Thursday, August 7, 2008


Inspired in part by Dorie Greenspan's adoration of it, I dragged my husband to legendary Parisian fancy food store, Fauchon, last Saturday. They have two separate stores along the Place de la Madeleine in the 8th Arrondisement; one with ready to eat foods and a cafe and the other filled with packaged foods to take home. Decorated in pink, black and lucite, the former storefront is a foodie jewel box filled with oh so precious treats -both sweet and savory. A group of tourists was jamming the macaron and bread stations while the jars of ready-to-eat foie gras went largely unnoticed. Well, they did look slimy and icky all jarred up like that. Since our bellies were already full from some croissant or other, we moved across the block to buy some things to enjoy back in NYC. Equally pink, but not quite as precious, the latter store had open stock shelves and lots of employees walking about to help. We were thrilled to encounter a woman with excellent english near the condiment and spice area. My husband adores mustard almost as much as I love mayo and I was determined to buy a couple of special mustards for was his birthday, after all. After determining our type of palate (spicey=yummy), our helpful associate recommended a slew of varieties: champagne, truffle, horseradish, and piment d'espelette. The last incorporates a basque pepper that is so revered, it inspires week-long festivals as the peppers dry. Wanting the frenchiest mustard, we settled on small jars of the champagne and espelette -stay tuned for tasting review.

I CAN report on the prettiest and best artisinal marshmallows I've ever had. Each is fluffy and non-gelatinous with a hint of fruity flavor. So much better than any mass-produced marshmallow I've ever tasted -they're a different being, er, dessert entirely. They've has inspired me to try and make my own...perhaps these from design sponge for holiday gifts.

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