Matthew Amster-Burton 0:05
And I'm Matthew.
And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any.
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:11
And today we're talking about l'apero. Whoa.
Oh my gosh, beautiful job, Matthew. I was. While I was working on the agenda last night, I kept finding myself typing a petty chief because I was scared of saying l'apero, like, it's a little. I've told you this on the show before, right when when we first started using iPhones, I didn't like saying the word apps. I just felt like it was dumb like St. fro yo. And so I was always like, have you download
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:39
rose? Yo is dumb.
Have you downloaded this new application?
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:46
Have you have you downloaded this? This new phone software for your telephone?
anyway? So yeah, I'm gonna I'm gonna get over it. I'm just gonna say l'apero. Whoa, there we go. We
Matthew Amster-Burton 0:57
haven't explained what l'apero is. But it's when you have put a lot of apps on your phone only you set it to French.
No, but for real. So yeah, before we go down memory lane, we're going to define this thing. So those of you who are Francophiles, or actually probably all of our listeners, Matthew know what this is because our listeners are interested in food. So sure they are but for the people who start them, but for those of us who aren't our listeners
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:28
who aren't interested in food, yeah.
Okay, so l'apero as we just discussed is short for a peri TIF, which is the French word for like pre dinner drinks and snacks. And this is kind of complicated, because this word does many things so
Matthew Amster-Burton 1:43
complicated. Could it be if it's a free dinner drinks, and that's French, so it's a complex,
it's gonna be complicated. Get ready. Okay, so So not only is it is it the word for like, you know, this particular almost like meal, right pre dinner, drinks and snacks. It's also the word for the particular category of drinks that are well suited to this.
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:06
So this is like a meal that you have before dinner. Right? But okay, drink
like that. But there's an entire kind of category of drinks that are well suited to this time of day and this meal and we refer to those drinks aperitif.
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:24
Okay, I'm familiar with the concept of an Aperitif. Okay, and I think in English, we call it aperitif.
aperitif. Yes. Yeah. And then like so the word aperitif is also like the word for the category of like bottle liquors that you would use to make aperitifs.
Matthew Amster-Burton 2:43
Yeah. Or possibly just drink a shot of on their own as an aperitif. Right? Sure. Yeah,
sure. And l'apero hold like the shortened version is kind of like a really casual way of referring to like this particular type of day or like time of day
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:01
this is like one of these things where like if you want to like abbreviate a word in French you put o at the end like Macedon I guess that's already called Mac. Well, that's already McDonald's. So it might be thinking of Japanese.
Oh, okay. This seems right. Anyway, so when we talk about aperitif or a PT or apo, we're referring to like the category of drink the the like liquors that you might put in those drinks or drink on their own. We're also talking about kind of a general like time of day, like kind of between day and night, like happy hour, like happy hour.
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:36
Between Dana like like the corpuscular time.
Exactly. And we're also talking about like the, the kind of like mini meal you might eat at that time
Matthew Amster-Burton 3:47
with mini me. Yeah. So this is like it's like first dinner. Do they have a word in a catchy word in French for a second breakfast like in Lord of the Rings? Like, old says 11 1111? He says, Yeah, he says, I like it.
Anyway, so like the whole idea of l'apero or aperitifs, the whole practice the drinks, the snacks The idea is that it's meant to stoke your appetite. So this is like not designed to be the meal itself. The whole idea is like to leave you like, still hungry, like ready for dinner. Although, as I think our guest today might talk about, I would say it's quite trendy right now to kind of turn aperitif into your entire dinner, which I call like a snacky dinner.
Matthew Amster-Burton 4:36
I feel like if like First of all, I'm glad we're doing this episode that he's like, so far into your wheelhouse that like I don't know anything about it, because like I do that to you all the time. Like we're gonna do some very specific kind of tofu this week. But like, I feel like I would accidentally turn it into dinner by over snacking. Is this a problem? Oh, this
is not a problem. No, this isn't problem, but I think the more we talk about it, the more it'll sort of like make sense. So,
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:04
I love the concept.
Me too. Me too. And I feel like it seems like to me a particularly like, urban concept, like,
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:13
yeah, I mean, I like how it seems like it's just we're gonna hang out for no reason other than we're gonna hang out, like we were already going to get together for dinner. But that's not enough hanging out.
