There are worse ways one can spend a day than speeding through Paris streets on a rented Vélib' with Anna Brones. In fact, it turns out there may not be anything better than spending a sun soaked Thursday morning on borrowed bikes headed to Marché Bastille with a girl who knows her bike lanes.
Although Anna only recently found her way back to Paris (after spending time studying in France in college), she navigates her new home with impressive familiarity and acumen, finding treasures such as socca, floating markets, and her personal favorite, kale along the way.
Anna documents her foodie findings and musings on her superb site, Foodie Underground where readers will benefit from the lessons learned and stones overturned as this intrepid editor explores the exciting world of food.
But back to my exciting adventure with Anna- which started with a mild bike fender bender somewhere in the 17th arrondissement and then saw us snaking through the rues of Paris to Marché Bastille, where we shopped for locally-grown produce and Anna talked about the inspiration behind her new book, The Culinary Cyclist.
As we made our way through the busy aisles of the market, Anna describes the book as a “guidebook to good living” for people who enjoy a bike-paced life that involves slow food, good friends, and creating situations in which the two collide. The book is also filled with accessible recipes, many of which are vegan and gluten free.
The Culinary Cyclist is also an introduction to all aspects of food appreciation and preparation- with chapters such as “pantry basics” and guides to how to shop by bicycle and even make your own market shopping bags to fill with seasonal veggies.
Drawn in by the spring arrivals at the market, we drift towards Mr. Martinet's locally grown fruits and vegetables. While picking over apples at Monsieur Martinet's stand, Anna and I discussed the importance of supporting local farmers and the lifestyle choices and changes this involves.
Rethinking our relationship to food and the people that provide it is a common theme in Anna's writing. In a recent article published on ecosalon Anna answered a question I ask myself often, “Why do we love markets? Because they’re simple. Because they remind us of our relationship with food; that from what we eat, we draw happiness.”
The path to happiness and “good living” may be as rough and winding as a cobblestone street but borrowing a bike or buying an apple is a great first step towards getting you there- and The Culinary Cyclist is the perfect guidebook to help you along the way.
If you're interested in getting a copy of The Culinary Cyclist contribute to the Kickstarter campaign and reserve your advance copy.
A bike ride can take you around the block or across the country. A meal can do the same. Put the two together? Now that’s a formula for living well. - Anna Brones, The Culinary Cyclist