Beaucoup de Foie Gras

It’s my fourth day in Paris and I’m proud to say it’s my fourth consecutive day eating foie gras. I don’t like the concept of force-feeding a duck or goose, but it tastes so good! And besides, I’m in France where they prepare it best. To not try it here would be an insult to the country!

I arrived in Paris Friday morning for a friend’s wedding extravaganza. And the word extravaganza is no exaggeration – three evenings of celebrating, culminating with the wedding Sunday night at a chateau an hour outside of Paris. Each night began at 8 and ended on average between 3am and 6am.

Friday night we boarded a yacht for a cruise along the Seine – truly the perfect way to begin a week in Paris. We sipped champagne as we passed by familiar sights – the Eiffel Tower illuminated in blue, Notre Dame and the Ile St. Louis, and in the distance, Sacre-Coeur glowing white on top of Montmartre.

After the sunset, we were invited inside to eat. There were several food stations including one just for foie gras. There was sliced foie gras on thin bread, foie gras “lollipops” that you could dip in a variety of sauces, and foie gras flan served in individual shot glasses. I tried all of them – and more than once. The flan was incredible though I could only eat one; it was about ten times as rich as normal foie gras.

The next night we went to a party just outside of Paris at a former wine storage facility that now houses turn of the century carnival games and rides, even a carousel. Everything has been fully restored and we were allowed to play all the games and go on the rides. The carnival atmosphere was completed with sweet drinks in a variety of bright colors, tons of candy, and performers juggling and riding unicycles. It was updated with caviar and of course, foie gras. The highlight came after the sit down dinner with the presentation of dessert.

A woman entered dressed like a 17th century French royal, complete with a hot pink wig and hoop skirt. When she got closer we saw her skirt was made with pink cotton candy. Guests were able to come up and take off the cotton candy. The men seemed especially eager to take off the cotton candy.

The wedding at the chateau was nothing short of spectacular. We were handed glasses of champagne when we arrived, and taken to the ceremony site in the chateau’s garden by horse-drawn carriage. And in keeping with the theme of the weekend, there was foie gras in several of the passed hors d’oeuvres and in the first course.