by Paige Donner
Happy Holidays to you and yours from Paris!
If you're listening to the show from outside France I'd like to share with you some of the sights and sounds and smells that make up the warm and cheerful holiday season here in the City of Lights.
Angelo Musa, Exec Pastry Chef, Plaza Athénée Paris & His star pastries for Christmas 2016
First of all, Christmas decorations start going up by about the 3rd week of November, giving us a long run-up to the happiest day of the year.
The Christmas markets on the Champs-Elysées and in Paris' St.-Germain-des-Prés are all up by this time, too. Here you can find mulled wine, that warm, sweet and spicy red wine that is so emblematic of the holidays here in Europe. The savory smells of roasting chestnuts and hot crepes are also wafting in the air.
Christmas trees are outside all the florist's shops and a common site one sees is people walking down the narrow cobble streets carrying one home for their kids.
The churches, like St. Paul on rue St. Antoine in the Marais, have their creches on display, often lit with twinkling candles that invite you to gaze in wonder and reverence on the baby Jesus manger scene, so central to Christmas celebrations.
This year, for our December show, I'm introducing you to a truly marvelous gourmet gift shop that is easy to find in the Les Halles district, Paris' traditional food district. It's called the Boutique Dans Le Noir and is the little shop of specialty food items that is associated with the celebrated restaurant, Dans Le Noir, a restaurant staffed entirely by the blind and nearly blind. Our interviewee for this segment is the boutique's staff intern, Rasmya Hadji, originally from the Comores Islands and perfectly bilingual in both French and English.
Next, I take you to meet the Plaza Athenée's new pastry chef, Angelo Musa. Here in Paris, the Plaza is one of the holiday destinations of choice and always does things up with great Christmas fanfare. This year, in addition to their Dior decorated Christmas tree, they are also featuring, as is custom, a special tea time. There are few more delicious ways to enjoy a cosy December afternoon than with a pot of tea or hot chocolate and a delicate, melt-in-your mouth fine pastry made by Chef Musa.
So curl up by the proverbial fireplace and enjoy our special Christmas 2016 edition of Paris GOOD food + wine.
Music courtesy of http://www.freexmasmp3.com/
"First Noel" - R&B version
Traditional English Christmas song in a Rhythm and Blues instrumental version. The author of this song in unknown, many dates it back to 13th century. The first publications were with the name "The first nowell".
"Ding Dong Merrily on High"
One of the most famous and our favorites traditional Christmas song. The lyrics was published in 1924 by George Woodward, while the melody is dated back about to the 15th century and was a popular French carol.
"Silent Night" - Disco edition
One of the most famous Christmas carol translated in over 300 languages. Published here in a disco version in honor of the Austrian author of the melody Franz Gruber who has composed it as a sprightly, dance-like song.