Archive for the ‘festivals’ Category

Les Délices d’Haïti at the Foire de Paris

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
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Three Young Women at the Délices d'Haïti Stand

Three Young Women at the Délices d’Haïti Food Stand
From left to right: Kerenne – Jemuma – Iné

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Yesterday at the Foire de Paris, I happened by a food stand called Les Délices d’Haïti. Seeing that there were not many customers there at that moment, I decided that it would be a good time to pause for lunch.

Barquette Créole

Barquette Créole
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The lunch menu (called Barquette Créole) offered four dishes for only 7€, a fair price! The dishes were Riz Djon-Djon (rice with mushrooms), Poulet (chicken), Pickliz (coleslaw), and Bananes Pesées (flat plantain fritters). A can of Oasis orange soda was 2€ extra.

I found all of the dishes to be delicious and spicy. The rice was made with djon-djon, a black mushroom native to Haiti. During cooking, the mushrooms release a grayish-black coloring that gives the rice its gray color and the dish’s distinctive flavor. Spices from Haiti (the exact names of which I never found out) gave all of the dishes piquancy. I liked the fried chicken leg and was told that it had been marinated for twenty-four hours in lemon juice and mustard. I enjoyed the coleslaw, but had to remove some of the tiny slices of red pepper that gave the salad a too spicy kick. The bananes pesées were fun to eat. Soft on the inside and crusty on the outside, they are prepared by mashing or flattening slices of plantain and then frying them like fritters.

Délices d’Haïti, located in the town of Pontoise (about twenty-five kilometers to the northwest of Paris), has a Facebook page.

Délices d’Haïti
2, route de Menandon
95300 Pontoise
Tel.: 06.58.79.86.99

The Foire de Paris continues through Sunday, May 11.

Haïtian flag 450w

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Why I Didn’t Eat a Single Bite of Food at the Paris Street Food Festival

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
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Super-Barquette

Entrance to the Super Barquette

Entrance to the Super Barquette
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I learned about the Paris Street Food Festival several days in advance of the event and was all a-twitter with excitement as I made my way along quai Austerlitz to find the stands that were selling street food there:
Fish and Chips by The Sunken Chip
Super BBQ by My Food Montreuil
Burgers by Le Camion qui Fume
…and mouth-wateringly more!

Woman with Brochure

Woman with Brochure
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Tombola Ticket 708

A lovely young woman was distributing brochures that listed the names of the food stands and the types of street food that they were serving. She invited me to purchase a raffle ticket for 1€; otherwise the entrance to the event was free.

People Feasting at the Street Food Festival

People Feasting at the Street Food Festival
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I walked onto a deck overlooking the Seine and saw that a lot of people had gotten there before me. I arrived at 12:30 p.m., which I thought was early enough to permit me to get some food and sit down for lunch. But I was wrong…

Standing in Line for BBQ

Standing in Line for BBQ
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

There were long lines everywhere. For the BBQ…

Serving up Fish and Chips

Serving up Fish and Chips
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

…for the fish and chips…

This Way to the Beer

This Way to the Beer
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

…but, surprisingly, not for the beer!

Alexandre Bournonville of Distrikt Beer

Alexandre Bournonville of Distrikt Beer
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

So I purchased a bottle of amber beer brewed locally in the town of Thiverval-Grignon, not too far from Paris. That’s all that I had at the street food festival!

BBQ Cooker - My Food Montreuil

BBQ Cooker – My Food Montreuil
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Monstrously Long Line for BBQ

The Monstrously Long Line for BBQ
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The food stand for BBQ was the most popular. How did it measure up to Texas BBQ? I’ll never know, because I didn’t want to wait in the monstrously long line.

But I enjoyed the Distrikt amber beer!

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A Visit to the French Overseas Departments at the Paris International Agriculture Show — Part III

Saturday, March 15th, 2014
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The city of Paris hosted its 51st International Agriculture Show this year from February 22 to March 2. I showed up on the mornings of the third and fourth days with camera in hand to see what would be interesting to photograph. And I found a lot!

Joël from Guadeloupe

Joël from Guadeloupe
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.

