Bon appétit

There are many excellent reasons to take a babymoon in France and I am sure a post will come with its relative merits as the destination of choice. But beware, the country as a whole is determined to push you well and truly off the pregnancy food police wagon!

It starts with the wine: the plethora of amazing looking wine bars with dozens of sophisticated Parisiens sitting outside in the freezing conditions, quaffing at their Saint-Émilion’s and Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s, and don’t start me on how good la rhumerie looked.

Then there is the food… That’s where the real fun starts. I just looked up the word for pregnant in French (enceinte), but I don’t think that will help much. I’m not sure the French put much truck in food avoidance during pregnancy based on the reactions we’ve seen so far.

On our night in Paris, we went to a nice traditional bistro in the St Germain district called Le Bistro d’Henri. This started as it meant to go on with complimentary saucisson:

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However tempting, I managed to resist the piggy goodness and limited myself to more conservative elements of the menu including duck with heart attack-inducing dauphinoise potatoes, which was very pleasing.

Fred made the most of his lack of pregnancy and went for the most listeria-inducing item on the menu, the rustic chicken liver paté:

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It looked like pure evil and however delicious, the tummy ache the next day was ascribed entirely to this harbinger of bacteria.

And so the temptations have continued. Arriving in Guadeloupe last night, the plane was delayed seemingly for no good reason beyond making a circuitous s-shaped route across the Atlantic (perhaps to avoid the Bermuda triangle), we were late for dinner and missed room service closing at 10pm by 5 minutes. At that point our options were limited to what they were willing to provide cold as room service, which were two items: the cheese platter and the smoked fish platter. To try and up our chances of me being able to eat anything we went for both.

The cheese platter arrived with suitable French aplomb, not an unpasteurised nugget among them, weeping Camembert and Epoisses:

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I decided not to risk it, and left Fred to devour it all (well all four miniature pieces).

I have now looked up the French for pasteurisation, apparently “lait pasteurisé” is what I need – simples really. Although I am not sure that my queries in broken French will meet with much success – in the UK, people tend to look blankly at me at first when I ask and I expect the French reaction will be worse, as I imagine making cheese with pasteurised milk is essentially sacrilege to them.

As for the smoked fish, this turned out to be smoked tuna. Not being a massive fish eater, I am safe so far on my mercury intake for the week and the NHS think that smoked fish in the UK is fine due to the curing. So taking the line that feeding the alien something was better than nothing, and that Guadaloupe is part of the EU (how random is that? Islands in the Caribbean that are part of the EU!), I ate it dear reader, and delicious it was too.

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