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The ‘Paris 15’ and a semester abroad

Alyssa Mease enjoys a flower-shaped gelato during her semester abroad. (Photo courtesy of Gina Kramer)

ByAlyssa Mease
Foreign Correspondent

I recently noticed that I have gained weight since coming to Paris. It’s a little like the Freshman 15, but I have coined the term “Paris 15.” And as I thought about how this happened, I realized that I am perfectly fine with my extra pounds. The food in Paris is delicious unlike food in New Jersey, my mother would be disappointed if I didn’t eat it all. Let me explain:


Baguettes are sold at the boulangerie. Many parisians eat them every day. But the boulangerie is tricky because besides selling bread, it sells about 30 of the most delicious cakes and pastries, and you have to stare at them while you wait in line for your baguette. Usually I cannot resist their deliciousness.


Nutella is sold in 1000-gram containers, and it goes wonderfully with just about anything. I try to be healthy and eat bananas for breakfast, but Nutella is oh so delicious on bananas. Probably I should eat more bananas and less Nutella, but what fun is that?


Being right next to Italy, obviously France imports tons of yummy gelato. There is one store that shapes the gelato in a cone in the shape of a flower, and I really like flowers. And gelato.

Dark chocolate

Paris sells mainly dark chocolate, which is my favorite kind. Not to mention there is one brand, Bio, that costs 56 centimes per bar. It would be a sin to not buy one every time I go to the store.


In moderation cheese isn’t terribly unhealthy but I eat it every day. I eat a lot of it every day, and that is because it is so much better here than in the United States. Plus my roommate buys it a lot, and I wouldn’t want to offend him by not eating it.


I’m only putting this on the list because I am legal here I drink beer and cocktails at bars when we go out, but I’m excluding wine because in moderation a glass of red wine also is healthy for you. The bottle of wine my roommates and I drink at dinner is solely for health reasons.

These things might be considered my weakness, but I’d like to think of them as strengths. From now on when people ask me “what’s your favorite food? I can list something super French and impress them. Besides, winter is coming and I can just bundle up in bulky sweaters.


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