Snapshots from Paris: Perrier with Smaller Bubbles

"It was more sparkly than Badoit, less sparkly than the green Perrier in a can."

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[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

I was baking like a clam in the Luxembourg gardens one boiling hot day recently. It was time for a can of Perrier. Yes, a can. I love how its looks like soda. An older American ex-pat with a round belly looked up at me and scolded, “The French never drink Perrier.”

“Well, my parents are French and they drink Perrier!” They buy cases of it at Costco every two weeks.

“The bubbles are too big.” He closed his eyes and sunk back into the heat.

Hmph. I marched off to the little pagoda and demanded my cold can of Perrier. And I drank it, and loved it.

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"Delicately sparkling" Perrier

A couple of days later I was in the supermarket and spotted a bottle of Perrier that was blue rather than green. “Finement pétillante,” it read. Translation: delicately sparkling. Perrier with small bubbles.

I had to try this.

Waiting for some cataclysmic realization to smack me in the mouth, it was actually just another sparkling water—more sparkly than Badoit, less sparkly than the green Perrier in a can.

I like the variety, but I didn’t feel more French for drinking the “delicately sparkling” version. After all, we mustn’t forget, Perrier is like soda in France!

What kind of bubbles do you like in your water?

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.

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