I met Joël from Guadeloupe who was selling spirits at the stand that was promoting alcoholic beverages from that French overseas department.

Raymond Displaying a Bottle of Darboussier Rum from Guadeloupe

Raymond Displaying a Bottle of Darboussier Rum from Guadeloupe
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Nearby, I purchased a bottle of Darboussier – Rhum VieuxHors d’Ages from Raymond. My wife loves rum and her birthday was coming up, so I thought that this would be the ideal time to buy something special. Hors d’ages is a blend of very old rums that have been aged in oak casks.

Thierry Elie and His Staff

Thierry Elie and His Staff
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I was lucky to arrive at the cooking stand just as Thierry Elie, president of Les Toques Blanches de Martinique and his staff were posing for a photograph. I didn’t get a chance to taste the food that they were preparing, though, because I wanted to keep moving from stand to stand.

Guillaume - Dany - Yannis

Guillaume – Dany – Yannis
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Giovanni Lauret from La Réunion

Giovanni Lauret
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I walked over to the Reunion Island stand where I met four young men from that far-away land, located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. The three men in the top picture were there to give information about the plant extracts (essential oils) that were on display. Giovanni, in the bottom picture, was there to promote tourism. He told me that there are lots of attractive women on the beaches of Reunion Island, one of the top reasons for going there in my mind.

Janick Ancete - La Bonne Crêpe

Janick Ancete – La Bonne Crêpe
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

My most memorable experience was at La Bonne Crêpe stand where Chef Janick Ancete whipped up a rum and banana crêpe for me. The crêpe is a traditional pancake from Brittany, but here at La Bonne Crêpe Chef Janick gives a Martinican twist by making them with banana flour. He uses Clement rum from Martinique on his rum-flavored crêpes. Delicious! In fact, so delicious that I decided to order a second crêpe, this time made with Elot chocolate (a locally-produced chocolate). Delicious again!

Grégory Langeron - Janick Ancete - La Bonne Crêpe

Grégory Langeron and Janick Ancete
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Chef Janick’s partner is his cousin Grégory Langeron. Their crêpe stand was recommended to me by two different sources that day, so when I showed up, I knew that I was in for a treat.

I left the agricultural fair with good memories of the people I met and the products that I tasted there. I look forward to returning next year!

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A Visit to the French Overseas Departments at the Paris International Agriculture Show — Part II

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
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The city of Paris hosted its 51st International Agriculture Show this year from February 22 to March 2. I showed up on the mornings of the third and fourth days with camera in hand to see what would be interesting to photograph. And I found a lot!

Aurelia - Paoline -Gwen

Aurelia – Paoline – Gwen
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Florence and Christ-Laur

Florence and Christ-Laur
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I met five lovely ladies at two different stands that represented French Guiana, a French overseas department located on the north Atlantic coast of South America. All five women hail from Guiana and live in Paris.

Marie-Hélène

Marie-Hélène
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Marie-Hélène, from New Caledonia, represented that French territory, which is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean east of Australia. She is currently a student in the town of Limoges in central France.

Naoilou Yahaya

Naoilou Yahaya
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Naoilou Yahaya is manager of fruit promotion at the Chamber of Agriculture in Mayotte, a French overseas department located in the Indian Ocean between the African continent and Madagascar.

Thierry Elie and Babette de Rozières

Thierry Elie and Babette de Rozières
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And over at the cooking stand, Thierry Elie, president of Les Toques Blanches de Martinique, and Babette de Rozières, popular television chef and author of several cookbooks, were engaged in animated conversation about the dishes that Chef Elie and his staff were preparing. Chef Elie hails from Martinique and Babette, who moved to Paris at the age of 17, from Guadeloupe.

To be continued…

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A Visit to the French Overseas Departments at the Paris International Agriculture Show — Part I

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
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The city of Paris hosted its 51st International Agriculture Show this year from February 22 to March 2. I showed up on the mornings of the third and fourth days with camera in hand to see what would be interesting to photograph. And I found a lot!

French Overseas Departments

I initially thought that I would go from pavilion to pavilion and take pictures of this and that, but when I arrived, I realized from the immensity of the show that it would take days to explore. There were farm animals of all kinds, including cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens, as well as domestic cats and dogs. Then there was also an immense vegetable exhibit. What to do?

