Juliet in Paris

Lebanese ice cream on a Saturday afternoon

So I jumped on the subway this Saturday afternoon and headed over to Monique’s place beside the Pompidou Center. She’s off to Miami mid-November to stay with her daughter and two grandchildren, so we had some catching up to do before she leaves. 

In front of the Pompidou Center today

Arriving at the foot of Monique’s street, I spied an ice cream shop that I’ve been hearing a lot about lately. It’s Lebanese and it’s called Bachir.

Later in the afternoon we walked over for some cones. Monique ordered mango ice cream topped with whipped cream, I ordered the Lebanese specialty, Achta, which is rose-flavored milky ice cream made with mastic, rolled in chopped pistachios and topped with real whipped cream. As I ate the slightly chewy ice cream, I wondered what mastic was. It’s a resin, I later learned, from the mastic tree found in Greece and the Mediterranean region. Mastic, apparently, is a synonym for gum. It releases a refreshing, slightly pine or cedar-like flavor.

Monique and I met 19 years ago when we both worked in an American law firm in Paris. Today she runs her own bed and breakfast business in her large apartment situated mere steps from the Pompidou Center in central Paris. If you’re interested in staying there, drop me a line.