Burlesque, Cannoli, Champs Elysees, Chanel, cheese, Clafoutis, croissants, Daily Prompt, Daily Prompt: Tourist Trap, escargot, France, French Food Safari, fromage, Guilleme Brahimi, Hermes, Italian Food Safari, Lestat, liberalism, Paris, saucisson, SBS, Tourist Trap
What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?
Every-time I think of Paris I think of food. Not just any food, but pastries, and fromage, and good wine, and saucisson! I think my fascination with Paris stems from childhood. My family, whilst not French, are very much engrossed in their Eastern Europeaness, but my grandfather, always the intellectual and an artist in his own right, crafted an Eiffel Tower sculpture when they first moved to Australia.
We have a picture somewhere of him in the throes of his ever-flowing creativity at the time he was making the piece and it always brings me memories of my childhood.
Fast forward to now, and I think my fascination really blossomed when I saw the tail end of an Australian show called “Food Safari”, only this one was specifically “Italian Food Safari on SBS. I think they were making cannoli and so I was salivating at the sight. During the ad break they announced the next series, ‘French Food Safari” and whilst I’d always assumed French food was merely escargot and croissants, I was excited when I saw the images flash by of whole, organic, traditionally made foods, with no skimping. The desserts looked delectable, and not family sized servings, but these petite, well crafted sculptures, kind of like my grandfather’s Eiffel. They used butter, lots of butter! Their chooks were allowed to roam free, and their sauccison-sec was preservative free.
I watched that series 3 times…twice on SBS, and once when I showed my partner the saucisson episode and the one with Clafoutis. I was in heaven. I finally found my niche. After that, all I wanted was to embrace being a Francophile. I wanted to eat French food all the time, and not just because it was utterly amazing, but because I felt that it linked to me somehow, to my soul. Maybe it was a subconscious connection made to all things French as a result of my grandfather’s sculpture, or maybe it was the fact that they ate food normally, without all this low fat, high fat, high sugar, low sugar, low gi, low this that the other and everything else….they produced their foods traditionally and they were very intent on maintaining their way of life a particular way. The food had a certain heartiness and simplicity about it, almost a peasant-ness in its taste, its presentation and its goodness.
Soon, my Francophilicism (if that is even a word!) spread to my partner, and we were determined to move to the French countryside, and live in a beautiful cottage on a farm…much like we do now.
I think for me, going to Paris would be the ultimate. It’s not just about the food, it’s the history. It’s the pinnacle of liberalism as a political ideology, and the result of a people determined to make their lives as amazing as they can. It’s the respect for the environment, life, love, food and family. It’s the violins on the tops of buildings, the sunset on the Champs Elysses, the museums and the culture, and wearing bohemian clothing with a certain element of Chic, it’s Hermes, and Chanel…it’s Lestat lurking in the shadows and Burlesque dancers floating in the crisp air like fairies…