I made my way up to the second floor of Pavilion 7, where the agricultural products of France, region by region, were on display. I reckoned that there would be tasty things to try and that people from the regions would be on hand to explain their products to me. Even then, remembering that France has twenty-six regions, I realized that it would be impossible to explore all that was there. I decided to devote my time exploring one of the regions that I had a little familiarity with, the French Overseas Departments.

France has five overseas departments, and I found all of them there: Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion Island, and Mayotte. I also found New Caledonia, a French overseas territory.

Janine Salomon of Panier des Iles

Janine Salomon of Panier des Iles
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Bouquet of Tropical Flowers

Bouquet of Tropical Flowers
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

One of the first persons I met was Janine Salomon who had flown in from Martinique to display her beautiful flowers. I purchased a bouquet and took them home to present to my wife, Monique, in advance of her birthday. Madame Salomon has a flower shop in the town of Ducos in Martinique called Panier des Iles.

Daniel Ambroise - Tropicales Fleurs

Daniel Ambroise of Tropicales Fleurs
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Nearby was a stand called Tropicales Fleurs, attended by Daniel Ambroise from Guadeloupe. He looked quite dapper the way he was dressed, so I asked if I could take his photo. I later searched through the Web site of the salon to try to find the name of his shop. I wanted to post information about it, but couldn’t find any listing. The big frustration at this agricultural show is the map that is distributed to attendees and posted on the walls of the pavilions—it is practically useless for finding anything. The search function on the agriculture show’s Web site is almost as useless, but with diligence I was able to find information about other exhibitors.

Anne-Sophie and Joan from Guadeloupe

Anne-Sophie and Joan from Guadeloupe
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

At a stand touting the benefits of bananas from Guadeloupe and Martinique, I met Anne-Sophie and Joan.  They are both from Guadeloupe and live in Paris. Note the image of a banana to the right of Joan—it’s sporting a beret! Yes, Guadeloupe and Martinique are part of France, just as Hawaii is part of the U.S.

To be continued…

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A Day at the Berges de Seine

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
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Last Saturday brought beautiful weather to Paris. It was a perfect day for a food fair along the River Seine. Called Manger Local (Eat Locally), the event featured fresh agricultural products from the Ile-de-France region, plus activities for children. It took place on the Left Bank between Pont des Invalides and Pont de l’Alma.

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Kids played tether ball.

Playing Tether Ball

Playing Tether Ball
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And practiced rock climbing.

Climbing Wall

Climbing Wall
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Rock climbing was scarey!

A Scarey Experience

A Scarey Experience
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Some of the adults (and children, too) got a back massage.

Massaging Aching Backs

Massaging Aching Backs
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And then there was the food. The Bügelski food truck was there, selling bagel sandwiches.

Bügelski Deli Truck

Bügelski Food Truck
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

They were doing a brisk business.

Lining Up for a Bagel Sandwich

Lining Up for a Bagel Sandwich
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I purchased a bottle of apple juice, a pastrami sandwich, and a slice of cheese cake.

A Great Meal

A Great Meal
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Then, from Thaï Thanh I purchased a scoop of Fleur d’oranger à la pistache (orange flower sorbet with pistachio) and Poivron, orange sanguine et espelette (bell pepper and blood orange sorbet flavored with Espelette pepper) on a cone. I blogged about Thaï in June of this year.

Thaï Thanh Serving Sorbet

Thaï Thanh Serving Sorbet
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I finished off the lunch with a cup of espresso from Brûlerie Caron’s coffee stand. Caron won the Meilleur Torréfacteur de France award in 2011. Their shop is located in Châtillon, just seven kilometers from Paris.

Preparing the Coffee

Preparing the Coffee
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

An Artist at Work

An Artist at Work
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

There were lots of food and produce stands displaying locally-produced agricultural products.

Food and Produce Stands

Food and Produce Stands
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Tasting Honey

Tasting Honey
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And there were lots of families there enjoying the beautiful day in Paris!

