Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why I Miss France: Reason #2

          Granted, there are some things France is missing out on: Dino chicken nuggets, Target, 24 hour breakfast restaurants, decent return policies, and Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, just to name a few. But if I had to name something that France got absolutely, 100% right, it would be pastries.

Nutella-stuff croissants. Only one of many good French, carb-themed inventions.

          Before France, I didn't know that eclairs could be filled with mousse so light and fluffy that it would make me want to cry in delight. I didn't know that macaroons could be soft, or that so many different pastries could come in pistachio flavor. I didn't even know what a praline was, much less how it could be cooked into a tart. (It's a nut covered in a sugary syrup, by the way.) And now that I know, I don't want to go back, though I do wish my waistline would recede a little.

A bakery in Lyon. On the far left, those would be raspberry-flavored macaroons stuffed with fresh raspberries.  SO GOOD.
A fruit tart from Lyon.
          That tart was from the bakery across the street from my apartment. You know, just the sort of run-of-the-mill patisserie that's on every street corner. The sort of thing you can take for granted when you live in the culinary capital of the world. Now, in California, I live next to a bunch of other houses, and a field. Nothing is within walking distance, and I cannot think of a single bakery closer than one an hour away in San Francisco.  

          Excuse me while I sigh wistfully and drool.

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