Meet Anne Ditmeyer, an American designer and blogger living in Paris. Anne is a true explorer and she loves to travel the world to find inspiration: she has studied abroad, visited 46 of the 50 US states and traveled to over 30 countries. She chose to make Paris her home and founded Prêt à Voyager in 2007 as “a creative outlet to explore the intersection of travel and design”. Since then, her online presence and influence never ceased to grow, and she has collaborated with major online and traditional publications such as Design*Sponge, Dwell and Kinfolk. Besides working as a freelance writer and designer, Anne leads online design classes and conducts custom tours of Paris. Here’s Paris, in her own words.
My Edible City
Paris. In recent years I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by foodie + chef friends. Despite all the delicious delights their culinary prowess has unfortunately not rubbed off on me. Living in shoebox sized apartments doesn’t help much either. So without question any meal I have ever cooked was disqualified for consideration for this column. And while I love a great meal, atmosphere and the social aspect of hanging out with friends is also of key importance in the delight of a meal. I struggled to with what I’d share here. Then I realized – like a lot of cuisine – I was complicating things.
My first visit to France was when I was a junior in high school. I came with my family and we stayed with dear family friends. I think staying with a French family on that trip shaped me a lot in terms of how I approach travel now. And it was because we stayed in an apartment that we ate “normal” foods. Yes, there were delightful meals, but there were the standard items that you would never think to try in a restaurant.
My Favorite Dish
Yogurt you can drink. Ok, this sounds so not classy, and it’s not something that I don’t drink anymore. As a first time visitor to France who had never in my live seen or conceived of such a thing, my high school mind was blown (it was before it became the norm in the U.S.) on that first visit to France. I remember that I even had to take a picture of it on the shelves in the cafeteria at the Musée D’Orsay (and this was before it was cool to take pictures of food). Yes, ‘yogurt you can drink’ opened my eyes to cultural differences and trying new things.
But the grown up me still yearns for yogurt in a glass jar. What was once a staple of yogurt of all kinds when I was a study abroad student in Paris, seems to harder to find on grocery store shelves (that have opted for colorful plastic containers). But if you look, yogurt in glass jars is still something you can find in grocery stories or at the fromagerie. I love the sound of a spoon clanging against the side as you dig out the last bite. Yogurt in France is far better than yogurt in America in my mind, but I think the glass jars helped me adore France, their goût [taste], and the small details that make it French.
One of the things I love most about travel is having food associated with the place. I know at times it’s annoying not to have your favorites where you are, but for me it’s always been something special I look forward to when I go somewhere. Yaourt (yougurt) in France is something I’ve always looked forward to. I suppose the next step into becoming truly French will be to get my own yogurt machine (they’re quite popular). In the meantime, looks like I’ll need to check out La Milk Factory in Paris.
- Find all of Anne’s articles about Paris on one page
- Learn more about Anne’s life in France (bonjour, bureaucracy)
- Take Anne’s Map Making Class on Skillshare (it’s only $20 to enroll and it looks like a lot of fun!)
Photo Credits: All pictures by Anne Ditmeyer.