Parisian café or Japanese sushi?
How is the traditional Parisian café doing? Everywhere you look in the French capital, you see a sushi restaurant or a sushi takeaway where there used to be a café. As soon as a café disappears, the Japanese are there.
We now have four sushi places 5-10 minutes’ walk from where we live. There were none when we moved to this neighbourhood 15 years ago. And if it isn’t sushi, it’s Thai or Chinese. Or possibly a trendy epicerie, which can best be described as a somewhat luxurious and nicely decorated grocery store.
More and more old-fashioned grocery stores disappear in Paris but reappear in this new guise. They do not sell everyday groceries but things you want occasionally: the finest cured ham, olive oil from Provence, fresh ravioli, delicious prepared meals, olives. You can buy wines here also, of course, often organic and “natural”. Sometimes they have a small area with a few tables and chairs where you can consume on the spot or just drink a glass of wine. For the very latest trend is that you should eat and drink surrounded by delicious food and wines.
But even if the Japanese are ready to take over any empty store they probably cannot threaten the “Arab”. The Arab us the shop on the corner, with the most generous opening hours imaginable. Anyone who has spent some time in France knows that I mean a small, somewhat tarnished grocery store that sells the essential things (including Moroccan wine) and is run by a North African. Each block has its own “Arab”. It’s like instead of having a Seven Eleven, but nicer. But to maintain their position, these stores should perhaps think about modernizing a bit? What about starting with couscous takeaway?
And if you love Paris and consider the traditional cafés as Parisian as the Eiffel Tower: I can reassure you, there are enough of the traditional Paris cafés left.
In this Brief we are starting to catch up with publishing articles that have been piling up in the pipeline during the busy wine travel season in September to November. Plenty to read. Save the links and click over to BKWine Magazine when you have some time to spare.
We are also very, very happy to tell you that our new book series, Guide to the World of Wine, only a few days ago was awarded the prize as best book in the annual book awards for food and drink book by the Swedish Gastronomic Academy. The whole series with four book, on Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, and Piedmont, won the awards. More on this next month. Unfortunately the books are only available in Swedish at the moment. Perhaps in English too some day…
And don’t forget our usual two “reminders”:
Take a look at next year’s wine tour program. Winter tours are full, but in the spring we offer Bordeaux and Champagne. Autumn tours to be announced soon.
Enjoy the Brief!
Britt & Per
PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief !
This post is also available in: Swedish