My plan today was to walk around. I had no exact endpoint, but I had some options in mind. I started early enough to visit the Latin Quarter without everyone else visiting it at the same time. I considered taking a bus up to Montmartre, but by the time I found a bus that actually went up there, I found something more enticing to do.
With my map sitting on my couch at home, I connected familiar streets with new ones. While on new territory, I gazed in windows to observe copper pots, cooking utensils, and bakeware. I found a cookware shop. And not just any cookware, but the best one in Paris that has been open since 1820 (E. Dehillirin)! You know, the one that Julia Child used to go to purchase supplies while training at Le Cordon Bleu. The one my chef recommended at the cooking school. Of course I stumble in the entryway with excitement.
The first step in reveals what looks like and smells like my granddad’s garage, only filled with cooking items instead of tools and nails. It is packed with pots, pans, people, and all kinds of nifty little gadgets. The thrill of a cooking store is always high for me, but this one was like the best roller coaster at the park. I bumped into people and looked around in awe and confusion.
What is that used for? Where are the prices? What do these numbers mean? I spent at least an hour looking at this table, then going downstairs, then going back to the table, and still trying to figure out what it all costs. I heard the word catalog and the light bulb turned on. The numbers refer to items in a catalog which will indicate the price. I wrote down the numbers of possible purchases and sought out a catalog. Aha! I’ve mastered this system.
After careful consideration of my budget, I opt for a few standby utensils. My dreams are bigger, but my wallet is not. Enchanted to be buying something from a professional cooking store, I make my way to the counter to pay. Once again my basic logic of how a store operates proves to be wrong.
First you have to visit the guy with the order notepad. He records what you have selected. Then you leave your items on the table and go to the counter. A new man looks up the prices and returns with a receipt. Once all items have been paid for, you go back to the table where they wrap and bag your desires. The man in front of me bought over 450 Euros worth of copper pots. If only I could afford these pieces of artwork and magic, or be able to ship them home.
What a thrill to learn and achieve success with this wonderful store. Ready for more, I went down the street to find another cooking store. The charm and dust were not there, so I left quietly. If I want to shop at a store like that, I will go to Sur la Table at home. Let’s just say Sur la Table has nothing on E. Dehillirin.
With a culinary mindset, I decided it was finally time to have some escargot. Perhaps a restaurant named l’Escargot would be a good idea. It just so happened they had a special with the tasty little snails and veal. My meal was good, but I still set escargot I devoured in Madison, Wisconsin as the best in the world. I think my favorite part of the meal is becoming the cafe. To think I never used to like coffee, and now it doesn’t feel right to end a meal without one.