Paris Food Porn: From Rocket Sex to Sweet Kisses

Paris macarons
For the first time I know what it is to eat. I have gained four pounds.
 I get frantically hungry, and the food I eat gives me a lingering pleasure.
 I never ate before in this deep carnal way… I want to bite into life and to be torn by it.
 --Ana├»s Nin


If I was ever going to become an expatriate living abroad, I wouldn't do it for love or money or the Bohemian ideal.  

No, I'd do it for food.


A smorgasbord of seafood
My recent stay in Paris has me craving "specialty" shops that display meat or seafood or cheese as if ready to furnish the most decadent of Rabelaisian feasts. In Luxembourg, my jaw dropped at the abundance of fish and crustaceans piled on ice, the delicate setae inside the mouths of the live crabs wicking back and forth.  


Live crabs for sale


Rue Cler Meat Shop
On Rue Cler, I salivated over whole stores festooned with hams or cheese stacked elbow high or a market displaying a four foot swath of currents.  If excess is a sin, this is the kind of sinning I want to do.  And the kind of traveling, too.

Who cares about La Tour Eiffel?

While America has Whole Foods, European countries like France have the fromagerie, the boucherie, the boulangerie (individual shops for cheese, meat, bread).  On the day my friends and I walked across four Paris arrondissments, we lost track of the number of Patisseries (bakeries) in one neighborhood alone.  I stopped counting at ten. Think about what that statistic says about the way food is enjoyed in France.













So, instead of collecting museums and standing in line for a glimpse of the Mona Lisa, I collected food. I ogled and sipped, tongued and tasted, savored, mouthed, mounted, and photographed my way to one food orgasm after another.  Food is titillation and this is my porn.   
Currents in Paris

Some of this Parisian erotica is of the more rocket variety and there's nothing more sexy than lamb and duck and ribeyes displayed and cut to order. America, you can take your pre-fab, plastic-wrapped, missionary-style meat, and roll over and go to sleep.  Give me this beef!




Or send me into the cheese shop to fill myself with the unguent, pungent scent of ripe cheese and I'm likely to be arrested for some indecent act.  A la fromagerie, the fromagier will ask when you plan to eat the cheese and choose just the cheese that will be exactly ripe and perfectly creamy or strong or soft for whatever you have in mind.  Um, yes please.



And if meat  is said to be the carnal manifestation of wild passion, then the cake is pure divine tantric pleasure.  There's a meditative, transcendent quality to consuming a gateau displayed as lovingly as a Hindu goddess.  

Paris cakes
But there are simple pleasures, too.  In France, croissants and bread can be foreplay:  You savor them before moving on the main course, or you eat them as you would kiss your lover good morning, as one of the simple pleasures of the day. 



At the patisserie


While Paris only affirms my "Yes" to sensuality and gorgeous food, it does fill me with yearning.  I want so much to immerse myself in the kind of living where taste and touch are the two prime navigators.  There must be words, of course, which have a sensual lexicon all their own, and bodies and skin, too, but there must be also a richness to the choosing and enjoyment of food: Small sweet kisses leading to longer drawn out ones, a life where I know what it is to bite and be torn.  








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