Wednesday, February 20, 2008

#1 Paris Activity

There is one activity that is absolutely essential to any stop in Paris. It is not the obvious: a visit to the Louvre, mounting the Eiffel Tower, or a Seine boat cruise. No, my favourite activity is much cheaper and tastes better. It’s a late-night stop at a crepe bar.

These street-side vendors are open reliably late, perfect for a sweet snack after supper. The crepe is a wonderful companion for a leisurely stroll through the city of lights. The best creperies are usually the darkest and dingiest, as is often the case with street vendors.

On a recent stopover in Paris, the promise of a crepe was the only thing that made us feel better about our travel troubles. We decided to forego a visit to our favourite creperie, and try the products from a vendor that is boldly named “Aux Meilleures Crepes de Paris”, which translates to the best crepes in Paris. Tempting. Now, there are many flavourings on offer at the creperies, both sweet and savory fillings. But when in Paris, we never, ever sway from the Nutella and banana crepe. Yum! So before I reveal whether the ‘best crepes in Paris’ are all they are claimed to be, here are the essential qualities of a great crepe: because these are walking crepes, they must hold together well, not allowing the filling to ooze over the sides of the crepe onto ones hands, or worse, shoes. The filling must be plentiful and evenly spread, ensuring that each bite offers just the right amount of gooey filling. In fact, it’s a fine balance. The crepe cannot be too thin (not able to hold in the contents) or too thick (taking away from the flavour of the filling). Definitely a science. So, as you probably guessed, the ‘best crepes in Paris’ were a bit of a disappointment. The crepe was too thick and overshadowed the best part: the filling. It was too filling, leaving us feeling stuffed rather than pleasantly satisfied. Oh well, if not the best, it was still good and soothed our craving and sorrows.

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