Give me Paris
Cabaret Moulin Rouge,
On the lost streets
light of lanterns ...
And in the cafe of Saint Louis
On which me
you will call yours.
Tatyana Vorontsova. Give me Paris
Cabaret Moulin Rouge,
On the lost streets
light of lanterns ...
And in the cafe of Saint Louis
On which me
you will call yours.
Tatyana Vorontsova. Give me Paris
Europe from the bus window (2019). So, we have We continue the story of the impressions of the bus trip across Europe and back home to Russia. These notes do not claim to be “scientific in nature” (God forbid!), Some deep conclusions are my personal perception of what I saw, touched and ... ate. That is our banal life with you. And many readers liked this approach, although someone found in the materials of the cycle both "worship of the West" and the imposition of Western values on us (God forbid!), In a word, "work for them." It’s good that at least this time they didn’t call a spy, because in the past this happened more than once. But here all claims to the Penza FSB. A spy sits right under their noses, but at least henna - they take no measures. So I will take advantage of the freedom given to me so far and continue my story.
A lot of tourists - a lot of food! It’s just incomprehensible to the mind how much all these people eat in just one day. And after all, no one eats stale bread and potatoes! That is why we are so acute in the problem of nutrition. Tasty, varied, healthy, and even cheap! Well, where, under these slogans, pick up all the people’s products?
And once again I want to start with this. Some readers expressed their comments in the sense that “galloping across Europe” is not enough to see, you need to live ... To live in the outback, ride a rented car. But here, as always, and as in everything, there are pros and cons. There is no Louvre in the hinterland, and besides, no one will also call you to his house there and will not reveal your soul in conversation. But if you have a sharp, trained eye of a journalist, and I have been engaged in journalism since the 1977 of the year, then you can see a lot of things in a very short time and compare this with what I saw in other places. And in this case, the speed of movement turns into a plus. Yes, and there is no need to particularly worry about anything, in particular, about an overnight stay. The bus will always bring you where you need, and there is a hot bath, dinner and soft bed. All this helps to take a break from the road, which is very important in order to keep everything in good memory.
But this is another difference between the local life and ours, which immediately catches the eye, and to understand which, living there is not necessary. Well, who guesses right away?
So today there will be many comparisons, most of which will be in our favor. And to start comparing, I think it will be best ... with food. “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are!” I don’t know who said it, but it is said very true. And here is the first observation: the "buffet" in hotels in Europe since the 2013 of the year have become more "rational", I would say so. That is, the assortment has been reduced, although for breakfast usually everything you need is there. But before there was more variety. However, the remark is not absolute. A couple of times we ended up in hotels - in Germany and Hungary, where as if nothing had changed. A varied and rich breakfast menu and everything is very tasty. The menu of restaurants in the hotels where we stayed for a week by the sea was, of course, richer - in the morning and in the evening. However, now, perhaps, it will be more interesting to tell not about these same restaurants, but about the famous Parisian cafes. Our poetess even wrote poems about them ... I can’t say anything about Saint-Louis, but it was like this with us: on the morning of July 14 (+ 19, a strong cold wind, airplanes roar in the sky over a military parade) to the Cluny Museum. This is in the Latin Quarter, not far from the metro, but you have to look. We froze, hungry, and then saw the sign "Cafe" Paul ". As it turned out, only later, it belonged to the network of the best cafes of this type in Paris, and, moreover, we got to the very first cafe with that name, opened at the end of the 19th century. They gave us the freshest hot croissants and coffee, that is, our wife, granddaughter and I, ate, appreciated how big, fresh and tasty they are, the taste of coffee, the interior ... “Paris Zola”, but went downstairs, looked at the window and we were amazed a rather meager assortment inside.
Here, by the way, is a funny picture, though enlarged, but from a real photo. “What is he so stuck in it? He wants to eat right away! ”
We went down the street, and what turned out? Here’s one cafe, here’s another ... On the window are several vases with squalid round multi-colored cookies, a couple of equally squalid cakes and that’s it! All! And where are the famous Parisian pastries, one asks? Where are they?! At first I thought ... the area is not the same. But then we got to the restaurant of the Museum of the Army and ... there was a lot of food, but there were no cakes at all. In a word, it was a bummer!
Showcase of one of the Parisian cafe-confectionery. Not impressive. We have a lot better!
