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Friday, November 5, 2010

Part VI Paris: Did I Mention the Wine and Cheese?

Part VI:  What Does One Eat in Paris?
Did I Mention the Wine and Cheese?
by Victoria Challancin

I've written about the food I ate on my last trip to Paris.  Many times.  I wrote about the Starters, the Main Dishes, the Desserts, the Snacks, the Ethnic Food...but I never mentioned the Wine and Cheese!

I mentioned in an earlier post that when in Paris I frequently choose a multi-course late lunch and then have wine with a cheese plate for dinner.  OK, folks.  This is vacation.  Really.  I don't eat like this at home.  Well, not every day.  But whether I buy cheeses in the market and take them to the park or even my room, or whether I eat them in a favorite café or brasserie, the bottom line is this:  no one in the world produces cheeses like the French.  No one.  And then there is the wine...You can order by the glass, by the pichet (pitcher), by the carafe, or by the bottle--there is an option to suit every taste and budget.  And a type of wine as well.  As for the cheese plates, generally they arrive with at least 3 types of cheese of differing flavors and textures, some crusty bread, a bit of luscious high-fat butter (incomparable--le beurre français...), and often a hint of lettuce and perhaps tomato.  Just enough of each ingredient.  Never too little, never too much.  Rather like the French themselves.

Stopping for an apéritif on the 13th-century street rue St. Andre des Arts in the 6th Arrondissement

Wine with dinner?  Always.

Ready and waiting...

A bottle of Côtes du Rhône with dinner.  Economical and delicious.

Purchase from a market...ready for a picnic

Can you read the prices?

Most of these cheeses are organic...from a co-op at a favorite street market...un marché volant

So many options...

A glass of the house white wine and a kir as apéritifs--not both for me, please.

A glass for every type of wine at a favorite café near my hotel in the Marais...

Is that tongs I see for eating escargots?  With wine, of course.

My French cousin-by-marriage taught us to appreciate this fruity, full-bodied Brouilly from the Beaujolais wine region...especially with cheese

Just one example of a typical, casual assiette de fromages...a cheese plate, perfect with a nice glass of wine.  Never too little; never too much. 

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