Or, like, let's say that you are. Let's say you're on your way home from work, and you're going to stop and meet a friend for a drink. Right? But you're not going to stay and have dinner with Okay, okay. So, you know, obviously we do this in the states all the time. Yeah, we do this in the states all the time. But I love that in France and Italy in some other countries. It has its own particular like designated name,
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:48
right. Oh, wait, what is it in Italy? aperitivo.
Well, I know that that refers to the drinks Yes. aperitivo Wait, so
Matthew Amster-Burton 5:55
is this is this something you do? Do you like stop off on the way home from work? Yes. I would if you would,
like my house to work
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:06
Yeah, cuz as I was thinking like I would love to stop off on the way home from work but but a like I'm afraid to go into a place and be I've already home.
Well, and I think this is particularly the reason I say I feel like this is an urban thing, which of course it's not really but I think of it as like something that's particularly easy to do if you're taking public transportation. You know, if you're like hopping off the subway and there's your like, neighborhood cafe. You could like even make plans to meet your spouse there when you get on get
Matthew Amster-Burton 6:34
off. You stop it. Yeah,
yeah. Okay. Anyway, but I'm not done. I want to talk about it's time for a little missus etymology.
Cuz it's me the word aperitif and conceivably aperitivo comes from the Latin verb epor era, which basically means to open I wonder if like aperture comes from this right?
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:01
Right. So the idea here being that you are opening both like the appetite and the evening.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:10
So I like that,
right? Isn't that great? And at least in France and Italy, this the drinks that you would drink at this particular time of day tend to be lower alcohol and an often a little bit on the bitter side or the herbal side. So think vermouths drinks that involve tonic, etc.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:30
Yeah, cuz I think I even though like I as you know, I love a sweet cocktail. I do feel like if I if I'm drinking a sweet cocktail, if you're like, Okay, this is this is like, satiating my appetite.
Yeah, it is interesting. I mean, I know that. So there's a great book called booze hound by Jason Wilson.
Matthew Amster-Burton 7:46
I think I read that.
Yeah, it's it's fantastic. And I learned a tremendous amount about liquor from that book, but I distinctly remember learning a lot about Italian Amari, right, so Campari. Well, Campari being probably the most famous one but the idea being that the herbs in it are not only like creating this bitter flavor, but also doing something to your digestive system that like, opens it and makes it ready to receive it Stokes
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:20
active it Stokes Stokes the embers of the appetite.
I want to say also that, that a couple books that I learned a lot about aperitif from our Rebecca peppler's two books. So her first book aperitif which is the subtitle is cocktail hour, the French Way. Okay. And then her second book, which came out I believe in 2020. is called a table. Or maybe it came out in 2021. It's been a really long year math. Yes.
Matthew Amster-Burton 8:50
Yeah. Anyway, it's regardless of when the book came out. It's still available and people can get
it is anyway, so yeah. If you want to learn more about, about l'apero about like, delicious things to eat while you're drinking your pre dinner drink, or incredible French cooking, Rebecca Kepler is your person.
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:12
Is it possible the book was called a table in French, but the English title is a table.
I wonder how many people think oh, do you think Rebecca peppler book a table? Okay, so, Matthew, we don't have very much time before guest comes on. Oh, do you want to do Memory Lane really fast?
Matthew Amster-Burton 9:29
Yeah, I don't know. I mean, I have been to France once just to Paris. And I was talking to my school, right? No, it was. I mean, I mean, to me, practically. Yes. No, it was it was like in 2000. So I was 25. And you were in Franklin. Franklin enrolled for high school. Yeah, unless I doing like, never been kissed Drew Barrymore. Like I'm gonna like go undercover as a teenager in high school. Okay, which I did not do.
But But did you drink it? Did you did you Well, how Did you have it? Or have you had it elsewhere?
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:03
Yes, because I remember having a Kia I remember having a Kir Royale and I remember having pasty or pasties i'm not sure i
think generally pasties but it you know, I think Kieran Kir Royale so Kia being Creme de cassis in white wine off in a Chardonnay and Kir Royale being crammed Cassius in champagne. These drinks scream Matthew, do they? They do. They totally.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:30
I think I popularize them. I think like I got to France. I'm like you like just pour some like sweet, juicy stuff in there. And they're like, Okay, done. And then it became popular nationwide.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:43
There's so many ways in France to say okay, dumb ass.
