Part of what is just so great about living in Lyon is the abundance of good, fresh, and quality foods that you’re able to find at grocery stores and restaurants. And since yesterday was my 22nd birthday, I am dedicating this post to some of the stuff that I’ve been eating! There are 9 pictures below, click to see larger images. See the bottom of the post for descriptions!
1, 2, and 3 – A few days ago when I went up to the old Roman Ruins at Minimes I decided to have a late brunch, by which I mean brunch at 3 pm. I stumbled across this little cafe where I saw people eating lots of cakes and ice cream and goodies so I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with a place like that. When I walked in though, I thought that I had stepped back 75 years and had walked into an old general store! The walls were covered in empty boxes and bottles of goods that I certainly have never seen in my lifetime. The tables were covered in red or red/white checkered tablecloth. and the chairs were these metal chairs that just reminded me of a small diner! I ordered a ham-and-cheese omelette, which came served with a salad – really? salad with omelettes? how French… and then for dessert I had a tall glass of limonade and the praline tarte you see above. When it came out of the kitchen I was stupefied because it was just so pink! But then once I bit into it I couldn’t stop eating it; it was the perfect combination of sweet and nutty.
4 – Yesterday to get my birthday off to a good start, I decided to treat myself to a bichon framboise from the bakery right across the street. (Yes, I live across from a bakery, it’s so unhealthy). I am not entirely sure what a bichon is but as far as I can tell the pastry is the same puff pastry that we use in napoleons or other baked goods. Inside the bichon was some sort of raspberry compote!
5, 6, and 7 – After I finished my pastry, Hanadi, one of my neighbors, and I went to see “Mange Prie Aime,” otherwise known as Eat Pray Love, based on the Elizabeth Gilbert novel and starring Julia Roberts. We actually ended up watching the VOST (version originale sous-titres) in English with French subtitles but the movie was pretty good! The reason why I am writing about this is because Liz decides to go to Italy where she eats her way through countless pizzas and pastas. After watching Liz eat all that Italian food, Hanadi and I developed a huge craving for Italian food. To satiate ourselves, we ordered a 3 course 14e menu with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. It was almost as good as going to Italy (we’ll save that for another post).
8 – This morning I experienced part of every French person’s culture – la marche (open air farmer’s market). French people seem to have this love affair with Fresh Food and look down on us lowly Americans because we eat so much processed food and don’t cook as much ourselves. I’m one of those non-cookers. Anyway, I bought some salad, tomatoes, but more excitingly, a “poulet roti” = rotisserie chicken. I’ve been wanting such a chicken since I first smelled the rotisserie fire at the first market I went to 2 weeks ago. It was quite satisfying to eat half the chicken. It was so delicious.
9 – Finally, the French have some ridiculous obsession with all things dairy – people finish their meals with a cup of yogurt, they eat cheese non stop, etc etc. The great thing about their dairy obsession is that since cheese is so common, it’s not super expensive to find a ‘specialty’ cheese – they’re all specialties! See the map below to get an idea of how much cheese is made in France.
I was recently exposed to a cheese called “Ossau-Iraty,” made from ewe’s milk in the very SW of France (super close to the Spanish border). This cheese has quickly risen to my favorites so I bought it today to eat with a baguette from the bakery 🙂
In short, my friends, life is good and food is delicious. What more could you ask from living in France but to eat great things?