Monday, April 18, 2011

France What is it Good For? Absoluetly Pastry and Gelato

My last week in France was very nearly perfect. If it wasn't for the finals and papers, it would have been the best vacation. I still managed to fit in a pastry or two a day. Plus, Nice has an inordinate amount of gelatorias. So in addition to the pastries I tried as many gelato flavors as possible. 20 different flavors in fact:

Cassis- black current. Most fruity flavored thing I have ever eaten
Chocolate cubain- chocolately chocolate with chocolate
Crème brulee
Chocolate Piment- spicy chocolate. Loved it
Ferrero rocher
Pear and chocolate- excellent combination
Profiterole- pastry plus ice cream baby. Can't go wrong with that one
While chocolate rocher
Kinder- if you don't know Kinder, you are living a half life
Chewing gum- not good at all
Citron vert- hate this flavor
Chocolate orange
Rose- kind of like eating perfume, but in the best possible way
Pim- chocolate and orange cookies
Cactus- it was like being at home
Rum raisin- it was very alcoholic tasting, but also really really good. Is that a sin?
Strawberry Tagada
Ginger chocolate- surprisingly really good, but very interesting
Vanilla pepper rose- I actually really like this one. It was a very special. The only improvement I would made is leave out the whole pepper corn in the gelato

I didn't actually catch the names of any of the pastries I tried this week. So I will just graphically describe them to you.

This little gem jumped out to me. It is flaky pastry wrapped in a spiral and then covered in caramelized sugar. It was chewing crunchy from the sugar and then flaky crisp from the pastry. This one is up there with Saint-Honore in my book.

This one is basically the French equivalent of a  snickerdoodle. It was very crumbly, but had a really interesting chewing texture. I love anything that has cinnamon, so this one was a total winner.

Mmm, eating pastries on the beach

Beach glamor shot of this little delight
 I feel like I didn't eat enough cake in France. But this one made up for that. It was soft spongy vanilla cake with a light and highly flavored vanilla creme filling. Not to mention streussel on top.
That's a three for one if I counted right.

Chocolate chip meringue. You see these  things everywhere. I figured it was about time I tried one. I am a sugar junky, so I loved this. Also, the night I sampled this fair, I was desperately trying to finish my political philosophy final and needed to stay up. It was the perfect sugar delivery system I needed to make it through discussing Marx, Locke and Hobbes.

Not everything I tried was great. These things were the most dissapointing pastries I tried. One was a nutella filled canolli. Should have been great right? Wrong. It was pretty much flavorless. And the other guy was filled with a pistachio, we'll call it, gunk that was very reminiscent of playdough in texture and taste. They looked cute though.

Nice was just a great place to get straight up good food. Just down the road from the hotel I stayed at was Pizza Sun. I got the vegetarian pizza and was not disappointed for a second. Sometimes I just want a pizza that is covered in toppings and that is what I got. Egg plant, artichoke, olives, peppers, onion, basil, good cheese, tasty sauce all over a chewy crust. Amen!

Sexy lady and a pizza

Sorry it's so blurry, but you get the idea

Marseille is famous for soap. I just got a big kick out of the fact that poppy in French is opium

Marzipan fruit. Very tempting, but not worth the price tag
Lasagna Bolonaise. Best lasagna I have ever had in my entire life. This was like going back to my childhood, except my mother was Italian and I made my own pasta. It was a revelation. It was soupy, meaty, cheesey. The pasta was al dente. Which is hard to do in a lasagna. It came out bubbly hot it its own little casserole dish. It looked like so much food that I would not be able to finishe the whole thing, but when something is this good, you make room. Every bite, even at the end when I was totally stuffed was delicious. I will chase this lasagna for the rest of my life

Jamie and I conquered the lasagna!
Every bite delicious. Not sure if this photo is a happy or sad one. Happy because I ate the whole thing, sad because it's all gone

Nice is gorgeous. This picture proves how perfect this place is.

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