And indeed it was. Behind a small wooden gate on a nondescript street lay a secret garden, shared among three families, including Florence and her teenage daughter Manon. All three families are great friends and share this wonderful space. When the lady of the house locked the gate behind us, she effectively shut out all the sounds of the city. It felt as if we weren’t even in Paris anymore. They even have a cherry tree!
After starting us off with baguettes, olives in brine and saucisson (sausage) with almonds to nibble on, Florence presented us with two homemade quiches hot from the oven. One had goat’s cheese, while the other was made with spinach and mushrooms.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a French meal without cheese. My new discovery was the Saint-Maure, the crinkled log-like cheese on the right. It has a straw stuck down the middle for the cheese to breathe. I guess that’s what makes it so deliciously creamy. I liked it so much, I bought my own Saint-Maure to bring home to Amsterdam.
French women really have this knack for knocking out amazing food with effortless chic, and elevating home-cooked meals into an art form. I’ve got to hand it to them… and only wish that I could be capable of the same!
Speaking of sweet endings, my last few hours in Paris were spent in a most worthwhile way: in pursuit of my favorite pastry, the tarte citron. Marj, a former colleague of mine from GMA now living in Paris, had blogged about a tarte citron that I absolutely had to have. So we met up at the Place des Vosges and headed together to Le Loir, a quirky little cafe in the Marais…
… where I met the tarte citron that defeated me. I’ve never, ever given up halfway through a lemon tart, but this insolent tart wielded a knockout weapon known as meringue.