October 28, 2009

Day One: A Sandwich Changes My Life

Getting here was a bit of a haul. I took the metro, and I had a huge bag, and I hadn't slept. Fortunately, even though I couldn't occupy my place until 4 p.m., I was able to drop off my bags around 11, and venture off into the city.

And I was hungry. Like borderline quesy hungry. I lectured myself to get the first thing that looked decent (I tend to get really picky when I travel—like if every meal isn't special I've somehow failed), but ended up wandering up and down the Rue Mouffetard, an open-air market street one block over from my new abode.

Finally, something caught my eye. At a boulangerie (bakery) there were some simple—but special!—looking sandwiches. One of them had some kind of soppresata-lookin' cured meat deal going on (a serious weakness of mine), plus greens, cornichons and butter (all things I also like). The woman behind the counter slid the sammy into a slim plastic bag, handed it over, and, as I walked away, I immediately started eating.

I took my first bite out of hunger, not hoping for any kind of transcendent culinary experience. Then I started giggling. Then I almost started to scream.

Now, I love bread. A lot. But I guess I only thought bread could be so good. I had heard tales, obvs, of the special magic conjured by a Parisian baguette, but I had assumed it would be a simple step up. Well, this bread was Jimmy Rollins, and everything I have ever had before was Jonathan Broxton. It shamed them. I simply could not get over it. And don't even get me started on the tart sweetness of the cornichons against the fatty meat!

This is gonna be a great trip. Tonight I'm watching the World Series at a Canadian sports bar called The Moose...


Josepha said...

ma bouche is watering at the sight and description of that sandwich. Reminds me of Nice and Paris and how I lived and loved the breads and actually everything there, even the little tiny restaurants that looked like holes in the wall, with great soups and bread and wine!

The pizza on 21st Street looked amazing. Stan would have loved it being made in his kitchen. I had hoped to cook there myself, but alas.......

Enjoy every moment-you could be a food writer as well!!!


Janet said...

I'm drooling already! I wish I were over there with you, but I'm going to love living vicariously through your Paris adventures. Keep writing!