But, on the other hand, I immediately remembered my hometown Penza, where it’s better not to go into the cafes at large stores and small cafes at private bakeries. Cakes of dozens (!) Varieties: with pistachios, peanuts, raspberries, cream, "straws", meringues, potato cakes of all kinds, although - yes, there are also colorful round cookies. And also pies. With blackberries, cottage cheese, blueberries, currants, cherries, it’s clear that with cabbage, eggs, fish, meat ... Lord, why not there. I went to the Shokoladnitsa store (there’s a cafe there): “By the tanker's day, make me a cake in the form tank? " Answer: “Of course. Here is the album - choose. And in the form of a tank, and in the form of a typewriter, and in the form of a computer ... ”I almost collapsed.
Croissants and coffee at Cafe Paul
Photo from the cafe wall. So it and his staff were at the beginning of the century
And these are the 20 years. How much has changed
I remember that this was not the case in Penza before, and I remember exactly the year when it was not: 2005. Because that year I was retraining in Kazan at Kazan University. Tupolev, and I was struck by the abundance of all kinds of pastries, moreover, with heat, in the shops there. I remember that from every trip home for the weekend, I brought some local cake. And all sorts of ichpechmaki there with a mug of broth ... it was the food on duty. “Eh, here in Kazan,” I told my colleagues, “we would like that!” And now the time has passed and now we are no worse than in Kazan. I think that such a situation today in our other cities. And I think that if our cafe was to have some Frenchman or an Englishman ... a blow would simply happen to them: so much yummy and one belly!
Still, the "buffet" is a bit not for us, the Russians. You need to see what portions of everything that is possible, some people impose on themselves. Literally hold the food with his chin. And if there is a watermelon or a melon in the menu, then they will definitely take both! Although it seems to me that this for breakfast plus coffee is enough!
But this is more than enough for dinner
True, this also has its drawbacks. We caught up, we caught up - first of all, our women, the West in excess weight. 62% of our women, alas, today suffer from more weight than they should. The fact that in the USA and in other countries is the same is bad comfort. So what can be "there" a modest menu in a cafe - is this just a manifestation of concern for ... "weak in spirit"? Those who, looking at different goodies, simply can not eat them? In England, for example, the London Underground was banned from advertising strawberries with cream, a traditional treat at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Do you know why? Harmful, it turns out!
"English breakfast", ordered at the "English Cafe" (the owner is the mother and daughter of an Englishwoman) in the Spanish town of Lloret de Mar. Well, no fried potatoes!
So this is a reason for joy to all those who believe that I play down the achievements of our country. We have surpassed the West in food many, many times. We have the best selection of pastries, pastries and cakes, and perhaps they are even tastier here than there, although not everywhere. But in private bakeries - no doubt. They achieved, outdid, caught up and surpassed. Gip-gip, cheers!
In different places, like ours, there is its own kitchen and its own dishes. In the castle of Carcassonne, for example, in the south of France, you should not only examine the fortress and the Traknavel castle, visit the Museum of Torture (not for children and women!) And climb the walls, but also try their local roe dish - several kinds of stew with beans. That's how it is served in the restaurant “At the Little Well”.
"At a small well" in the fresh air ...
By the way, there are a lot of restaurants in Carcassonne and roe deer served in each. But ... do not rush into the first street on the most crowded. He will be the most crowded, and you have to wait a long time. But it’s worth a little walk, and you will certainly find a small street (in Carcassonne one street is smaller than another) and there is a restaurant where the roe deer will be no worse than in the big one, with incomparably faster service. You’ll sit at the medieval well, look at the castle towers, eat deliciously, drink deliciously and think about the centuries that swept over the stones surrounding you.
But maybe there are better shops? Well ... I won’t say much for the shops. Moreover, in our, Penza, almost never happen. A daughter walks around, visits the most expensive and fashionable boutiques, tries on everything there, picks up for herself, her daughter, me, my wife all that is needed ... - and then orders all this on the Internet. However, both the wife and the granddaughter also know all this, and they are actively using the achievements of modern civilization. All orders come ... to the office near the house, we go, try on everything sent, and if it suits, we buy, but not - it all goes right back at the expense of the company! The price difference is this: in a boutique some kind of rag costs 3500 p. Here with delivery - 860 p. There are 12000 boots - here ... 1200! Therefore, the meaning of "shopping" I just do not see. But the food shops here and there I know well - while you live in Cyprus for a week or two, then in Croatia, then in Spain ... then you spend three days in Paris - you will unwittingly get used to them.