It All it takes is a look. Really.
Matthew Amster-Burton 10:49
So pasties being, you know, anise flavored. What did you think about pasties? That you know what, I really like it. Oh, interesting. And I like how st surround now.
Matthew Amster-Burton 11:00
No, but I could and if I did, I would like you know, dilute it with water. So it gets like milky. You know,
that's how it's usually done. Yeah. Well, I definitely like you, Matthew, I did not know the word aperitif. When I was in France, probably even when I was last in France, I haven't been there for a decade. But I think I first noticed it more like, as a time of day, like as a ritual sort of, probably the year that. So the year after I graduated from college, I worked in a high school in France, just outside of Paris. And like, there's something we say so in fact, I can just remember the feeling of coming home. And like walking out of the subway at the end of the day and seeing people sitting on the cafe terrace and those like, you know, perfectly Parisian woven chairs and enamel topped tables with like chrome trim. And the chairs and tables are always packed really close together. Yeah, super COVID safe, you know, right. And I just remember feeling like if I were truly assimilated into French culture, right, this would be like a natural thing for me to stop and do at this time of day.
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:16
And watch it is so appealing, like, partly partly just because like, it's hard. It's it's hard at this point in the pandemic cycle to imagine ever getting back to that even though I see people doing it around my neighborhood.
I know. Yeah, me too. Me too. But anyway, I do remember sometimes going by myself after work and having like a glass of white wine because white wine was I think kind of the only thing I drank at that time. I should
Matthew Amster-Burton 12:40
have had to put some crem de cassis in it.
I should and I'm at my favorite neighborhood cafe they always brought me a little dish of salted peanuts, which I think I may have talked about on Yes, definitely some peanuts or mixed nuts episode or something. And I would always hear here I'll tell you what a poser I was I'd always have something to read too. And I tried to make sure that it was in French. Oh, our so often I would have stopped at the kiosk and I would pick up the like left leaning newspaper Libra Casio, which of course, I would make like a big show of reading even though I think I probably could glean like 8% of what was going on in there. But there was something so I never got, like French enough to feel unselfconscious or like to feel like I wasn't performing. Like it was a very performative act for me to go sit outside at a cafe.
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:34
Oh, yeah, I totally get that.
But anyway, I
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:39
was just like doing their thing, right?
Well, unless they were all performing. Do
Matthew Amster-Burton 13:43
you know you never know. You never know. Like on that on the inside? Aren't we always performing? Are we? I don't know. I was just trying for something like, Can I get a little bit of Yes. Hey, I'm here eating my big philosophical moment. Yeah,
I mean, I think we are although Matthew I'm never performing with you. 100% real?
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:08
I can tell by your tone of voice please
squeeze a tear out.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:16
Like in the movie broadcast news where William Hurt fake cries.
Oh my god. I love once again, Matthew with the like, super timely Cultural references.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:26
That was the first R rated movie I ever saw.
Really? Yeah. Oh, wow. How Okay, all right.
Matthew Amster-Burton 14:34
Well, if he is mostly rated R because you see William hurtz penis. Oh, you do? Yeah, you do. Is it well, you heard or maybe it's someone else now. I think it is okay.
Our guest today is Sutanya Dacres, who is the creator and host of the podcast dinner for one. She's a Jamaican born Bronx raised American expat living in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. Welcome. Hi. Thank you so much for having me on.
Matthew Amster-Burton 15:08
I'm a big fan of dinner for one. And I'm so excited to have you on spilled milk.
Thank you. Well, so will you tell us just kind of as background, how you wound up in Paris and how long you've lived there. Okay, so
Sutanya Dacres 15:20
I have been in Paris for eight years now. I actually recently celebrated my eighth year anniversary in the middle of June. And I ended up in Paris because I met a very charming Frenchman at a bar in New York, December 2009. As Frenchmen do charmed me, you know, from here to there. Next thing I knew I was at and I was like, going back and going back and forth between Paris in the US for a couple years to see him because we decided to try it long distance. We got married a couple years after we met, and then I moved to Paris. And then we got divorced a couple years after getting married, but I decided to stay and then yeah, just talk about my experience of making dinner for one in Paris after divorce and how I use food as like a healing mechanism and cooking for myself and kind of showing myself self care and self love in the form of Yeah,
Matthew Amster-Burton 16:16
I love I love how it's it's just like a wonderfully real twist on like the, you know, romantic stereotype. Yeah. What did you know about the culture of food and drink in France before you move there? And how is it similar to and different from what you expected?
