t

tmso's Profile

Title Last Reply

Croque Monsieur in Paris

In the same way that the US fell in love with onion soup, Germany fell in love with the croque. The best restaurant made croques I've had have been in Berlin and Hamburg, where you'll find sandwich shops that specialize in them.

Le Terminus at Nation makes them fresh, but is not any kind of a destination; only go there if you find yourself already at Nation.

Apr 16, 2014
tmso in France

Report from my stay in Paris – and the much-debated overnight in Fontainebleau

One can only guess at how aweful those Italians living in Paris are, who refer to "prosciutto di Parigi" or "cotto di Parigi". I must admit, to my deep shame, that I use those very terms when speaking Italian.

(More seriously, I find "crudo de Bayonne" a charming linguistic wreck).

Mar 26, 2014
tmso in France

South of France Itinerary Restaurant Recommendations

Bourride is just not made with egg yolk, not as I know it. If something went wrong, and you need a thickener, you would use bread. Adding egg to the dish is going to change it much more significantly than potato flour would.

Mar 26, 2014
tmso in France
1

South of France Itinerary Restaurant Recommendations

There is nothing bad about cuisine bourgeoise, and the bourgeois versions of some regional dishes can be very good. Thinking that folk cooking is better than bourgeois cooking, or the reverse, does seem to be a problem in the English speaking world.

I don't like egg or cream in a bourride, nor do I like garlic mayonaise presented as aïoli. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them, but I have nostalgic reasons for preferring the recipes as I remember them from childhood. It's infuriating to see people insist that a bourgeois version is somehow more modern or correct or what have you. I have no idea when restaurants started creating gastronomique versions of these things, but the folk recipes are not outdated or ancient, they are certainly still prepared and eaten that way.

When I have friends over for aïoli, I adapt to Paris, and make some with egg, and some without. So in that sense, they are both real, living recipes. But one sure seems more correct, to me.

Mar 26, 2014
tmso in France

diet issues in paris

I don't think it's a lack of an "allergy lifestyle", France has been bad at accomodating allergies since at least the 1970's-1980's. I have cousins with tree nut allergies, and they have all chosen to live abroad (Germany, US, Italy) where it's easier to eat in restaurants.

It is getting better, and Céliac / gluten intolerance in particular is better understood as a real, not fake, thing. But if you eat out at places where they don't know you, you will have problems maybe every week or two. If they can't feel the problem coming before it's serious, I would avoid eating out completely.

Mar 25, 2014
tmso in France

Birthday cake of choice in France

not "Real America" if that's what you mean. Latinos, Chinese, Viet Namese, blacks, recent European immigrants, etc. Maybe 10% WASP.

Mar 25, 2014
tmso in France

Birthday cake of choice in France

My point is, this was common in the immigrant-heavy California community where I was. There isn't one rule that the entire English-speaking world follows. The Anglo custom is common enough that someone learning English should learn it, but common practice seems to vary greatly across the US, as is the case with many things.

Mar 24, 2014
tmso in France

Birthday cake of choice in France

There must be no rule about who brings cake, then. I remember bringing my own cake in the US, and I don't think it was just my family.

Mar 24, 2014
tmso in France

Birthday cake of choice in France

Mine were always Italian-style almond-carrot cakes, in both countries. I'm not aware of a standard cake in the US either.

Mar 21, 2014
tmso in France

Good Halal Butchers in Paris

I will put in a third for the Nouvelle Boucherie d'Aligre. The lamb is excellent, and the veal acceptable.

Beef for grilling is incompatible with Halal and Kosher rules. There seem to be Torah-compatible short-cuts, which involve Orthodox Jews doing much work, to the point that some Isrealis eat Kosher steak in France, but not Israel.

Tunisian Halal is similar, but there is no significant demand for it (Algerians and Morrocans generally do not count such juicy meat as halal, or are not so strict). In this case, go cacher, if you may.

Mar 18, 2014
tmso in France

Good Halal Butchers in Paris

What are you looking for?

Boucherie de la Paix on rue de la Roquette at place Voltaire, has pretty good poultry, good lamb, and has excellent roasted birds: you will need to wait for the one you want to come off the rotisserie, at least if you are a regular or a muslim or a jew.

The boucherie across the street has good beef.

On bd Voltaire between M° Rue des Boulets and M° Nation, there is a Kosher boucherie that has remarkably juicy steaks. I do not ask how, and my muslim friends do not either.

Mar 18, 2014
tmso in France

Baking pies in Nice- Any advice on finding lard or shortening?

Make a trial pie crust with French butter, to see if you really need lard. Compared to US butter, French butter has less water (more fat). One way you can adapt a French recipe to US ingredients is to use half butter, half shortening or lard. So in terms of water to fat ratios, French butter should be fine.

The other difference is that French butter has a stronger flavor. If you're happy with a buttery taste in the crust, your pie should be fine with only butter.

Feb 24, 2014
tmso in France
1

Dining Idas for Picky Tween and Foodie Parents in Paris?

What she said.

Rare is the restaurant that doesn't have something easily accessible on the menu. Steak, roasted chicken, hamburger, medallions of something browned in a pan with a simple sauce; sauteed potatoes or fries. Only the most aggressively gastronomique restaurants don't have something for your child.

The reason is simple: every family has someone like that. On the French side of my family, we have a cousin who pretty much orders roast chicken or overcooked steak; if he has to pick a starter, it's pâté. Paris or Marseille, Lyon or Nice, we never have any trouble going out with him.

Feb 10, 2014
tmso in France

Industrial Strength Restaurant Meals

All food that is well adapted to large-scale production has economy producers and quality producers. One can find terrible pre-prepared tripes à la mode de caen, and one can find extremely high quality tripes, generally made in medium to small scale industrial kitchens.

