So today was mostly administrative things. Get some basic groceries so I don’t starve, pick up a pay as you go cell phone so I can make local phone calls and find out where Cordon Bleu is (it’s a good 30 minute subway ride from the apartment). Going to the grocery store was rather interesting in that things aren’t familiar (which is to be expected).
But I actually had a hard time choosing butter. There is soft butter, regular butter, partly salted butter, butter sold in bricks, butter sold in small flat squares, butter sold in tubs…I have no idea what the difference is between them all. I’m sure that any would be just fine for my morning baguette. Oh ya, and there are different types of baguettes too – parisienne, traditional and bio to name a few. A couple other observations – they sell wine (no surprise) and lardons (cube cut strips of bacon) in the grocery stores and finding coffee cream was a bit challenging for me. After much searching I finally had to ask “Avez-vous la crème?” and which point the store clerk pointed out the crème fraiche. Is that what Parisiens use for cream in their coffee?
And then there’s my dilemma of starting my day off with a good cup of coffee each morning (yes, I know I’m a coffee snob). There happens to be two Starbucks located on the street that I’m living on but I refuse to drink Starbucks coffee while I’m in Paris. But finding good coffee in any city can be a little a tricky, especially one that you aren’t familiar with. So after walking around the neighbourhood, I happened to walk into a store in my neighbourhood called Pozzetto (an Italian gelato and coffee shop) thinking it looked pretty authentic. I later came back to the apartment and realized that David Lebovitz (well know Paris food blogger) listed it as one of the best coffee places in Paris! What luck!
And finally, Cordon Blue. When I got there at 9pm the doors were still open. Some pastry students were just wrapping up their class on macarons. They had a gift shop so I quickly perused it but we’ll see if I feel like buying anything after my two cooking workshops. My sister did request a Cordon Bleu apron if it had a nice Frenchie feel to it. Somehow, I think the one they have looks a little too professional.