Sutanya Dacres 16:30
I didn't know much other than, you know, French food is like, you know, celebrated around the world. And it's considered one of the best cuisines in the world. I was always skeptical because my family's Jamaican and I think Jamaican food is the best. I went in there with like, a bit of like, Okay, guys, garlic and butter. Cool. But like what else y'all got, you know, I mean, even more flavor any more spice here. So I didn't really know much a lot of what I learned actually was just from from being there. And I do have to say, the biggest food culture difference that I've discovered, you know, since living in Paris, and that I've adopted myself and I make sure to try to include in every meal that I have, and everything I cook is this aspect of pleasure. So people eat, whether it's lunch or dinner, even breakfast, like it's, it's not just about like stuffing yourself, it's not about just the act of eating because you have to eat more to sustain yourself. It's about enjoying the moment. So like, you sit down, you know, with your croissant in the morning or with your, in your coffee, you take a moment, whether it's at a cafe or like at your at your apartment, lunch, you know, you like, you hardly ever eat lunch by yourself. If you work in an office, you always eat your colleagues you share moment together, and it's like a full on like, hour, hour and a half. Like situation. It's not like my first job in Paris, actually, I got yelled at by my manager because like, of course, like two three weeks in, I was eating at my desk like an American, you know, like my sandwich like, you know, gotta get worked on trying to work out a way to work and be efficient to get everything done. And one day she came to my desk and she's like, what are you eating lunch? She's like, why? So if you have any, any friends is that the problem that you can't eat lunch by yourself that that's not allowed. And yeah, and then dinner and long dinners, long lunches, just about really enjoying the moment and that's something that I've, I don't eat on the go anymore. I always take time out for lunch. Even if I'm having lunch by myself, I always I try to always have a really nice elaborate dinner, even if it's just for myself. Like a little bit of an app at home. And then my, my main if I don't have like a an entree, make sure I have a really nice man. And then I always have dessert always.
Matthew Amster-Burton 18:39
Oh, whatever. I hope we can talk a little bit about desserts even though it's gonna be off topic.
Sutanya Dacres 18:42
I was about to go into asking you about cheese if you have cheese every day. Well, I I'm like turning 36 in a couple weeks. So like my metabolism isn't the same as he used to be like 10 years ago, so I tried to hold back on the cheese but yeah, also cheeses and desserts of my like my like, I love sushi fringes. It's like no one does is just oh yeah, what it is. I don't know how they do it. But no one does this or just like like the French it's it's really an art really
well. So I want to kind of zoom in on the l'apero part of what you mentioned. So you know, as you as you kind of got used to life there. Did you kind of take up this ritual of have like, I don't know, did you stop it like your nearby cafe every evening on the way home from work and have a drink? Or like, is that just my personal fantasy of what it would be like, if I were No, exactly
Sutanya Dacres 19:33
pretty accurate. I mean, l'apero is usually enjoyed with friends, close friends or colleagues. Like everything in Paris that I've noticed at least a lot of like food and dining. And I think that it's a very kind of very social thing. But you can have a solo out there. Whoa, it's fine. But it's usually not not that common. Sure. I have I do that sometimes. But most of the time I travel if I'm having it outside. Yeah, it's like with a girlfriend or two and we just meet up for a drink or two, or if I'm having it at home by myself, then yeah, I'll stop in my feet. One of my favorite cheeses to get is Conte really hard cheese, I get a little way I make it like some little saucy song, I'll get some, like, some pickles and I just go home and I make my little thing and I'll have it available while I'm preparing for dinner probably does have an app download for Netflix, or you can have Apple dinner ta which is a big app.
So that's like the snacking all night. Will you talk a little bit about l'apero whoa de na, this idea of taking kind of the the food and the spirit of l'apero and like turning it into your actual dinner.
