That’s Why They Call Them Noms

Paris has its own Chinese food. It’s similar to, but not quite the same as American Chinese food. (I have never been to China, but have heard that they have Chinese food there, too.)

The most distinctively French Chinese delicacy is a kind of egg roll called a “nem.” It’s a small, crispy, bubbly, greasy roll filled with meat and who knows what that you wrap in mint leaves and green leaf lettuce, then dip into a thin sweet sauce and shove into your mouth. It’s messy and fun and has a nice mix of flavors and textures. That, says my older daughter, is why they call them noms. 


Diamant Rose, Blvd. Montparnasse

Paris Bagel Review

I purchased my Little American Bread at one of Paris’s best regarded bagelries, “Bagels & Brownies.” (I did not order a brownie.) Here is the bag it came in, along side a bottle of Snapple. Snapple! The most appropriate drink to accompany a bagel, other than maybe coffee. 

Ok, so what was the bagel like? It was like this:


I ordered a sesame bagel with lox and chive cream cheese. It is harder and harder to find chive cheese these days; you usually get scallion. The bagel had a nice exterior with lots of sesame seeds, even on the bottom. It was chewy and tasted right. The cream cheese and lox tasted as they should. 

In short, this was a good bagel. You can get better in College Park or Highland Park or Providence, and much better in Brooklyn or Manhattan. But this was on par with most bagel chains and considerably better than a Dunkin’ Donuts bagel. 

In conclusion, yes, it is now possible to find a decent bagel in Baguette City. If you have been away from home for a month, you just might want one. 

Bagels de Paris

The French, I noted in my post about butter, have some of the world’s best bread. No one else is better at turning flour, water, salt, and yeast into delicious food. If we widen the scope of what constitutes “bread” to include items made with dough that includes other ingredients, then we must consider the bagel. I do not believe any bread can compete with a fresh New York City bagel, with its crispy, bubbly crust and chewy crumb. However, I am currently a long way from NYC. Could Paris offer a bagel to compete with those across the Atlantic? 

No, obviously. But, could Paris offer a decent bagel? I decided to find out. 

When I visited Paris many years ago, Andi’s father was excited to have located bagels in Paris. Or rather, he located a bag of frozen “bagels.”  The label on the bag translated to “little American breads.” These bagels looked sadder and less bagel-like than Lender’s. 

A few years ago, I noticed a bagel shop in Paris with a funny name: “Still Good.”


I’m not so znooty that I won’t eat day-old bagels, but that seems like an odd selling point. I did not try a “still good” bagel. 

This time, I have noticed more and more bagel shops in Paris, including several locations of “Still Good.”



Clearly, bagels were catching on here. I decided I had to try a Paris bagel. For Science. 

Doonuts

Nope, that’s not a typo. I saw these at Monop and had to try them. 


Ok, these are little donut-shaped snack cakes, with an intriguing extra “o” in the name. I’m not going to tell you that they taste great. They’re not really znooty either. What is interesting is the texture. It’s mostly a fairly dense snack cake, but they have some kind of crystallized element in them. This is almost certainly sugar, although the doonuts also have an odd fatty flavor and consistency similar coconut oil (which they do not contain; the fat is mostly canola).

You can see some weird glistening here:

P. S. As Andi notes, one doonut depicted on the box is farting. None of the doonuts we have eaten so far have farted.

Jus d’orange

Paris has many machines that squeeze oranges and dispense the juice. These are found at little shops and in markets. This one is in a train station, right next to the trains:


For 2€ you get a little shot of OJ. It’s fresh and a bit pulpy with a bit of of zesty bite and not much acidity. Délicieux!