Oh boy, it’s been a whirlwind these past couple of days. Leaving Lyon, was bittersweet. The quiet, cobblestone streets and rustic ambiance of the town offered me some much needed relief and solace from the intensity of Paris. On our last night, Geoffrey threw an intimate dinner party and prepared a traditional Lyonnaise dish called, quenelles.
Quenelles are made with a mixture of fish mousse, eggs and breadcrumbs. It takes a very long and labor-intensive process to make these dumplings, but it is worth it. The mixture must be pushed through a sieve several times, resulting in a texture that is light, fluffy, and creamy. The quenelles are poached and simmered slowly in a financier sauce, a light tomato sauce containing mushrooms and olives, and they plump up as they absorb the sauce.
These quenelles were delicious and a great way to end our trip in Lyon. We had a wonderful evening, as we drank copious bottles of French wine (only from the south of France, of course) paired with a very fine selection of French cheeses. The evening was filled with fascinating conversations surrounding food, culture, travel, and the overwhelming dominance of American music in French pop culture (If I hear another Katy Perry song, I might go insane.)
The night came to a close with a round of exotic digestivs, ranging from limoncello to an anise flavored poison from somewhere in Eastern Europe (I definitely felt that one). The evening was filled with easy laughter, eye-opening conversations, comforting food, all of which helped turn strangers into friends. The French sure know how to live, and I’d like to thank Geoffrey and Nadége for showing us the proper way.
From Lyon, we headed off to Amsterdam, the city of canals. It’s a stunning city that welcomes cultural diversity, which is especially evident in its cuisine. The Albert Cuyp market is a must-see. Open everyday, it’s a street market that has absolutely everything you’d need. There you’ll find lush flower stands, butchers with freshly cut meat, famous Dutch Gouda, and best of all, cheap street food.
As I was walking down the strip, I caught a whiff of something delicious. Something that was slowly roasting…perhaps on a rotisserie. Then I saw it…YES! A roast chicken stand! My mouth was watering as I approached the glass case filled with whole roasted chickens, drumsticks, wings, and skewers. In the rotisserie, I could see the chickens slowly roasting, the skin slowly bubbling and becoming crisp from the dripping fat. HEAVEN.
At Chris Kip Roast Chicken, you can get 6 pieces of roasted chicken wings for just 2.5 Euro. The same price would barely buy you a lousy bag of chips in Paris. So cheap and so delicious. I tried not to look like a barbarian as I sucked the bones clean and licked my fingers until there was no tomorrow. Who cares? I won’t see these people again. Except I did. I came back a total of 3 times for my chicken fix.
When in Amsterdam, one must also try a stroopwafel. And conveniently located a few steps down from Chris Kip, is the stroopwafel man! For 1.50 Euro I treated myself to a giant stroopwafel, hot and fresh off the iron, filled with a sweet and decadent honey syrup. Finding lunch and dessert for just 4 Euro, is a backpacker’s dream. And although it was pouring rain as I rode my bike home along the canals, I was a very happy girl.