Sunday, April 24, 2016

19 Secret Signs of Spring in Paris you may not know about


It took me 3 years living in Paris to 'get' Picard frozen food's annual Italian food promotion (April 4-24) is a sure-fire sign Spring has arrived! Everything is 'elaborée' (made) in Italy. I forget the number of products but it's huge. I, myself have partaken of their pistachio ice cream for 21 days religiously. If you're in Paris and see big signs up saying "CIAO ITALIA" you know Spring has arrived no matter the temperatures or the leafless trees. C'est comme ça.
Every shop suddenly is offering tiny watering cans and mini cutting shears for your possible balcon jardin. I once fell victim to the grow-your-own strawberries in a lovely Spring-green tin can. Forgetabout that happening. Never again. And I don't have a real balcony. Just a bit of rooftop, but I had high hopes.
2 sundays ago it was glorious out. It must have been official 'GET YOUR 1ST ICE CREAM' of the season. Ile Saint Louis was invaded. The lines were ginormous. I was still working on my pistachio and did not join in.
I did partake of a Tai chi class at Jardin des Plantes. All the Parisians not lined up for a Berthillon were here gazing at pansies like it was the 1st time ever.
Last Sunday was lovely too btw.
Parisian kidlets have taken to the streets big time.
Yesterday I saw TWO trench coats = Spring, even though temperatures are in the 40s. Hope springs eternal.
The produce stands are loaded with asperge blanche. I'm embarrassed to say I have never cooked them or even eaten them. I Must do something about this and soon before they disappear.
Strawberries (les fraises) have hit town big. Strawberry juice even! Why didn't I get that?
As window decor too.
Pierre Hermé has them.
So has Lenotre.
Fauchon has big signs outside of strawberries sitting in chairs...I forgot to show you. Pls forgive.
Strawberry-colored Bensimons stacked high in Galeries Lafayette and everywhere else is a sure sign. Do not ask me why they hide the shoelaces. ??? You can not go wrong wearing Bensimons in Paris. Ever.
Luxe department store Printemps brings out their annual Spring flower bunny. It's a tradition.
Bottles of rosé are showing up everywhere.
The 1€ bunches of dafs (jonquils) for sale in the marché show up like clockwork.
Flower baskets of those greens I've been trying to paint are a constant reminder of what's waiting around the corner, even if it's in the 30s today.
Last but not least, I sent off the Springy May Paris letters yesterday. Hooray!
BIG MERCI PBers for all your kind thoughts and comments!
Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast!
If you like this post please support it by buying my Paris letters and watercolors. Or pass this on someone you think might enjoy it.

28 comments:

  1. Tres jolie! Merci beaucoup!

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  2. La marchande de fleurs est superbe!How very Parisian..:)
    It's cold here too..

    I bet the magazines are fun also..jacques read Le Figaro every morning when we were in France..I enjoyed the Italian cooking magazines..something for everyone.

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    1. Ha I bout FT Weekend today

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    2. I had no clue what that was..thank you Google..Jacques would like that!

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  3. Anonymous1:22 PM

    brrr it is cold in Paris today. We bought the white aparagus at the out door market under the number 6 metro at Blvd Grennele ( a really fun market) and I did the short cut, through cooked it in the microwave a minute and topped with farmers butter. We walked Jardin du Plantes today - what an amzaing place! First time!YWOW!!esterday was a stop at Primtemps & saw t hose cute bunnies of flowers. I feel I am on the right track,if you were there itis the right place to go! I hope it warms up! Cheers-Fan from rural Oregon

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  4. Anonymous1:22 PM

    brrr it is cold in Paris today. We bought the white aparagus at the out door market under the number 6 metro at Blvd Grennele ( a really fun market) and I did the short cut, through cooked it in the microwave a minute and topped with farmers butter. We walked Jardin du Plantes today - what an amzaing place! First time!YWOW!!esterday was a stop at Primtemps & saw t hose cute bunnies of flowers. I feel I am on the right track,if you were there itis the right place to go! I hope it warms up! Cheers-Fan from rural Oregon

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    1. Bravo! Definitely on the right track Oregon!! I lived around the corner from the Grenelle marche when I first moved here - a terrific marché. Great radishes among many other trasures. Spring will come. Rest assured. Keep the faith!

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  5. Lovely! Happy spring!

