Food & Beverages in Paris
When African Americans Came to Paris : AFAS 421
I recently took a study abroad class, African Americans In Paris, as a one unit credit to Paris. I traveled from November 20th to November 30th. The trip overall was extremely beneficial and an amazing cultural experience. Not only did I get to experience the beauty and adventures of Paris, I got to experience the history of the African American journey to Paris and the material I learned in class first hand. I am so unbelievably lucky and grateful to be a part of such an amazing experience, that would've not been possible without the vision my professor had for us. My words cannot fully explain how especially grateful I am for my professor, Dr. Bryan Carter, and his generosity as well as the friendships I made along the way in Paris. This is an experience that I will hold with me forever and be able to share with my friends and family.
While we were there we got to go to the Eiffel Tower, go on a boat tour, get a tour around little Africa, go to a fashion show, go on a food and wine tour, etc. I enjoyed every experience and place we went but my food and beverage experience in France was by far my favorite. Let me tell you a little more about it...
Part one: Food
On the first day of arrival, Dr. Carter took the class out for our first French meal. I ordered a mozzarella and tomato panini in French! It was a great first French experience!
In Paris, there are different cultural sections, based on location. Each section has their different food, environment, etc. We stayed in what is known as the "Latin section". Since we were living in the Latin section there was a lot of Spanish speakers, and ethic Latin foods. Although gyros were probably the most common street food (Gyro stands were almost as common as crepe stands in Paris!!). Gyro stands each had this tall circular structure of meat, and the chef would grind off the meat with what looked like an iron! They also put french fries in their gyros which I guess made it a little more French :p
Croque monsieurs are a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. They are special to France, and definitely one of my favorite meals! If you go to Paris, you have to try a croque monsieur!
Escargot is a platter of snails served as an appetizer. This is known as a delicacy in France. Since the snails are fishy and the texture is weird it is common to serve them with a buttery pesto sauce. I could not try them, because I am allergic to shellfish :( but I went with the other students to experience it, and it was so much fun!
Personally my favorite dessert in Paris was the gelato! It was so yummy and they even designed your gelato cone as a flower! It was also very common to eat it over nutella and a waffle. Nutella was probably the most common and popular item to add to any dessert in Paris. They were obsessed! Although macaroons are the traditional delicacy to France and extremely delicious. The come in many flavors too!
Food From the food & wine tour
While we were in Paris we went on a food and wine tour! This was one of my favorite activities we did in Paris. The first picture is of the cheeses and meats we tried for an appetizer. We also tried some of the best French bread in all of France, that even won awards in the years past! Julia and John Paul hosted our tour and educated us on the freshness of everything in Paris; for example the French leave the leaves on their oranges to show they picked them and are selling them while they are still fresh! For our main course we had the option of beef cheek, duck, fish, chicken and a salad with fried brie cheese. I chose the salad and it was by far the best meal of my life! After our main course we even had dessert with sweet rolls and made-lines! Everything was absolutely amazing :) but I was so full I was rolling out of the last restaurant!
Part Two: Beverages
What really surprised me about Paris was the amount of Starbucks on the streets. They were everywhere! They are just as common in Paris as they are in America but they do have some different drinks. I hate to say it, but we did go everyday (and they got our names wrong every time)!
Angelina's is a small cafe in Paris that is known for their pastries and hot chocolate! Their hot chocolate was so good I had to buy some of my own and bring it back! Although it was extremely rich it was absolutely delicious. MUST try if you go to Paris!
Hot wine is exactly what it sounds like, wine that is hot! I've never heard of such a thing before this, and it didn't sound very good at first, but it actually is amazing (especially when your cold!). They serve it most commonly at the Christmas market by the Eiffel Tower.
Champagne on top of the Eiffel tower
Champagne (the drink) came from (the providence) Champagne, where it got its name. The champagne is Paris was amazing, regardless if it was 3 or 40 euros! One great experience we had was drinking champagne on top of the Eiffel Tower!
On Thanksgiving we prepared a Thanksgiving meal with the students from University of Arizona and the students from Paris. Everyone either helped prepared a dish or brought something. One student from Paris brought a liquor that was from Serbia! It was extremely strong, it could make someone drunk just from smelling it! It kind of tasted like a lemonade favor, but it was nothing like I have ever tasted before.
My favorite drink to order at the bars were apple mojitos! Every time I got one, I was never disappointed although all the drinks were delicious. In Paris they really enjoy sweet drinks and one of the Paris students told me it is not uncommon for guys and girls to drink these drinks regularly, which I don't think is as common in America. Another cool experience and possibly one of my favorites was when we went out the first night. Let me tell you... People in Paris party hard... They did things I have never seen before, they put sparklers in drinks, lit the bar on fire and when an alarm went off they told us to "go crazy" and break our glasses on the floor and dance around! It was nuts!
Wine from the Food & wine tour
As well as food, we also tried many different wines on our food and wine tour that Julia and John Paul hosted. John Paul told us there are two different kinds of wines in France, but table wine is the most common wine to drink. Table wine is cheaper but since the French like to drink wine with every meal it is more convenient. He also told us that the average price French pay for wine is 3 euros! This is because any wine in France is delicious and that was definitely proven throughout this tour. The wine that stuck out to me was the first one we drank called "isa", it was a red wine and I think since I don't normally care for red wine I was especially amazing because I loved it and even bought a bottle to bring home!