The Galette

Sam Astorga
March 28, 2017

Likely when I come back to America, I will ask myself, “What was the best thing I had to eat while abroad.” And now I am sure the answer would be “the ham, cheese, and onion Galette from Chez Allen Miam Miam.”

This was not just a culinary experience- it was a spiritual journey for my mother and me into French soul food. It began how the best street food begins waiting in a long line. But this one had entertainment. Allen, the enigmatic chef wearing a Who the ______ is Mic Jagger? T-shirt, and his sweet protégé provided a show for their customers. Flair is putting it lightly- with a smile, a heavy sprinkle of spices, and a ludicrous amount of cheese, Allen’s Chez Allen Miam Miam was truly the envy of the Enfants Rouge.

And as we waited in the line, I saw people ordering pastries of various sorts, but one thing caught my eye…a little puff of a pastry coated in sugar crystals. I asked the girl in front of me what it was, but she ignored me, likely because she went to an art school in New York. I then proceeded to ask Allen’s protégé what it was made of, and he proceeded to give me one for free….needless to say I paid to have some more.

And finally, we saw the meat maestro in action pouring jambon, prochiutto, and chicken onto his masterpieces, sometimes denying his patrons their choice of vegetable because he said, “Those flavors do not work together.”

And finally after I ordered the Gallette, I could not help but grin as he spread the batter across the crepe pan. As he flipped I could not help but capture a few moments on my camera. Hell, I was so happy I poured some spare change in a donation box they had…an unfortunately rare occurrence.

After flipping the Galette, Allen proceeded to grate a mind boggling amount of cheeses upon the Galette in addition to some onions and jambon. When it was done, he folded it into a paper, and his protégé had to give us 10 napkins so the cheese would not drip everywhere. In addition to this, I bought 3 pastry balls, except he came back with 4 and some pancakes as well. Perhaps a better spent 12 euro than the snide “artists” in front of us. Perhaps, my mother and I recognized who the real artists were that day, and we were rewarded.

And so were our stomachs. My mother’s earlier sentiment, “I’m not hungry right now,” had changed to, “Can I have a bite.” And so my mother and I feasted upon this crispy, cheesy, jambony delight and felt the spirit of France flowing through our veins, perhaps as cholesterol.


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Sam Astorga

<p>Greetings, welcome to my blog! My name is Sam, and I grew up in South Pasadena as well as books. I am majoring in history and minoring in Russian language at Occidental College, but I always dreamed of studying Irish history and literature. This semester I am going to attend the Trinity College Direct Transfer program.</p>

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