)

The only trouble about these things is when you bite into one and the burning hot soup squirts into your eye. (I learned that the hard way too.)