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Your opinion on the rich French food in Paris

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Apr 5th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Your opinion on the rich French food in Paris

OK, haven't been yet. But the more I read about it, the more rich and heavy it all sounds. If you eat in the cafes and restaurants, sounds like so much cheese, sauce, and heavy type food that I don't eat on a regular basis at home. Yes, I am on vacation, and should plan to "when in Paris, eat as the Parisians do", which is what I plan.

But, for those with a more delicate condition, sensitive stomache, a little lactose intolerance, how did you get through eight or ten days of such heavy style of eating. Delicious, yes, but will it shut down my system? Just not used to the high fat and richness. Or am I being an ignorant tourist from CA?
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Apr 5th, 2006, 05:51 PM
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Heavens,
I have some of the stomach sensitivities you described and haven't had any problems with the food in Paris. I do try to balance a heavy/rich entree with a less creamy plat or dessert (or cheese course or...). I can't really eat crepes or sandwiches with bechamel AND cheese. So I don't order them.

Have a lovely trip. Eat some goodies for me.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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I don't know where you read, the old days of heavy cream sauces have been long gone. You don't have to order cheese. Where do you get your insane information?
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Apr 5th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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cigale,
But they're still there if you want to find them.

Yumm.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:02 PM
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OK, for instance, a croque mensuir (please excuse my bad spelling). Isn't that bread, bechemel sauce, cheese? And then the croque' madame has a fried egg on top.

Please don't get me wrong, maybe I am misinformed, which is why I am posting this question. I know that the food in Paris is near and dear to many people's hearts, especially those on Fodors. But I will confess, this is a hesitation that I have about eating freely over there. That it will be too much for my system.

Remember when Oprah had to leave Paris early a few years ago bc she found the food too rich for her diet? It isn't like the states, I am thinking, where you can just go in and order the Asian chicken salad and call it a lunch. The food is much more particular over there, good, but could fear that it could be a problem for me, hence the question.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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For one thing, sauces, where you find them, are more a garnish/dribble, not a cupful poured all over, or even served on the side. Actually, whatever is more likely set upon a smear of sauce. And, these days, they tend to me more intensely flavored vegetable purees than laden with butter and/or cream.

What are you reading? What "heavy" food?

We absolutely love French cuisine for the fresh ingredients and incredible BALANCE. One nibbles on cheese.

The composed salads are exceptional, with fabulously "light" dressings.

Where else can you go and enjoy heavenly croissants with butter and fruit preserves, coffee with creme each morning; then a three course lunch; and a three or more course dinner; along with wine and cocktails all about; yet your clothing is tres loose on the way home, because of all the exploring on foot you've done?



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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:06 PM
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Just don't order a croque monsieur; I have to admit they are too rich for me. But there are plenty (and I mean plenty) of other delicious things to eat.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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but ordering a croque m. is like an American ordering a cheeseburger because it's cheap but fulling.
You can look at menu outside or ask before you sit to see if anything is too rich. I eat simply prepared food, the taste is enhanced by herbs, virgin olive oil just as I cook at home.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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My diet is pretty much meat-free and dairy-free. My favorite places to eat are the tea shops like Laduree and Angelina and the many Asian restaurants that can be found. Every bistro will have omelets. And simply prepared roast chicken is everywhere.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Heavens, a classic Croque Monsieur is French Bread, with a THIN slick of ham and a THIN slice of gruyere toasted under the broiler. There are many variations all over Paris. Bechemel sauce is a bit of butter and flour, then a lot of milk, with a bit of cheese.

Our favorite rendition of Croque Monsieur is a thick slice of country bread (not baquette), with a thicker slab of country ham, topped with just enough bechemel to cover all and popped under the broiler until it is beautifully browned (which hugely enhances the flavor of the cheese).
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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And my idea of heaven is this ubiquitous sandwich: baguette with sliced tomato, sliced egg, and mayonaisse.

Why won't it taste the same in my own kitchen???
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:23 PM
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I love seafood in Paris, light, perfectly cooked, with vegetables that seem to be right from the garden, with salads that are light and delicious.
I still cannot duplicate the roast chicken that I had in Allarde with sauteed cepes (mushrooms) and a salad of mixed greens with a champagne vinaigrette..
Omelets in Paris are light as air..
You can get anything you want in Paris, you can order a heavy sauce laden meal or you can eat light and healthy..there are so many places to eat and they almost always make the plainest food taste wonderful, you will not have any problems with finding what suits you.
They eat the same things in LA that they eat in NY or Oregon, I think you might be just a bit influenced by things you hear that are not quite correct.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 06:59 PM
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Oprah had to leave Paris because the food was too rich??????????

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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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Lol...I don't think so...
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:13 PM
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I found that eating the bagguettes and the salad was easy for me. I did not find the food to be too rich, but then again, I did not eat at very fancy places, either. The richest food I ate was perhaps the croque monsieur....and I had steak and fries, but I didn't consider that rich---heavy, but not rich.

I think it is easy to get a simple salad and protein in Paris without is being covered in a rich butter sauce or anything. Just read the menus carefully and feel free to ask them to not include cheese or butter.

Also, drink tons of water!!!

Have a great time!
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:16 PM
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No, I swear. Don't you remember that a few years ago when she was on a strict diet with Bob Green, her trainer? No carb, maybe? Anyway, she left Paris earlier than planned bc of too much sauce and cheese and bread. OK, don't quote me, but thought I remembered this.

Anyhow, what I have been reading is various menus of various restaurants that posters have liked for others. And then some other things thrown in like rabbit, sweetbreads, crepes, three course lunches with desserts. I haven't eaten a dessert for lunch since I was 20. Hundreds of cheeses.

The breakfasts will not be a problem, that is pretty much how I eat anyway, a bit of bread, some tea, some fruit. A roast chicken or an omelette sounds fine. Fresh vegies sound great. So maybe I am worried for nothing...it just seemed to me what I have been reading lately, menus and suggestions, the food has sounded heavy and not much of what I prefer to eat, meal after meal. Sounds like I will find things to be different when I get over there...

Thanks for your responses. And the walking will help quite a bit, I am sure. And will buy fresh fruit when I can. And the wine, I am sure keeps us regular, LOL.
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:30 PM
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I too wondered how I would handle food like fois gras and cheese with my gerd but I found the diet so balanced that I could have quit my meds..I didnt dare try but all the exercise with the walking made me feel great

and the food is not like we eat here thank goodness...junk like tacos,pizza and fried stuff..and the portions are smaller than here so that helps...
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Don;'t forget Tart Tatin and Mousse au Chocolate..they help the digestion too. I swear!
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Apr 5th, 2006, 07:45 PM
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Make that Tarte Tatin...thinking about it got me all forgetful
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Apr 5th, 2006, 08:15 PM
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Heavens
You make the choices of what you eat. If you order fat food, you'll get fat. It's just that simple.

Look around France and see how many really fat (obese)people on the street. When you find someone like this, she/he probably a tourist. The French are getting bigger over the past ten years but they're still very slim.

Spanish people eat much more than the French and still slim. I guess it's mostly the types of foods which keeps somebody slim and other people select the fatty dishes.

Have you eaten at the "Olive Branch" restaurant. If you've eaten at that restaurant, you'll find this is what you mention. But, it's in the US.

Give it a chance and select a nice meal in Paris and don't eat crepes, croques, and all of the other fast foods sold around in Paris. Look at the meals at the brasseries during lunch time. And yes, take a chance at some of the cheeses. There are more than 365 different cheeses in France and certainly you would like one of them.

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