Last weekend, we went to visit my parents, who are spending the month in Paris. I hadn’t been to Paris in nearly 20 years, but was surprised by how recognizable it was — which I suppose should not be a surprise in a city that is thousands of years old, but one does often have the sense that there’s a kind of sameness that’s beginning to make itself felt across the European capitals. Go anywhere and it feels a little like everywhere else.
So I was reassured by how much Paris still felt like Paris. As a gift to my parents (who so generously hosted us for the weekend — ohmygoodnessthefood!) we brought a Sachertorte, Vienna’s famous delicacy. The Sachertorte, for those who don’t know, is a chocolate multi-tiered cake with chocolate ganache on the outside, served by the Hotel Sacher, which is directly behind the Vienna Opera. The recipe is proprietary, and so while there are many tortes in Vienna sold as “Sacher Art” (Sacher-style), only one is the “original.” It is therefore sold by the Sacher at multiple locations in special wooden boxes and costs an ungodly fortune.
Once our Vienna Sachertorte got to Paris it turned out that it, like my spouse, had never actually seen the city before. So we took it on a little tour, starting at the Institut du Monde Arabe:
From the Institut, we made our way toward the Seine, where we sighted an important landmark in the distance, and made it our goal:
Though it was Sunday, a few booksellers were already opening, and we looked for a book for the plane:
Further delays thanks to a compelling menu and abundant spring sunshine:
And then suddenly, there we were:
We waited until the torte was safely in the possession of my parents to buy chocolates to take back to Vienna. We didn’t want to hurt its feelings.