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  6. Loved seeing your Spring in Paris shots. and the fantastic flower stall sketch. Roll on summer, I need some warm sunshine.

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  7. I love seeing your spring theme! So fun!

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  8. so sorry Carol for not being around with you much.... just a quick thought to two of your points:
    Asparagus: YOU MUST.... end..... wonderful stuff, practically no calories BUT then, the 'sauce' does it to you. In order to keep mine lean and mean, I mix a huge bouquet of herbs (incl rucola/rocket/roquette/arugula?, flat parsley, chives, whatever I find....) with fromage blanc (quark, 20%), freshly ground pepper & sea salt flakes, a dash of tabasco. No regrets!
    White asparagus: Peel them really generously!, cut off the hard woody bottom
    green ones: Peel very lightly only

    sale shoes without laces: They get less stolen. That was my first thought - sad but it seems everything gets stolen ....

    I LOVE that last picture - when I'm having a bit more time, I shall read 'backwards' through your posts.
    And YES, it's freezing cold - we had to put the heating back on - right after I change all my winter wardrobe for the spring/summer stuff and put the 'boudins' away from our immensely large windows... If I weren't so lazy, I would get it all up again!

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    1. Ha! Fortunately I did not take the insulating(bubblewrap) off the windows yet. And what would I do without my space heater. And SOUP! Thank gawd for soup.
      I'm thinking about the asperges blanche...thinking..
      Big Merci Kiki

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  9. Carol, every bit of this post was delightful to see...and very educational!

    I love all the strawberry colors and pastries and ...the berries, themselves. It's still too early to find any strawberries over here that taste like strawberries. Anticipation is great.

    Like you, I've yet to try white asparagus. Funny, but I just don't like the looks of 'em, although the slender green ones definitely qualify as one of my favorite signs of spring.

    xo

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    1. Ha ha I know..they look like wood, pine wood to me.
      who wants to eat wood? Love the greeny ones though.

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  10. Your photos bring a smile; your watercolors and sketches are a delight. Thank you for brightening my day.

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  11. Patricia11:29 AM

    Great way to begin a week - and this has to be the prettiest one of the year.

    Cheers!

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    1. Karryll11:47 AM

      Because of your post, I am going to pack my down sweater!

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  12. Violette12:34 PM

    The white asparagus is delicious with vinaigrette!

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  13. Loved this post but it was very nostalgic as we were preparing to leave for our spring in Paris at this time last year - and still have to wait over a year to get back there again.

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    1. Nevermind. At least you can keep yr feet dry Sukie!!
      More Spring coming up soon :))

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  14. Brunie2:12 PM

    Lovely post,
    touches my heart....
    interesting about the Italian food...I adore Italy as much as France.

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  15. Dennis in Kauai12:06 AM

    I don't know if you like asparagus, but the white asparagus has a very delicate flavor, very different from the green. It's also less stringy. Last year we were in Vienna at this time of year, and our first meal was a delicious cheese sauce over thick, pale spears and potatoes au gratin. Yum

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  16. Susan B12:08 AM

    Waiting for your Paris breakfast Calendar and datebook for 2017. This is the parfait Mai page!

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  17. Kathleen5:42 AM

    I love the artwork in the last picture - so lovely. Did you ever think to do a children's book?

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  18. Carol, had a mention that my comment got stuck - resp. that your mailbox couldn't accept 'mail'.... now - after I copied my 'refused aspèrges comment' and was ready to painstakingly insert it once more I see that it is all there - what the .... ? The weather? It hailed for a moment today when I met with three girlfriends for lunch..... Take those gloves & scarves out again :)

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  19. Congratulations on your pistachio ice cream streak and keep it up! Recent studies show that people who eat full fat dairy products get a lot of protection against diabetes but skim dairy consumers do not! Clearly, the siren call of ice cream was meant to be obeyed!
    And avoid Printemps for the duration ...ahem.

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  21. Great photos! You have to try white asparagus. Still jealous of the pistachio ice cream and those strawberry tarts.... I have to say I am a bit sad I've just switched to your map letters, as that Spring sketch is lovely. Thank you for my two maps, Salon de Thé and Chocolate Shops of Paris. Very exciting! Will use them as reference next time I'm in Paris. If you ever did a guidebook for Paris it would be the best!! :)

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