Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Alien's day out in Paris (Pt 3)

My sister's final day of her vacation has already come and gone. For her last day here, she wanted to see the Musee d'Orsay, but it was unexpectedly closed. We actually tried earlier in the week too and waited in line with tons of other people for the museum to open, only to hear over the loudspeakers that they "may or may not" be open that day. Bah~ Ah well... . perhaps another time... .

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So instead of art-viewing, we just walked around the center of Paris, saw the Place de L'Opera, and did some window-shopping at Galeries Lafayette.

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This shopping plaza is huuuge, and since the summer sales started a few days ago, the place was p-p-packed with shoppers doing some retail-therapy. I don't get much excitement out of clothes-shopping, but grocery-shopping is a different story, and to my delight we found a huge gourmet food market in the plaza! It was stocked with so many amazing things like different chocolates, mustards, jams, nut spreads, fresh produce, and deli food, that I was like a kid in a candy store. Can you blame me? I mean, just check out the insane spice rack:

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Within the gourmet food market, there was a Chinese food booth which was calling to me, so I bought some marinated fried tofu and a cabbage salad. It was pretty expensive, but I guess it's the same as buying food in any department store in Korea.

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I couldn't help myself and bought a couple special items, just for novelty's sake... . ^^ Pink dijon mustard (I admit, I just bought it for the unique color), rhubarb-strawberry jam, and a package of banana-acai fruit "leather."

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I had the banana-acai fruit leather as a snack at a nearby cafe. The banana flavor was pretty strong, but in a good way. Made me feel healthy and energized, although that may have been the coffee talking... .

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We also met up with one of my sister's French friends for a quick bite on his lunch break. We just popped into a random cafe by the Galeries Lafayette. As is the case with most typical French restaurants here, the veg options were very limited, but luckily they had a totally vegan soup made of blended carrots and potatoes. This was soooo creamy and smooth, it was as if there were dairy in it. The big "soup" bowl was also adorable.

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Later in the afternoon, my sister had another appointment to get to, so I just wandered around Centre Pompidou with all its youthful energy, and got to observe some wacky street performers.

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I just kept walking and ended up south of the Seine, where I came across yet another natural food store called 'La Nature a Paris.'

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It seems like the French are into eating organic foods because I keep running into these kinds of 'Biologique' health food stores, and they are usually stocked with plenty of vegan products! Looove it. Are you sick of all my grocery food photos yet?

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They had so many different non-dairy milks, from spelt to almond milk, that I had to snap a shot for your viewing pleasure. Korea seriously needs to diversify their non-dairy milk options... .

Well, that was my last day together with my sister. It was sad to say goodbye again, but I'm totally grateful that we got to hang out, and in Paris of all places! I still have a couple more days though, to explore and absorb as much of this city as I can, and I'm currently crashing at a friend's house here in Paris. One of the benefits of having international friends is getting to mooch off of them while traveling and sleep on their couch! My friend (Swan) has a really cute one-bedroom apartment here, about a 30-minute walk from the Eiffel tower! She's truly living the Parisian life, and I'm pretty jealous. Actually, this weekend, Swan has gone out of town, so I have her apartment all to myself! I feel like I'm actually living here, greeting the neighbors, taking out the trash, grocery shopping in the nearby residential supermarkets and bakery... . you know, pretending to be a local Parisienne... haha... .

Anyway, Swan has been so great in opening up her home to me, and I'm incredibly grateful for her generosity and hospitality. For my first night here, she didn't know what things I could/wanted to eat as a vegan, so we went grocery shopping together at a nearby Monoprix (a chain supermarket) and got some things to make dinner.

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We found some "bio" (organic) lentil and smoked tofu salad at the supermarket which was really tasty, considering it was pre-made and packaged. We enjoyed this with a lovely fresh salad of greens and tomatoes dressed in balsamic vinegar, and a side of boiled potatoes.

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Here's another meal eaten at home. I love having access to a working kitchen while I'm traveling! It makes budget-traveling so much easier. I got this whole wheat bread at a boulangerie next to the apartment, and topped it with some of the cheesy tartiner (spread) I bought at Holy Planet. I also cut up some of the cubed smoked tofu to toss in the salad.

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The cheese spread is so amazing... . creamy, sour, rich in flavor... .

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Boom.

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For breakfast, Swan and I ate vegan pain au chocolat that I got from the Loving Hut restaurant. I could've eaten them straight out of the package, but I followed the directions on the package and popped it in the oven for 3 minutes, after which they were deliciously warm and slightly more browned. I enjoyed it immensely with some sliced banana and a mug of soy milk tea. It wasn't as buttery or flakey as most other puff pastries, but it was still delicious!

Well, I have been eating so much great food and finding so many great vegan products that I think I'm getting spoiled on this trip! It's going to be tough returning to Korea knowing that I won't get any more pain au chocolat or vegan cheese tartiner. I guess that just means I'll have to eat as much of it as I can while I'm here, which is cool by me!