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Xeni Jardin at 5:52 pm Tue, Jun 5, 2012
‘sells tacos stuffed with organic meat (still a rarity in France)’
So Parisians aren’t burned out on ‘artisinal’ or ‘organic’ yet, eh? Tres lucky.
Organic meat not so much… Mostly it’s really really expensive. But organic stuff are getting more and more common, though. The “artisanal” stuff not so much – there’s already a well-implanted tradition of artisanal food, so mostly it hasn’t flared up to a full-blown trend yet, at least in my experience.
I do see more and more vegetarian/organic-stuff restaurants around, though.
And we just launched Bulldog BBQ here in Tokyo on Monday. http://www.bulldogbbq.jp Wherein the meats are smoked at TokyoHackerSpace…
“a city where diners rarely eat on the go, much less with their hands.”
One of the most aggravating things I often happen upon is this kind of weird idea that Paris is all posh, all the time, and that the tiny, tiny portion that consists in the touristic/historical centre of the city goes to represent all inhabitants of the city, and by extension, of the country.
Belleville? The Place des Fêtes? What’s that? Bah, who gives a fuck anyway! Let’s go film the Eiffel Tower again!
I’ve only been to Paris once, so perhaps my experience was unusual, but one of my abiding memories was the shear number of takeaway places (especially McDonalds) that parisians seemed to frequent. It was no worse than London, but much higher than I had been lead to expect. They seemed pretty happy to eat on the go, too.
The whole “French people always eat awesome food” is so much crap these days. They certainly eat better than many other countries as a rule, especially in terms of fruit and veg consumption, but things seem to be changing.
I read an article somewhere recently about the decline of the three course bistro lunch in France due to the rise of ‘le sandwich’. Many have gone out of business. But that’s alright; they’ll soon be replaced by bariatric surgery clinics.
I don’t know, I’m a student, so on school days my meals are pretty much all sandwich, all the time. I wouldn’t know about the rest of the population, I’m afraid. But I suspect that the reason the sandwich is on the rise is because people don’t have the time (or money, prolly) to indulge in an actual break for lunch and have to wolf down a sandwich before going back to work.
Also: … bariatric surgery?
I suspect that the reason the sandwich is on the rise is because people don’t have the time (or money, prolly) to indulge in an actual break for lunch
That, too, is a major change in French culture.
I live there (XXème arrondissement, about 10 blocks south of Belleville). We have a lot of kebab and Lebanese places, sushi (and take-away sushi) is also popular. Mickey D is obviously everywhere, as is Starbucks (though not in my neighbourhood, still fighting the good fight against gentrification). You also see it in the tourist neighbourhoods, for instance there are a whole lot of takeaway kebab places near St Michel and Notre Dame. The really posh places (16ème arrondissement, notably) don’t have as much, though, but then they don’t have a lot of restaurants either.
Seconded. A stereotypical view of Paris, and far from the truth. Even ignoring the influence of things like North African cuisine, even the cliche French meal usually has bread and cheese. Ever seen someone eat a croissant with a fork?
Oh, goody, more of “Le Hype”… That’s not a new trend, it’s just a new *brand* of what’s been available here for years. Because I live in Paris, and it strikes me as funny that anyone could fail to see the many options for eating on the go that are *already* here. Even in touristy places, as long as you go where most of the populace go, not just the upmarket stuff. I mean, what about all the shops, sheds and trucks (yep, trucks) that have been selling sandwiches, pizzas, pitas, kebab or pancakes wrapped and ready to go? Or stuff in recyclable cardboard or plastic containers: salads, pasta, bo bun, sushi… Not to mention people with McDonald’s bags.
Oh, and it’s not just a recent, globalization-fueled phenomenon: there’s a tradition in many parts of France for stuff you eat standing, either in the street or in a bar, or that you bring to your workplace to eat during lunch-break. It’s something working-class people have been doing forever. The quaint old café of old movies was a place were people would go to eat their meals standing at the bar: a cup of coffee and a croissant early in the morning, a sandwich or boiled egg or cup of soup at noon, things like that.
Of course, what’s new is that it’s now marketed as a high-end, trendy (and pricy) import from the USA… Yeah, right. I wish luck to those willing to pay 20 Euros for those “Californian” organic meals when you can get the same from a little mom-and-pop place nearby for ten. Or maybe should I say “bon appétit”!
All part of the creeping gentrification. One of the most egregious examples is the “Pink Flamingo” pizza chain : 20€ pies with whimsical names and funky ingredients. They do delivery on bikes. Can you say “hipster” ? (We call them “bobos”, actually).