The next stop on our European vacation was Paris, the city of lights. Our train pulled into Paris late Friday evening and we stayed through Tuesday morning. We arrived at our friend’s apartment and were greeted with a champagne reception! We stayed in their charming apartment enjoying breakfasts of French press coffee, cheese, saucisson, croissants, baguette, and gluten-free crackers for two lovely days. The other days were at a hotel.
*I bought the crackers in the health food aisle at a grocery store in Paris. All gluten-free items are clearly marked “sans gluten.”
There are open air markets selling all sorts of things every day of the week. Sundays however seem to be the day when the biggest and best markets take place. The Sunday we were in Paris our dear friends took us to one such market. It was a glorious haven of all things food with a flower stand here and gadget kiosk there, something to behold. It was the biggest farmers market I’d ever seen, it was magnificent! There was beautiful ripe fruit and vegetables as far as the eye could see. Succulent, delicious looking rotisserie chickens roasting above potatoes were available at quite a few stands. There was fresh fish, fresh meat, roasted meat, eggs, olives, saucisson, bread, pastry, and of course, cheese. One stall only sold goat cheese, we purchased two kinds and they were wonderful. One of the cheeses was creamy and mild and the other firmer and stronger in flavor. This was a marvelous way to spend a Sunday. After we filled our sacks we headed to the Eiffel Tower for a gourmet picnic.
Earlier I mentioned the rotisserie chickens at the market and how delicious they looked. Well, they tasted even better.As you walk down the street you will see them roasting away on their spits with baby potatoes sitting in the bottom absorbing all the drippings. Obviously I had to have one, to myself. Don’t bother leaving without the potatoes, because they are part of the experience. Our friends served this with a leafy green salad and ruby red tomatoes.
For a nice, inexpensive, gluten-free meal go to Les Fernandises. The food is French with a Spanish influence. The menu offers plenty of sharing options for a gluten-free diner such as meats (charcuterie) and cheeses, as well as salads and entrees. They also have a three-course menu for only 20 Euros that changes daily. I chose the three-course dinner.I started with a duck salad topped with diced watermelon and figs. Next, I had lamb marinated and grilled with mint. The mint was grilled into the lamb somehow, in a style I haven’t had before; the strong flavors of both worked surprisingly well together. Neither one overpowered the other. I know there was a gluten-free dessert option, but I honestly can’t remember. The evening was filled with great wine, great food, wonderful friends and lots of laughter. I simply could not have asked for anything more.