Looking for Horseradish
Or how I spent my Sunday afternoon
Today, Monday 25 March 2013, is the first day of Passover. I’ll be celebrating at a friend’s house and was asked to bring strawberries, parsley, and horseradish (raifort). Strawberries and parsley, no problem. Horseradish is another story. If I had any sense I would have gone to the Marais. But the Marais on a Sunday afternoon seemed a bit more than I could stomach so I decided to try the small Japanese quarter centered around rue Saint Anne. I found a number of bars, small galleries, and Japanese, Thai and Korean restaurants but only one Japanese grocery, Ace Market. Ace Market* carries all sorts of Japanese goodness and a wide assortment of exotic mushrooms but no fresh horseradish.
My next stop was rue Richer. Rue Richer is a short street in the 9th known for it’s kosher butchers, Jewish bookstores, and Les Folies Bergère. I rolled the length of the street and entered every butcher and non-restaurant food seller. No horseradish. Dejected, I ducked into Chez Bob de Tunis to grab a snack. My goal was brick à l’oeuf, I ended up with four loaves of challah** and a cup of mint tea. Both the tea and the challah were on the house. Observant Jews remove all leavened items form their homes before Passover. I’m guessing Bob had a lot of extra bread on his hands and with less than a day to get rid of it was on the lookout for any possible takers. Perhaps the tea was his way of thanking me for helping him with this task? We wished each other “Bonne fête” and then I was on my way.
I headed back down rue Richer feeling defeated. A block down the street from Bob’s I noticed a flurry of activity outside a small shop on a side street and decided a detour was in order. Low and behold smack in the middle of Chez Youda** (“Epicerie Fine”) sat a freshly opened 20lb sack of horseradish. I handed over 7,30€ for my prize. Sheer elation and triumph followed. It really is the small victories that count.
To celebrate my victory I stopped by Damyel*** and picked up an extra treat for my host.
Further down the street I popped into À la Mère de Famille for a looksee and some candied violets.
And because I love mixing my metaphors, I’ll end with an Easter Lamb I saw in the window of Le Stube Verdeau.
*Ace Market, 63 Rue Saint Ann They may carry fresh horseradish but didn’t have any yesterday.
**I gave one loaf to the owner of a little cafe where I stopped for a drink, the second loaf went to one of the patrons of the aforementioned cafe, the third went to a woman who lives under a bridge near me, I kept the fourth. The challah had a nice flavor but was a few days past its prime.
***Chez Youda, 1 R Saulnier Chez Youda has one large step at the entrance but we’re happy to serve me on the street.
****La Maison Damyel (established in 1988) also has one large step at the entrance. They too, served me on the sidewalk.
Misc. The Pulitzer Hotel Paris at 23 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre is just up the street from rue Richer and has a lovely, clean and large restroom.