The Sweet Life In Paris, by David Lebovitz.
First of all, don’t worry, I’m not going to abandon food & start-out as a book-reviewer. Those who know me would tell you that I would usually skip picking up a book for whipping up something in the kitchen, or drawing in my sketchbook (especially after hours of studying at uni!) However, this little paperback made its way into my Christmas stocking and I took it along to France with me as it seemed rather an appropriate read.
All I knew was that it was written by an experienced and popular food blogger. It turns out that he upped and moved to Paris to learn French cooking and, well, become a Parisian, and I have to say that the process is hilarious. It’s the perfect thing to read if you are living in France, but I’m also sure that it would be enjoyable to anyone who has both a love for French culture, and a few affectionate frustrations with it too. I recognise many of his rants, from the non-existant queueing culture, people trying not to sell you things in shops, how long it takes for everything to get done (especially if you don’t have the right papers!), how small the kitchens are and how bizarre the etiquette can be. I find it very funny, or perhaps it’s just a relief to see someone else make even more faux-pas than me!
In addition, the book is packed with recipes! So a little bit of everything really. Cultural tips, food, and humour. Give it a go! Anyone would enjoy it. But you’ll especially like it if you have many times, like me, found yourself banging your head against a wall in despair of this slightly odd country.
But then again, here are some interesting & nice French things I have noticed recently. Today I saw a guy on the top floor of an apartment block leaning out of the window and throwing bread to seagulls in the air. I saw a couple coming back from the beach at low tide with baskets full of shellfish. I had an incredible chocolate éclair in a Boulangerie today for less than €2. I walked out of the Staff Room in the Lycee to the smell of some delicious pastries cooking. I suppose that’s why David Lebovitz moved to France too: the food.