The Huynh Family Enjoying the Day

The Huynh Family Enjoying a Beautiful Day in Paris
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

A good time was had by all!

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Journées du Commerce Equitable in Alfortville

Saturday, May 25th, 2013
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Last Sunday we took the RER D train to Alfortville to explore the arts, crafts, and food stands that had been set up to celebrate “Equitable Commerce Day.”

Stefan Buljat

Stefan Buljat
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Stefan Buljat of Baština, an organization that promotes equitable and multipolar tourism, had told us about the festival.

The Ladies That Were Serving Brunch

The Ladies That Were Serving Brunch
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

One of the attractions of the event was a free brunch. This turned out to be jams and honey spread on different kinds of delicious breads, and squares of chocolate…all you could eat! Plus coffee and tea to drink. The ladies who served us were in high spirits and one of them cut loose and began waving her arms when one of the singers in the the band, Paradise, began a gospel number.

Paradise Performs in Alfortville

Paradise Performs in Alfortville
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Paradise performed Caribbean music on the steps of the town hall.

Kids Dancing to the Music

Kids Dancing to the Music
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Kids danced to the music, too. (Note the little girl with the pacifier stepping to the beat!)

Farah Kartibou

Farah Kartibou
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Farah Kartibou displayed her woven textiles. See more of her work at Mode Fusion.

Sandrine Ferracci

Sandrine Ferracci
www.DiscoverParis.net

Sandrine Ferracci restores old chairs. Take a look at her portfolio to see what she can do!

Artisans du Monde

Artisans du Monde
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Artisans du Monde were there with a display of equitable commerce products. The lady on the right was warning me not to take more than my share of free cookies. That’s the true spirit of equitable commerce!

We visited more stands and met more people. You can read about them on Monique’s Entrée to Black Paris blog. I also posted a picture of cabinetmaker Anne Perez on yesterday’s Paris Insights Facebook page.

Town Hall of Alfortville

Town Hall of Alfortville
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

A big thanks goes out to the town of Alfortville for hosting this fun event!

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Swedish Products at the Paris Cookbook Fair

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
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Assortment of Swedish foods

Assortment of Swedish Foods
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Festival du Livre Culinaire was held from February 22 – 24 this year at the Carrousel du Louvre. While there I had the opportunity to visit the Husmansbord stand. The folks there had lots of Swedish food on display, and I got a chance to taste some. What a treat!

Carbonated Elderflower Beverage

Fläder
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The first product was a soft drink called Fläder, which means “elder” in English. Sweet and refreshing, it was a carbonated elderflower beverage that tasted somewhat like lychee and pear.

Hjortronsylt

Hjortronsylt
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I was given a jar of hjortronsylt (cloudberry jam) to take home and try. The jam had a golden color and contained lots of seeds and cloudberry pulp. It was intensely sweet and tasted mild like honey from the flowers of a meadow. I tried it with Scottish oatcakes and Minimunk cheese (described below) and found that it went well with both.

Minimunk

Minimunk
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And speaking of Minimunk cheese, I was given a portion to take home to try. This cheese has been produced from cow’s milk from farms within a 2 1/2 mile radius of the dairy. Aged at least 22 months, it contains 31% fat. The producer claims that it is a powerful cheese with fully-developed flavor, but having tasted French cheeses whose odors almost knocked me backward, I judged it to be fairly mild. Its taste was buttery and tangy at the same time. When I cut into it, it crumbled and flaked. I enjoyed it with cloudberry jam and also tried it with Majsknäcke (described below).

Majsknäcke

Majsknäcke
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Majsknäcke means corn crispbread in Swedish. These were very dry rounds of wholegrain corn and wheat flour that had been baked in a wood-fired oven. They had lots of crunch. I could taste the corn, but it wasn’t predominant. The crackers make an excellent accompaniment to the Minimunk and provide a crunchy counterpoint to the soft cheese.

Affären, a Swedish food store in Paris sells a wide variety of Swedish specialties, although they may not have these specific products. Call them to inquire!

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Tasting Cupcakes at the Paris Cookbook Fair

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
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The Festival du Livre Culinaire was held from February 22 – 24 this year at the Carrousel du Louvre. There were publishers from around the world displaying their culinary books and non-stop conferences and cooking demonstrations for three days.

