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Last time I was in Paris I stayed with my friend Pauline. She's very French, but grew up in the U.S. and her palate is, while refined, prone to go slumming. While working at Vogue, she would wander down to the vending machine and buy a single-serving baggie of Cheez-Its. When she left the magazine, as a joke, I purchased a huge box of those little bags of greasy cheese crackers, wrapped it in the fancy gold-and-silver Vogue wrapping paper and had it delivered via messenger to Hermès, her new swanky place of work. Co-workers were curious what the gift was...imagine their shock when she revealed the contents. Personally, I think Cheez-Its are almost the same hue of that signature Hermès orange, no?
Pauline and I traipsed around Paris and ate only the most beautiful of foods from the market in her neighborhood, as well as pounds of butter (I think she had three different options in her refrigerator), and basketfuls of flaky croissants and golden-crusted baguettes. I don't regret the 3 kilos I gained on that trip.
The only thing I do regret is that our teenage boy-like palates didn't lead us to order what some tourists we spied on a sidewalk café had: paté and fries. At the same time. The waiter looked appropriately displeased, but, I thought it was brilliant. Next time I'm in Paris, I will not speak French nor pretend to be chic. I will order paté and fries, and nothing else.
In the meantime, as an ode to Pauline and to those tourists who don't know any better, I'm eating this swanky sandwich that's spread with paté, topped with baby kale lightly tossed in a champagne vinegar-based vinaigrette, and, wait for it...tater tots. Bon appétit!
About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blogs High Heels & Frijoles and Cookin' and Shootin'.
Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite. Read about her cravings and suffer through her rants on Twitter @HHandFrijoles and see her constant stream of food images on Instagram: mdmsacasa