Matthew Amster-Burton 20:39
Yeah, I was telling Molly earlier that, like I love the idea of l'apero , but I know that like as soon as I get into that kind of situation, I'm gonna like over snack and kind of turn it into dinner for myself. Yeah,
Sutanya Dacres 20:49
you have to be it's really it's really easy to to make that mistake, I guess of like just smacking too much. And then like gentlemen, come to like, I'm not even hungry anymore. So I found that when you know, when I'm hosting friends for dinner, I'm going to someone else's place. I've always very, very limited to see like a glass of wine, or, or two. And literally, like any The only thing that's on the table is like some like pickles and like maybe bits of cheese and like, you know, maybe even just chips or popcorn. Like it's nothing too fancy. And so the for me at least and I'm not like I'm like a mini AP euro expert, but not like the full one because I'm not French so like I don't want to be one of those Americans that's like, so this is what you do, you know? I'm saying you know, so like whatever I say like take it with not a grain of salt but with like a peppercorn build a bigger budget, okay, okay. So for me, the spirit of l'apero is, as I mentioned before, it's just it ties in perfectly, it's just an extension of the spirit of like, pleasure, the French the the spirit of the belief that one should have pleasure in their life at every moment. And taking pleasure in food and taking pleasure in gathering and taking pleasure in socializing. I found that one of the things that I love about living in Paris and what I love one of my friends that I've made there, a lot of my friendships developed over l'apero with just meeting people for quick drinks and whatever, whatever is there's a there's a there's a there's a real effort in forming and creating these bonds in these friendships. So people have you over to their house people have regular drinks people plan regular l'apero halls. And for me I was in the spirit of just kind of like a relationship relationship forming really a relationship building of getting to know someone and it's not it's different from the US I think at least because at least my memory of when I lived in the US happy hours about such a getting wasted right like who could get it Yeah, yeah, fastest for the cheapest amount for the cheapest amount of money. But I find in France, it's not about necessarily getting drunk or getting anything getting any rate it's literally just about having good time and sharing a moment with the people you you enjoy being around. And for me so people do not work in that spirit. Sometimes you don't want the apparel to end but you don't necessarily want to you know be slaving over a stove or you don't have anything in your kitchen to make any you know, a proper meal. So you just take a little bits and bobs and everyone just snacks, the most important thing is you have to make sure to have enough wind if you have enough wine and apparently mouthwash with anything. It could just be cheese and raisins and chips It was like impromptu right if it's impromptu usually just taking bits and bobs that you have around your in your kitchen or running up to the store really quickly and getting stuff but if it's like a proper plan, kind of like you know you know your friends are coming over you don't want to cook you know you have like you're cured means you have your like salmon, you have your cheese's I always like to have a little bit of fruit as well. So like some grapes or strawberries or whatever, some season figs or whatever. I also like to do like little do shadows and stuff says especially like finger food, you just snack and drink wine. And the wine is the most important that you got to make sure you have enough wine and also never go to a friend's person's house, even if it's your friend, even if you've known them for a billion years never go to their place without a bottle of wine. That's like the epitome of rudeness. Like I never even my friends that I've known since I moved to Paris and like my family, they're even if they invite now for an Uber for NFL or dinner like I never ever go empty handed even if like no no, no, even if they end up like putting my wine and like the back of the cloth. Yeah, never drink it. At least I brought something so that's like a rule of thumb when you're in Paris or anywhere in France. If anyone by sea over Make sure to have a bottle of wine bring model one
Matthew Amster-Burton 24:37
thing I love about this is like aside from like, the food and drink is like that. It sounds like there's sort of like a framework for making friends which like, you know, sort of like one aspect of the like, you know, American rugged individualism is like, you know, if you're gonna make friends, like figure it out yourself. Yeah. And like in Seattle, like Seattle has a reputation for being a place where it's hard to make friends and I think it's true Partly because like, we don't have like, this is what you do. Like we've taken like these decisions off the table, you know, like, Where, where and when and how to do this. And then you can concentrate on just getting to know people.
Sutanya Dacres 25:11
Yeah. And it's I mean, it's before I moved to Paris, I was told that it was nearly difficult to make friends and really, you know, it's gonna be tough and friendships are so cold and smelly. I don't know what your experience is like, but I didn't I found them to be just like big city people, you know, you're going to have some kind of assholes. And you can have people that you just kind of have to, like, figure out how to, you got to figure out who you like, and how to navigate that. That's all I didn't find them. I don't find them particularly rude or abrasive at all, actually,
yeah. Well, and I think that that being a New Yorker probably prepared you well for that, you know? Yeah. Because I I'm originally from Oklahoma. So, um, so yeah, I felt and I think I felt really tripped up by the language too. Which is, which is tricky. You know, figuring out how to get to know people in another language. But anyway, I wanted to ask, so you know, what is your ideal l'apero location or setting and what would you drink and what would you eat? It depends.
