Monday, February 8, 2010

Fruits de Mer

I walk by several restaurants with raw bars on my way to the gym but only this gentleman is kind enough to always smile at the American lady in her ratty exercise attire. Finally last week, I decided it was time to stop and engage him in a little conversation. I put my camera in my gym bag only to pass by several times and find someone else at work, cracking open the crates of oysters and cutting up lemons.

But Friday, I hit the jackpot and made a new friend. Monsieur Alex (or maybe it's Alice or Alyce?) was all smiles and happy to pose proudly at his post. And he was able to speak with authority about a question that's been bugging me for some time. That is, when you order a seafood platter in an elegant restaurant like the one where he works, how do you eat the shrimp? Can you use your fingers or do you have to use a knife and fork? Those of you who have seen the film, Mr. Bean's Holiday, in which the hapless Mr. Bean confronts this issue at Le Train Bleu in Gare de Lyon, know what I'm talking about. (The rest of you can look it up on YouTube.)

He assured me that fingers are the way to go and that warm water with lemon would be provided afterwards to wash up. Frankly he seemed kind of amused by the whole thing and a little puzzled that I didn't want to have my picture taken with him. I'm not really sure he understood that I'm in deep cover on this blog. Oh those Americans. You know, we are just so comical with our funny accents and odd ways.

Anyway, now I can order one of those platters without fear of committing social suicide. Even better, I made a friend.


Belle de Ville said...

Your photo reminds me of Meryl Streep as Julia Child in "Julie and Julia" when she makes friends with all of the local food sellers.
Will you be attending the Cordon Bleu next?
Those parisian seafood platters are wonderful...except for the sea snails. I was never able to eat them.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I love seafood...especially shrimps/prawns. The Parisian Seafood stalls are amazing.

I could not imagine anyone eating Shrimps with a knife and fact never heard of anyone questioning it.

Yep you made a friend that is good.

Starman said...

The next time I'm in a French seafood resto I'm going to pay particular attention to how shrimp is eaten.

Peter said...

I believe that in France you can eat anything any way; you must just do it with "class"! :-)

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