Au Bistro

First, Mostly Good News; Then a Little Bad News

au bistro

Paris:- Saturday, 21. December 1996:- To tell the truth I am a little bit tired of the news. From the brief skim I've done during the week, I do not recall anything worth reporting from Paris or France. But I could have missed a jewel or a gem, and I will have a closer look - but I tell you this in advance, Wednesday's news has already been discarded.

Since I have been putting in some 'rotten reality' stuff lately, there has been more reader comment. Maybe it is a bit more dramatic; in general I try to find 'good' news - not just because Paris is supposedly such a lovely place, but I assume you get enough 'bad' news elsewhere.

Once, when I did reply to a reader, with the unvarnished version; he wrote back saying 'No Thanks!' And now folks, here is this week's 'good' news:

'Miss France' Beats President in TV Ratings

Tuesday's Le Parisien always carries the previous week's score for television, movies, recordings, and books. On the book scene, this year's Goncourt winner is still number one - 'Le Chasseur Zéro' by Pascale Roze. There are six French book titles in the top ten. Disney's 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' was the number one movie, followed by 'Le Plus Beau Metier du Monde' a distant second. There are five French titles in the top ten recordings, or maybe six, if something named 'Zucchero' is French.

city hall

Finally, a week-ago Friday's broadcast of the Miss France competition, outscored President Chirac's talkathon by 21.8 percent of the audience to 18.5 percent. Le Parisien thinks the Miss France TV Special did well because of the experimental 3-D that was tried out; I say it was the 40 good looking young ladies that did it.

50th Anniversary for TV-Weather Forecasting

The all-time most popular TV show, the weather forecast, celebrated its 50th birthday in France on Tuesday, 17. December. The forecaster, Paul Douchy, predicted, 'Cloudy skies, with a moderate but irregular north-east wind, with general freezing except in sheltered areas of Cotentin, Brittany and the Côte d'Azur,' for the following day. As not many people had television sets in France in 1946, weather reports were weekly and were only broadcast daily, beginning in 1958.

Six Tons of Caviar by the Year 2005

Three companies in Aquitaine have started production of caviar in France and it is about time. As their startup has only been recent, the annual production was estimated at 400 kilos in 1995. It seems as if it is a delicate business because the eggs come only from the female and only after the fish is at least eight years old - and there is no sure way to tell males and females apart.

On top of this, you have to get the eggs at the right time or they are too hard or something else is wrong with them - but when you do, and the fish is a big old lady Beluga Sturgeon, it will contain many kilos of eggs and these are currently being handled for around six to 10,000 francs a kilo.

However, the French producers do not have any Belugas; they have only native Sturios, but there are managing to get prices of five to 7,000 francs the kilo, which is in about the range of the imported Oscièter - which I leave in its French spelling because I have never heard of it - but which is in one of my Christmas food brochures - for 2,240 francs a kilo.

There some interesting facts in the report. Apparently it is illegal to introduce 'foreign' fish into French water - which precludes importing some living Belugas - and besides, I do not think the Russians or the Iranians allow their export.

On an Atlantic crossing of 12 days on a Russian passenger liner I grew quite fond of caviar. Fifty gram pots of it were on sale in the first-class bar for two bucks a pot, with the ice and the toast, and they only had Beluga available.

Discount at the Three Toques

A discount tour operator, Degriftour, which specializes in buying up unsold tour-operator slots and airline seats and reselling them, is trying out a new idea with top-notch restaurants, in association with the Gault-Millau guide group. By checking the Minitel code '3615 DT' one can, on certain days, make reservations at a selected number of France's top restaurants - and have a regular meal for up to 20 percent less than the menu price, or for less than 500 francs for example. In the first ten days of the service, more than 300 reservations have been made. Some of Franc's top restaurants are taking part in the scheme - and if you have ever wanted to have a 'dream' meal while you are in France, this idea may put it within your reach. Bon appétit!

Continued on page 2...
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini