France and desserts from Sadaharu Aoki

France and desserts from Sadaharu Aoki

That picture is from the Sunday when I was supposed to fly home a week ago. The volcano shut down CDG airport and all flights were canceled. I’m here to tell you that if you are traveling to Europe in the future, get yourself an European airline. Whatever you do, don’t fly US Domestic unless you have status. And most of all, DO NOT FLY DELTA. Jesus christ. These people are a piece of work. So I go to the airport right? They tell me everything is on the website, go to the website. The problem was, I DID go on the website, and the website said absolutely nothing about the fact that they’ll do anything about the canceled flight. My flight was supposed to be at 1pm and after 1pm, my itineray on was blank. Zero. Zilch. Nada. So basically they wanted to reassure customers by telling them to go online and check, but when this customer went to check, they got nothing. I had to visit to figure out if CDG is closed. Delta gave me no emails, no automated voicemails, nothing. Delta is a big fat zero in the volcano mess and from my experience, I highly recommend everyone stay the fuck away from Delta. Phew. Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about France.

One of my favorite pastry meals in Paris came with the shop owned by Sadaharu Aoki. Actually Steph and I didn’t have time to visit his store, but they had a stand inside of a department store. Maybe it’s because I’m Asian and Asian flavors intrigue me, but it’s fun to see green tea macarons and yuzu flavored macarons. Maybe the green tea one is more prevalent now, but yuzu was new to me.

I’m here to tell you these are constructed just as well, if not better than Pierre Herme macarons. They appeared to be a tiny bit smaller than PH ones, and just as pricey. So you could say these were more expensive. Still, this was Paris, you could find even more expensive and smaller macarons (and we did, later on in the trip).

The macarons were great, but the best thing was actually the black sesame eclair. Ooooooooooh this thing was great. Again, chalk this up to me being an Asian, but the black sesame filling was powerful. Usually the only time I encounter black sesame flavor like this is inside of a tangyuan or black sesame ice cream. But man… it’s terrific when it’s pillowy and creamy the way it is inside of an eclair. Sadaharu Aoki… I’m a fan.

A few closing thoughts about Paris. For some reason, getting in line is foreign to people in Paris. I’m not just talking about French people. Even fucking Asians at the airport are retarded and crazy about lines. People do this thing that I call, “Lemme ride your ass.” It goes like this, you wear a backpack or messenger bag, you’re in line, you move up two steps and the person behind you will move up 2.2 steps, just enough to bump your bag. This happens EVERY TIME. You might be at the airport, at a tourist attraction, or at the train station. It doesn’t matter. People will bump your ass like they got their tag on your ass. Male, female… it don’t matter.

Also, in the foodie blogosphere, whenever the topic of tipping comes up, there’s always someone who says that the European system is better. Those people are insane. I used to be one of those people. Until I actually went to France. Kids, the system in the U.S. is way way better. You end up paying 15 to 18% in tips anyway. Here in the U.S., because the servers are afraid that you might tip shittily, they’ll actually give you service. In France, it’s hard to get good service because tip is included. They ain’t gotta do shit for you. Steph and I sat down at a table in a bar to get a drink. They had one menu per table, so naturally, I took a menu from the adjacent table. So the waiter comes by five minutes later, snatches the menu from my hands, puts it back on the other table, and says, “What can I get for you?” Just like that. This blew my mind… who does shit like that? People who’s getting their tips already.

The last thing is… apparently everyone can spot the American from a mile away. Every time we’re in a restaurant, if they have an English menu, somehow I’ll end up with the English menu. They just kinda know. Maybe it’s my baggy jeans, or maybe it’s that French people don’t wear hoodies that much… or it’s because there’s no Asian people in Paris (for the most part)… but it’s odd, and kind of funny. I thought it was amusing… so yea, if you go to France and think that you blend in…? Think again. Overall though, France is awesome and Paris is a great city to visit. I’d recommend it to everyone.

Posted by Danny on April 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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