Even if I babbled on for 2,000 words (which I promise I won’t), it would be impossible to sum up my delight at yesterday’s shopping trip to Paris. I’ve been there enough times that I no longer feel obligated to do anything remotely touristy, which is such a blessing when you have to focus on The Mission to Find the Perfect Flan Ring.
After visits to various esteemed cookware suppliers, and investigation of some of the large department stores’ very well-stocked kitchen departments, I was positively spoiled for choice. Such stainless steel riches as one can only dream of in London.
I finally settled on the 20cm diameter flan ring I had come for, plus two 16x16cm stainless steel squares, ideal for when I try making marshmallows and pâtes de fruits (intense bite-sized fruit jellies).
The beautiful copper pans were oh-so-tempting, but I nearly wept at the prices, especially this close to Christmas. Something to save up for and the perfect excuse for another trip.
At my favourite branch of Monoprix I bought armfuls of goodies: goat cheese, fig relish, rillettes, salted butter caramels, a box of tiny saucisson, butter biscuits and petits suisses. And a bottle of Monin green apple syrup because…well, it’s obvious isn’t it?
I had been quite looking forward to going to the heinously overpriced La Grande Epicerie de Paris, the closest thing the city has to Harrods’ foodhall, but after the lady behind the patisserie counter told me ‘no photos!’ – what, afraid my (flashless) camera is going to steal the soul of your gateaux St Honoré?? – I felt rather piqued, and naturally then snapped as many secret photos as possible…
I showed incredible restraint in the Librairie Gourmande bookshop, where I was surprised but impressed that they asked patrons to use an anti-bacterial gel on their hands as they entered. How nice to know that they take the cleanliness of their stock so seriously.
Supper on the Eurostar home consisted of aubergine caviar, crackers and Portuguese custard tarts while I read a laugh-out-loud article in the Guardian about one of our nation’s treasures (let’s politely gloss over her How to Cheat at… phase). The French may have a superior selection of flan rings, but we still have Delia.