Let the record show that I do not claim to be a foodie. While I enjoy food a lot, want to experience classical preparations as well as exciting new flavors, and generally could talk about my taste buds for hours, I do not consider myself a true and genuine foodie. This is mostly the case because I am a picky eater. There. I’ve said it. I’m picky.
I could chalk my choosyness up to sophisticated taste, but that would be a misrepresentation. Mostly, I just don’t like a lot of things. I’m not a fan of olives, capers, most fish, or orange & chocolate together (although I enjoy them quite a lot separately). I don’t like lemon flavor unless it comes from real lemons or tarragon (a newly discovered dislike). I abhor well-done beef, Miracle Whip, and brown mustard. The list goes on and on.
Despite my limitations, though, I actually do savor most food and probably do so with more fervor than the average person. In view of this fact, when my family started planning a food-centric trip to Paris France, I was ecstatic. The occasion was my mom’s 60th birthday although we celebrated a few months early in order to accommodate everyone’s (read Tim’s) schedules. With an apartment reserved and tickets booked, it fell to my sister and I to do most of the activity planning.
Since we all agreed that we could focus on food while in the city of lights, I didn’t feel pressure to pack in every museum and tourist attraction. Instead, I searched for fantastic restaurants, some unusual experiences, and activities in Paris that were off the beaten path.
For this trip, I used research tools that were new in my trip-planning arsenal. I like to know what I’m getting into (I guess the pickyness isn’t limited to food), so I do my research. Most of my past attempts at travel agentry have centered around guidebooks and sites like TripAdvisor. While I did consult these, I was happy to find Twitter, blogs, and a cookbook or two to be most helpful.
If you’re planning a trip (especially a food-centric one) to Paris, you might also find these resources useful:
•Follow these people on Twitter: @davidlebovitz @clotildenet @HiddenKitchen @parisiensalon @GirlsGuideParis @ParisExperience Then follow who they talk to. I learned about restaurants, food trends, and must-go places from their tweets.
•Read these blogs: David Lebovitz, Chocolate & Zucchini, Girls’ Guide to Paris, Haven in Paris. Unlike the guidebooks we used, these blogs gave us info about upcoming events, whether or not a restaurant was still good, and obscure tidbits that would never be included in print.
•Buy the Streetwise Paris Map. It is a million times better than the other maps we had. It folds accordion style so you don’t have to open a giant paper in front of your face just to see where you are and it has an index of all the streets and metro stations in Paris (a must-have). It sounds kind of silly for me to be so enthusiastic about a map but really, it was amazing.
•Check out Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris Cookbook for info about classic food and cookware stores, Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris for restaurant reviews and recommendations by arondissment, and A to Z of French Food, French to English Dictionary of Culinary Terms (I know it’s spendy but I think absolutely worth it. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe David Lebovitz).
And lest you think we went to Paris and were too consumed by food to see any of the sites, here are a few photos from our trip.
The windows of Saint Chapelle
The Arc de Triomphe
The Tour de France
Tim at the Louvre
I’ll share my own edible adventures (and more about my discriminating taste) in tomorrow’s post.