Weekend before midterms means studying for midterms right? Wrong! Unless you are my father or grandfather, in which case I mean “oh yes! lots and lots of studying! And dad, this post just contains boring details about my studying, so you have no need to read any further…” Well instead of mass amounts of studying, yesterday I went to the Salon du Chocolat! Amazingness.
So a group of us decided we would go to the Salon du Chocolat yesterday, which a 5 day chocolate exposition (I suppose you would call it an exposition?). There are demonstrations, a chocolate fashion show, all kinds of chocolate vendors, chocolate sculptures, amazing pastries, chocolate liquor (had no idea there were so many chocolate alcohol brands, but then I had to remember that Parisian’s blood is actually just liquid chocolate). First of all, I knew about this event back in September. I’m such a food nerd and love to check out a whole bunch of food blogs and ex-pat french blogs. And I forgot that going on a Saturday would mean that every french person and their maman would be there. So of course we had to wait in a long line. I had to give my group a reminder that we were in Paris and what do Parisians love to do? Cut lines! If they can, they will. I may or may not have been forceful in holding my position in line.
Finally we get into the exposition center, which is interesting in itself because living in Paris, you forget that such things like convention centers exist. A few of my friends in our group were so surprised, they had just assumed it would be outside. We made our way to buy our tickets and then finally got onto the main floor. The second you walk inside, you pretty much smell chocolate, it is what I imgaine ole Mr. Wonka’s place smelled like. There are just a bajillion booths, many giving away free samples. So what did we group of college students do? We scouted out the free samples of course! It reminded me of when I used to volunteer to go to Costco with my parents just so I could eat all of the free samples.
I don’t think I have described some of my friends before, but for the purpose of this explanation, you just need to know that 95% of them are shorties. Whenever I walk around with Maddie, Lindsay, Ilanit, and Aleah, I feel extremely tall. In everyday life this is not a problem, however, at a crowded convention? Problem. Thankfully Christine and Aaron are both taller than me, so we thankfully were able to stay together for the most part. It is astounding the amount of things that can be created with chocolate. I really wish that I could have just bought everything to share with all of you, however, I still have two months to go. There were other really cool things to see as well, there was a huge booth of spices and teas, where I got some killer tropical tea (I have become even more of a tea fiend in Paris, thanks to Mamie Gateaux). I also might have bought myself a charm bracelet that has little dessert charms on it…
I did find some cool stuff to give to my family when I go to Munich next Saturday. To fill some of you in, we have a week off after midterms, so pretty much that’s when everyone in my program does big trips. I decided that I wanted to go to Eastern Europe and e-mailed my Opa to see if I could stay with his nieces, my mom’s cousins. Luckily for me, they are extremely kind and opened up their homes for me to stay for a week! Monika, one of the sisters, lives in Munich and Andrea, the other sister, lives on a farm with her husband and three daughters. I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this trip. Anyways, I know Germans happen to have a sweet tooth, so I picked up some goodies for them!
After the chocolate show, I headed straight to a book signing. I have been waiting for this book signing since I got to Paris. The author? David Leibovitz. If you don’t read his blog, YOU SHOULD! He’s an expat, a former baker at the famed Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. His website has helped me find out about countless French restaurants, cafés, baking supply stores, given me recipes, etc. And I LOVED his book, it’s one of the reasons I was so excited to study abroad in France. His book signing was at this adorable little place, Sugarplum Bakeshop, run by other expats. They were handing out free hello dollies, pecan pie slices, brownies, and COOKIES! Do you know how long it has been since I have seen a chocolate chip cookie?? And while waiting in line, I met this really great girl, Tessa, who is studying at the Sorbonne and from Michigan (she was originally born in Toronto Uncle Sean!). We chatted about our experiences so far, traveling, having our parents visit (hers were coming soon), and of course…the foods that we missed. In case you still haven’t gotten the memo after reading all of my posts, it always ends up back on food. I didn’t get the nickname Gobblegee in my family for nothing (yes, it’s a really great nickname, I know. My dad originally wanted me to have my blog’s title be ‘Gobblegee in Paree!” which probably would have been more apropos).
Finally I got to the front and got my booked signed! He was nice, but it was crowded, loud, and there was a huge line behind me, so we didn’t chat long. Despite my imagining us chatting all about Paris and me charming him with my wits, I only spent about 2.3 minutes with him. Oh well, I got a picture out of it!!!
Me and David Leibovitz! Clearly he’s super stoked be taking a picture with me…