When in France, I insist that in order to have a true French culinary experience you must stop into Sushi Shop and have a few pieces of a maki roll with foie gras!
Sooo it officially is cold in Reims. The kind of cold where I want a snuggly blanket wrapped around me and gloves pretty much 24/7 despite if I look awkward or not. It's the wet.. nasty kind of cold.
Ahhh.. So tonight I had a funny experience. Don't you just love when the bus schedule says that your bus will arrive at 18:00 and feeling proud that you've actually done some advance planning and checked the schedule, you envision the perfect scenario; you run out of the library, exhausted from class dragging your huge briefcase and you arrive just in time to not have to suffer the cold. Ahh.. you breathe a deep, long sigh of relief as you catch a glimpse out of the corner of your eye of the bus turning around the corner. You quickly scurry along and gleefully jump onto it. You smirk because you're so happy that just as scheduled it pulled into the stop on time! Well, as I am a dreamer, this is how I imagined my night going. But of course I was wrong.
So here is what happen: The library kicked me out a few minutes before 6 (by the way what kind of Univ. library closes at 6? Aren't they suppose to encourage us to study until 12? I'm confused?). Anyways, I checked the bus schedule and I was quite proud that I was finally doing some advanced planning. I realized, via the schedule, it was a perfect time to leave the building giving myself minimal time waiting outside in the cold. I was ready to venture out into the brisk night and run out to the catch the bus. Of course luck was not on my side and the bus was 25 mins late. So, despite my vigilant planning, I stood at the dreaded bus stop with about 15 others shaking in the cold. The girl next to me was actually shaking so violently she was moving the bus shelter. Amazing... Ok, so maybe it's only 39 or 4 degrees celcius but it feels like -5! God I have to get used to this...
Ok, so despite my bus experience and canceled dinner plans I decided to push my luck and go on a solo adventure to sushi tonight. As Hanna says "France is your boyfriend and you must experience something new every single day". So, I was off to do so. Of course once jumping off the bus I was lost b/c I had no idea where the restaurant was. The images of salmon nigiri and avocado and tuna (http://www.bigredfishing.net/images/redBlowFish.jpg)
http://scienceblogs.com/zooillogix/giant%20chinook%20salmon%20battlecreek.jpg were swirrling in my mind and my determination pushed me to walk around lost for about 10 mins. Was I really doing this? It was freezing, I wasn't too close from home and I had no idea where I was going. I called a friend Maria who I hadn't seen in a while and she agreed to meet me there in 15. I turned around, spoke my somewhat embarrassing American-french and got out a few sentences ending with a well pronounced "Sushi Shop" along with a desperate wide eyed lost look and luckily the lady I asked was walking there b/c she worked there. What were the chances?
Anyways, back to talking about food. Only in France would you get to experience the luxury of "foie graset douceur de figues" or sushi with foie gras, figs and nuts? Sounds weird I know, I know but oh my, oh my it was glorious. The perfect odd textural complex of sticky rice, rich, soft, delicate and savory foie gras, sweet fig and crunchy nut. It was like a little French-Japanese explosion in my mouth. I'm not sure if I ever would have been couragious enough to order it on my own but I'm glad that I ran into Mr. Louis De Maillard, that he decided to join us, that he lent me his camera to take pictures and that I got to experience this gout de pur bonheur!
The rest of the sushi experience was incredible as well (ok, ok it might not be real traditional sushi but it was good). Hot green tea that I desperately needed to warm my body, tasty miso soup, a salmon roll with no rice or seaweed but wrapped in velvety, perfectly ripe avocado and a well constructed and perfectly seasoned seaweed salad with a hint of sesame oil and pepper. Oh France... you never cease to surprise me. Here is Sushi Shop's address in case you come to France and want to try this little delight. There are a few in Paris and all around France. It's the middle roll in the pictures where you can see the speckles of fig :)
PS... I know the fish pictures are beautifully random but the guys face with the big nasty fish was awesome and so is the blowfish...who would ever dream about eating either of those 2 fish? Thrillist puts links similar to those into their site and I love their dry humor :) A little healthy imitation never hurt in strategic blogging...