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food / travel

The Chicest Sandwich In Paris Is Now Available To Go. If You Can Afford It

Master chef Michel Rostang’s famous truffle sandwiches can now be ordered take out. They cost 65 euros a piece. Are they worth it? One reporter took it upon herself to find out.

Come inside for your haute cuisine to go (Vic Lic)
Come inside for your haute cuisine to go (Vic Lic)
Caroline Sallé

PARIS -- It may not be the healthiest sandwich. And it's certainly not the cheapest. But it has truffles, so for this one time there's no point really in counting calories or euros. Ahh, black truffle from the Rhône Valley or Périgord Valley, minced between two slices of country sourdough bread with a little salted butter. I'm in heaven – until I remember the price: 65 euros ($84).

For some, this signature dish of Michel Rostang, a chef with two Michelin stars to his name, isn't new. What is new is that at the Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché, an upscale super market in Paris' 7th arrondissement, this infamous sandwich is now available for takeout.

Sold from a sophisticated case, slipped inside of an elegant fabric pouch, the sandwich is still protected by cellophane, a much less distinguished aesthetic. Don't expect to sink your teeth immediately into this chic snack. It can only be enjoyed once baked golden, four minutes per slice. In short, for a noontime snack in a corner office, this sandwich is a waste. Especially if all you have at work is a microwave. That would be a faux pas indeed.

Oh well, it will have to wait for the evening. Finally, the awaited hour arrives. The house begins to take on that distinct aroma. Naturally, the whole family gathers in the kitchen. To share? No way. Absolutely out of the question. But I'm outnumbered. In the end I relent, holding back the tears as I cut the sandwich into small pieces. I still manage three mouthfuls: an earthy aroma that clings to the palate, and a strong luxurious aftertaste.

I've learned my lesson. Next time, to enjoy this selfish pleasure, I'll reserve it directly with the chef. A table set for one, s'il vous plaît.

Read the original story in French

Photo - Vic Lic

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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