Filthy and Fancy: Day 2 in the City of Light

Today, I spent a lot of cash money to explore one of the foulest-smelling sights in all of Paris: The Sewer Tour, or Musée des Égouts. That’s right, Kat and I spent the morning learning about the history and mechanics of the water system and sewage treatment in Paris, and I actually liked it.

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I’m not sure what that says about me…especially since we could actually see the mysteriously murky sewer water beneath our feet, separated only by flimsy-looking floor grating. Huh. Best not to dwell on that aspect of my personality.

In any case, I was thanking the heavens that I don’t get nauseous easily, because I started off this morning with a delectable pain au chocolat straight from…the grocery bag! Indeed, pain au chocolat (better known as the chocolate croissant in America) actually comes 8 to a bag at the French market, for only 2 euros total! After a quick hop in the toaster, it was melty and quite the tasty grocery store breakfast.

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Later in the day, (somehow) still hungry and undaunted by the smelly Sewer Tour, I continued my pastry journey by seeking out the Gosselin bakery at 125 Rue St. Honore.

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Gosselin won the Grand Prix prize for the Best Baguette in Paris, so, of course, we had to buy a baguette for our picnic lunch outside the Louvre.

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(Confession: Gosselin’s winning baguette is actually his “baguette ancienne,” BUT the textured seeds in the multigrain just looked so tempting! It was a winner in my book.)

In addition, I picked out the largest (seriously) pastry of the case – the Mille feuilles pistache framboises – as my dessert. In more understandable terms, it was the famous French Napoleon pastry with pistachio pastry cream and fresh raspberries.

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I’ve never actually tried pistachio pastry cream before, but I do like pistachios, and enjoyed that distinct flavor combined with one of my favorite fruits. The only slight downside was the difficulty of eating such a large pastry – I ended up forgoing utensils and going cavewoman style with my hands!

After that delightful eating experience, Kat and I journeyed into the Louvre for a cultured and exhausting afternoon. You know how, when you picture the Louvre, you first get the image of the Louvre pyramid in your head? Ok, at least, I do. Well, that’s a lie. Add a huge building (with many, many staircases) surrounding 3 sides of the pyramid, and that’s the Louvre. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly learned a lot.

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No, in all seriousness, though, I actually quite enjoyed the Louvre. I used to be a bit of a museum hater, so this is a big step for me, but I think that, with age, I’ve grown to appreciate them. The Louvre, especially, is a haven of amazing and influential works of art.

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After leaving the Louvre (ok, fine, about half an hour before leaving), Kat and I decided that we needed a pick-me-up treat to keep us going for the day, so we dropped into a little pâtisserie on our way home, and I got a chocolate eclair!

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After devouring it, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no bad pastries in Paris. From the grocery store pain au chocolat to the eclair from the tiny, drop-in-on-a-whim pâtisserie next door, everything has been absolutely delicious. 3 pastries a day? No problem.

Tomorrow, get ready for my first baking class – Learning to make a Café Gourmand at La Cuisine Paris!

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2 thoughts on “Filthy and Fancy: Day 2 in the City of Light

    • Not sure if that would last in the mail…but if all goes according to plan, I’ll be well equipped to bake some when I get back!

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