Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Real Reason French Woment Do Not Get Fat

There is a book called "French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure." The premise is that French women do all things in moderation, have one glass of wine with dinner and a tiny self-controlled square of dark chocolate for dessert. That because French women walk everywhere they have no need for designated exercise time - high activity levels are a way of life. And voilĂ , they are thin.

This is as wrong as my French pronunciations. This is a bunch of bologna, or perhaps here in Paris it's some sort of processed duck deli meat. You get the idea.

After a summer in Paris I know the real story on this phenomenon. French women do not get fat because French women simply do not eat. It's true. They drink espressos and chain smoke cigarettes. It's the culture at Paris' ubiquitous cafe scene. According to the French sommelier who taught a wine class I took, French women don't drink wine. At all. He says it's a contributing factor to why French women are so boring (his words, not mine!)

I started paying attention to what French women order in bakeries. Baguettes. And I'm sure they're devoured by their families, not themsleves. I very rarely see a French woman order a pastry. I'm convinced that pastries are actually baked for tourists, not locals. Perhaps they're all baked for especially for me.

So, there it is. Caffeine, nicotine and starving are the weight-loss secrets of the French. And I'm so not French. But I have definitely mastered the secret of eating for pleasure - the secret is a little Jewish bakery in the Marais called Korcarz Bakery. It's where my girlfriends and I discovered the most delicious almond croissants we've ever tasted. They're filled with almond cream, sprinkled with sliced almonds and baked again, until the cream has set and the elbows of the croissant are crisp.We are convinced they get fried at some point in the process -  they're just so good they have to have been fried. They're very funnel cake-esque. The Texas State Fair has nothing on these babies. The bakery also whips up chocolate fondant and cheesecake that are so incredible they make me stay in Paris forever.

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