The problem of the Europeans themselves, and now also of many Russians, is that they have money, but there is clearly not enough culture and no one to borrow from. Therefore, they are guzzling (you can’t say otherwise!) In three throats and the owners of the “catering department” indulge this - they impose such portions to you. Now imagine a salad, soup, dessert ... and Coke. So if you have children, you can safely take food only for adults and just ask to bring you a couple of clean plates, where you just put them away from you
Of course, our chain stores Magnit and Pyaterochka are frankly poor, although they basically have everything they need. I found the Spar store in Croatia, the impression was that I never left Russia at all. The only difference is that they had a machine for cutting cheese and sausages. In 2013, in Spain, in the town of Malgrad de Mar in the “Supermarket” on the working outskirts, the freshest seafood was struck - live crabs lying on ice, claws tied with elastic bands, shrimps stirring their mustaches, oysters ... By the way, the very next day these crustaceans flew into the trash can. And then it was in my wonder.
And here are the results of such nutrition: photo in Berlin
And again the photo in Berlin ...
But recently I went to our Metro store: there live Kamchatka crabs swim in a tank, a live spiny lobster sits in the aquarium with claws from my hand, and there are live crayfish in the Crossroads and in other stores, you won’t remember everything . Like king prawns ... It is clear that this food is not for every day. And the price of lobster was also - oh, oh! However ... he was, and if desired, it could well be bought by anyone who would have struck such a whim in the head!
And a photo in Paris. True, a woman from India is on it. But obviously not a slender palm and not a cypress
Jamon Yes, in Spain you will not go to any butcher's shop - everywhere there are jamon, jamon, jamon. But ... there was jamon in Metro too! That is, sanctions are sanctions, and jamon is jamon. And the same thing happened with "blue cheese." And the paste was from a bear’s meat with lingonberries, by the way, of our Russian production, and much more in the same vein. And even it seems to be a rarity: the Spanish pickled green hot jalapeno pepper was also there. I went to the Internet - in Penza it is already offered by 44 store. 244 ruble kilogram! Food from a heart attack! I recommend!
Jamon for every taste!
So, a grocery store in Paris near the Montparnasse tower. Two floors. A large selection of grape wines, but it would be strange if it were not in France. A very pleasant cheese department, led by its “cheesecake” - the tenant of the area, the owner of production. There are all kinds of cheeses! The smell is appropriate! Gives everyone a taste of their cheeses. Proud of quality. Naturally, we let ourselves be persuaded to buy his cheeses and were not disappointed. But in the same Penza Metro, the choice of cheeses ... well, only a little less, and they are not so sophisticated. We do not yet have the tradition of having our own cheese mills. But in principle, everything is there. But we have a tradition of smoking meat at home and already have our own masters who have their own smokehouses. Young guys are sick for quality. If you make them an order, they will always be executed in the best possible way. So here we are no worse!
Spain, Lloret de Mar, a resort town by the sea, and there is a large grocery store chain "Caprabo". Two floors. A huge department of local wines. Cognac and whiskey - everything is like ours, even we have a richer choice. Yesterday's bread lies separately, and it is half the price, which is convenient. The baking department ... far from ours. Less varied yogurts and mineral water. But more vegetables. By the way, the choice of vegetables and fruits is greater in France. But if we don’t have something, then this is not critical, and it doesn’t strike the eye. Prices ... are almost the same as ours, except for avocado prices. In Penza, the average price of avocados is 500 p. per kilogram. In Paris, in the Fix Price store (where there were exactly the same fried chickens as ours, and in exactly the same oven, and in exactly the same packaging!) A kilogram of avocado cost exactly ... one euro! Well, it’s clear that “for a snack” we only ate them, having bought another bottle of soy sauce, the exact same one that is sold here! That is, by avocado we, yes, are lagging behind so far, although this “thing” is very useful for health and skin ... and in general. But ... this is again not critical! This is not Russian food. So, in principle, the price of it for 90% of Russians is not important at all.
Another defamatory picture: a street musician on a museum island in Berlin. In Penza, for some reason, such people most often play in the tunnel between the railway station and the bus station. All of them are clear victims of the exploitation of man by man! Or is it a state of mind?
True, a lot of table greens are sold, ranging from arugula to mint. Arugula is good with cottage cheese, and chic pesto sauce is prepared with mint. But ... I went to our city market, and there it all is, and in abundance. That is, for those who do not have a summer residence, now on the market you can buy everything the same as in France.
And again, it is clear that “not everyone can”, that “the regime brought” that ... in the USSR it was better. But here someone likes what, and who sees what, both his own and his life. But the fact that our grocery stores and cafes are no worse, and in some ways even better than foreign ones, is undoubted!
To be continued ...