So, while I was in Paris, I had the chance to sample some of the delicacies that French cuisine is known for. Here were my impressions:
My first experience with escargot was on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Mexico five years ago. I pretty much almost threw up the minute the slimy gastropod hit my tongue. I like to think that my palette has gotten a little more refined since then and was excited to try these suckers out (pun intended).
The escargot was served warm with a garlic pesto sauce. The sauce was delicious and actually served as the main flavor for the dish. The snails had the texture of mushrooms and, as long as I didn’t think that I had actually stuffed a garden insect into my mouth, I actually enjoyed escargot this time around.
This was my first time trying these and as much as I told myself, “It’s just like chicken. It’s just like chicken!!”… it really wasn’t. The meat had a texture similar to chicken, but it was much drier. And there was a pronounced fishy taste that was unlike any fish I’ve ever had, so all I could think was that I was seriously eating a dead frog’s appendages. Plus, the aftermath doesn’t look all too pleasant either:
This was from the infamous La Duree patisserie on the Champs-Elysees (which sadly suffered a fire last week). It was the most perfect, delicious éclair I’ve ever had. The milk chocolate filling was sweet, rich and almost made me cry. The pate a choux pastry itself was soft to bite into, but also very buttery. The chocolate ganache on top was the pièce de résistance.
Beef Carpaccio with Rocket Greens and Feta Cheese
Most people would squirm at the thought of eating raw meat, but I absolutely loved this dish. The meat was lightly seasoned with pepper and herbs like basil, then topped with fresh spicy rocket salad and crumbly, salty feta cheese. The dish was drizzled with a good quality olive oil.
Of course, I couldn’t have a post about French cuisine without mentioning champagne. Did you know that the Champagne region of France actually has a trademark on the use of the word “Champagne”? Only real Champagne grapes get turned into Champagne. Anything else is called “sparkling wine.”
There’s really nothing bad you can say about French champagne. It’s refreshing, bubbly and wonderful!