Butter pastries require a sort of temperature control that bread doughs do not. A croissant requires that same control combined with two yeast rises. If you are making fewer than 500-1000 per day, you can without a doubt improve the quality and consistency of your result by simply making more. Temperature controlled rooms, quality equipment to keep hands off the dough, frequent testing and adjustment: this is industrial production.

Feb 03, 2014
tmso in France

Industrial Strength Restaurant Meals

Solidarity kitchens, solidarity associations, solidarity committees, are all perfectly fine English, and are used in American English for the same things. There are still solidarity diners in some West Coast port cities, which cater to longshore B-men (who struggle to get enough hours). That this use of "solidarity" is much less wide-spread than is the exact same use of "solidaire" in French, is a social question, not one of language.

Slowly back on topic, non-vegetarian solidarity diners/kitchens tend to be heavy on Sysco-produced food; vegetarians ones tend to feature more home-cooked food. Pick your poison.

Jan 31, 2014
tmso in France

Industrial Strength Restaurant Meals

I don't think the best croissants can be made artisanaly. To get the best results, you need precise control of temperature and timing, you need to adjust everything to the state of the ingredients today, and you need to keep the environment consistent for your adjustments to take effect.

That article is of course just silly. Of their three example foods, who makes onion soup? Pâté and boudin blanc are things generally best made by a specialist. They are, like lettuce and bread, a matter of sourcing, not things to be made in a restaurant, unless the kitchen also fancies itself a charcuterie...

Jan 31, 2014
tmso in France

An overnight from Paris

Mett is a particularly tasty raw pork preparation, popular with our neighbors directly to the East. Generally tastier than the trendy preparations you find here.

Jan 27, 2014
tmso in France

An overnight from Paris

Right, which is what I found funny

Jan 25, 2014
tmso in France

An overnight from Paris

I overheard a German woman ask about la foi grasse, which sounds like a tasty/naughty culte. Laughed, corrected herself, then did it again.

Jan 23, 2014
tmso in France

An overnight from Paris

Pâtisseur sounds like some kind of kitchen robot. Although it dead mean pâtissier, 800 years ago.

Jan 23, 2014
tmso in France

The death of the "American section;" Long live the Asian section.

For the entire period that the French are using "one", the Italians are talking about digestion so loudly you can't help but listen from across the room. As wonderful to dine with as they are awful to dine next to.

Jan 03, 2014
tmso in France

Trends

The still hip, still only nascent trend I hope finally catches on this year: hip German food. I first spotted currywurst in a few hip bars in 2004, and since then there have been a few bakeries, recently a breakfast place. After years of looking to Italy, there was a big francification in contemporary German food in the early 2000's; since then I've been hoping for an echo on this side of the Rhine.

In particular, German patisserie is ripe to be taken up. Big silly presentations like the recent unfortunate americana trend, but with a solid base that has a nice history of conversation with French patisserie.

Jan 03, 2014
tmso in France

Trends

The only good thing about the hip hamburger trend is that it makes home cooks look really good. I visited LA at the height of the hip haute hamburger trend there some five or so years ago, and I thought that was sure to make it over here. At least I can copy what the Angelinos were doing, in my own kitchen, and have tasty, hip bbqs. Pain brioché, and entrecôte haché, doesn't even require any great ability in the kitchen.

Espelette pepper; I'm hoping this has been a trend long enough now that it's never going away. Some tastes start as trends and end out getting fixed in the national palette.

Shaoxing wine: yes yes yes.

Jan 03, 2014
tmso in France

Restaurant Behavior Advice - Paris

Parisians have been drinking their water since Haussmann had filtered water flowing into the homes. It has been safe to drink since the late IXXth Century, when Pasteur's filters became widespread. The water became even more dependently safe after the First World War, when the urban French water supplies (Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse) were the first to use chemical treatment (verdunisation).

The major French cities are where safe, clean drinking water comes from. (The countryside is of course another matter)

Dec 19, 2013
tmso in France

Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 is undrinkable and I just did the unthinkable....

Nothing to do with illiteracy. This is simply not a mistake a native speaker would make; we're not talking about the subjunctive here.

Dec 06, 2013
tmso in France

Thanksgiv(ukkah) in Paris (part 1)

Thanks for the tip; I'll take a look and give them a try if it looks good.

Dec 03, 2013
tmso in France

Thanksgiv(ukkah) in Paris (part 1)

Hélas, I should have just taken what my local butcher could find. Although they said they would have a 4-5 kg bird, the reality was just over 3 kg, and very badly butchered. Skin torn in several places, many bits of feathers stuck in the skin. Even though it was only 15 minutes out of the way, I regret the trip.

Lesson learned: I should just trust my trusted butcher!

Dec 03, 2013
tmso in France

Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 is undrinkable and I just did the unthinkable....

I would also recommend vin chaud. Star anis, cloves, canelle, sugar, orange, and a shot of rhum or amaretto ... our neighbors to the east know how to make poor quality, light reds perfectly drinkable.

Dec 03, 2013
tmso in France

KitchenAid Mixers/France

Good point about 50/60Hz motors. If the KA says that on it, than there's no problem at all.

Nov 22, 2013
tmso in France

KitchenAid Mixers/France

You can generally buy appliances like this for 20-40% below list price in Germany. A little searching around on the web, and you can say, visit a Christmas market in western Germany, and buy your KitchenAid, for less than you'd pay in France.

There are supposed to be good deals in Spain and Portugal, too, if that's a closer border.

Nov 22, 2013
tmso in France