Alisa Morov

Alisa Morov
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The first demonstration on Saturday featured Alisa Morov, an American who moved from Los Angeles to Paris in 2002 to found Sweet Pea Baking. Alisa showed the audience how to bake cupcakes. This may sound easy, but according to Alisa, it can be frustrating if you don’t combine the ingredients properly. Baking is chemistry, and Alisa explained how to do it correctly.

Sifting the Flou

Sifting the Flour
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Alisa said that some people who buy her cupcake cookbook (Sensational Cupcakes, Simon and Schuster, UK) complain that they don’t get good results. She said this is because they combine all of the ingredients at once, rather than following the step-by-step instructions. The trick is to combine the ingredients in stages so that they get a chance to react with one another chemically. And here was her big tip: use real buttermilk in the cupcakes, not a buttermilk substitute, such as regular milk mixed with lemon juice. Buttermilk, she said, is one of the ingredients that helps the cake rise.

View from TV Camera

View from TV Camera
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And so we watched as she added flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, real vanilla, eggs, butter, buttermilk…all in the correct order…

Putting Batter into the Cups - TV View

Putting Batter into the Cups – TV View
www.DiscoverParis.net

…and then put the batter into the cupcake pan and pop the pan into the oven. Each cup was lined with a paper cupcake liner. Alisa said that cupcake liners are not necessary with modern non-stick pans, but that people like to peel the paper liner off their cupcake…it’s like opening a gift!

Squeezing Pastry Bag

Squeezing Frosting from the Pastry Bag
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Then she made buttercream frosting and squeezed the frosting from a pastry bag onto a batch of cupcakes that had already been made (the other cupcakes were still in the oven)…

Cupcakes by Alisa Morov

Cupcakes by Alisa Morov
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

…and distributed them. We each got one!

The cupcake tasted rich and buttery. It had wonderful flavor but was too rich for my taste. Alisa staunchly defends the use of butter and heavy cream in her cupcakes and frostings, and she made comments during her presentation indicating that these products are not meant to be diet food. I found myself wondering why, in this era when Americans are becoming alarmingly obese from eating fat-filled and sugary foods, Alisa appears to blithely ignore the dangers that fat and sugar pose to health…clogged arteries and diabetes…just to name two.

As is true for everything, moderation is key to consuming these cupcakes—particularly if you have a weakness for sweet and buttery baked goods!

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We participate in Wanderfood Wednesdays. Head over there to explore food from around the world!

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Sunday Morning at the Paris Cookbook Fair

Sunday, February 24th, 2013
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Paris Cookbook Fair

Paris Cookbook Fair

Today was the final day of the Paris Cookbook Fair, and I was determined not to miss the last day of this special event.

Guillaume Le Roux and Olivia Snaije

Guillaume Le Roux and Olivia Snaije
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I got there early to attend a conference on ethnic cuisine in Paris, held by Olivia Snaije, co-author of The Ethnic Paris Cookbook, and Guillaume Le Roux, who writes a food blog called 716. Both are passionate about ethnic cooking.

Samantha Lunam at Gula Magazine Stand

Samantha Lunam at the Gula Magazine Stand
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I sampled Mexican wine at the Gula Magazine stand, which was ably represented by Samantha Lunam. The magazine has recently published a guide to Mexican wines, which was featured at the stand.

Two Women Performing at the Astrel Book Stand

Two Women Performing at the Astrel Book Stand
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Passing by the Astral stand, a Russian publishing company, I heard two young women playing what was for me some very exotic music!

Pascal Aussignac Cooking Foie Gras

Pascal Aussignac Cooking Foie Gras
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I watched award-winning Chef Pascal Aussignac cook up a batch of foie gras.

Elin Agorelius at the Husmansbord Stand

Elin Agorelius at the Husmansbord Stand
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I sampled some delicious cheese, meats, and fruit juices at the Husmansbord stand, where I met Elin Agorelius. I raved about their Swedish fare last year!

I’ll be talking more about the cookbook fair in the days to come!

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