Sutanya Dacres 26:17
I have three. Well, three. Yeah. Okay. So the first one is if it's in my apartment, if it's in Paris, there are two spots one is my apartment. And the other is like one of my favorite cafes. I'm not gonna say it.
I'll tell you guys after
Matthew Amster-Burton 26:35
you know I blow up your spot.
Sutanya Dacres 26:36
Yeah, I don't want people being like oh my god. Oh, no, this is my spot. No Americans allowed except me.
To come here. So my apartment just because it's my home and it's comfortable. And I know and I have a cute little bar car and I can play my music and like, open up the Windows is very Parisian very French very beautiful. I can make what I like all that stuff. So it feels in my place. I'm a huge fan of natural wines. So I would have a really funky natural wines you know one of those you open and you smell you like oh my god I can't imagine like drinking this but one of those because those are the best. Yeah. The more smells like cat piss, the better. And then yeah, I would have some really nice bread like maybe someone can like multigrain bread. Really nice saucy song from like the butcher like Conte. Of course. My favorite one of my other favorite cheeses is Gree with truffle. So it's a really beautiful creamy Brie that kind of has this like fruity flavor. And then in the middle is like his black truffle and so he has that nut he just did not send the fruit and it's so delicious. And then yeah, if it's strawberry season then I'll probably have some strawberries. How many had fans and we'll dip the strawberries and chocolate before or like all drizzle sometimes you know if that time I do I like to do my thing I like to check to judge it up a little bit. And then yeah smoked salmon and like lots of little dips like hummus or tapping That is to say in my favorite supermarket mono free which is like a chain called Tom pecan which is like a spicy tuna which I absolutely adore and yeah so just like those kind of like bits and bobs and just like at my place of I love bossa nova so I'll put some bossa nova on yeah just like wine glasses around. I'm pitching in our like wine glasses are on my friends laughing talking wine just like being poor here in their hands just kind of like going in and dipping and eating and all that stuff. I think my ideal if I'm in Paris at home and then for my one of my favorite spots. What I love about it is that it's right on a main street. It's in my neighborhood. It's right on Main Street, so it's great people watching. I just ordered by the one of my friends. If it's really just up fo no dinner after we'll just have like olives or maybe we will share plate of french fries. And we're just like people watching like talk shit. That's it. That's Brexit verbeke that's perfect for me. And then my other favorite place to have l'apero is in the south of France lamb okay.
Yeah, when you know, I've been really lucky and privileged enough to spend last couple summers, few weeks last couple summers in the south of France with friends. And the best thing is like, when you have that like beautiful evening sun where the it's like it's not quite it's almost sunset, but not quite yet and everyone is just so glowy just because it's so beautiful. And it's hot, but in your little sticky but not too much. I'm wondering like a beautiful summer dress. We had the big long table with like the white tablecloth, and you have like, it's like rosacea is right? No one's doing anything warm stuff like rosae like you can see like the water like dripping off the side someone is making like cocktail because some people want cocktails. It's the same thing. It's the same spirit of just like bits and bobs, but it's just like the perfect location. Maybe you have the pools in the background and you hear the water like oh
my god Total sensory experience here.
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:01
Yeah. Is the food going to be different at all when you're when you're in the south of France?
Sutanya Dacres 30:05
depends on where you are. There's a lot of like anchovies and sardines. And
Matthew Amster-Burton 30:12
that's kind of what I was imagining. I
Sutanya Dacres 30:13
love that stuff. There's this one. It's from it's from this town called set. And my friend and her husband, so my friend is British and her husband is French. They I forgot the name of it, but it's pretty much like it's like a small piece of bread like, and it's really soft and like dewy. And I believe it has like tomato on it, like a kind of tomato paste. And then this anchovies on top, and then it's baked for a little bit. It's just absolutely delicious. So in the south, yeah, it's a lot of like anchovies and sardines. And to have like a pea salad. Yeah, yeah, things like that. The other than that, I think a pair food, basic food across the board. And all the friends consists of the basics, like pickles for the call, corny show, olives, some kind of like saucy song, smoked salmon and a couple dips. And then depending on the region, you can pile or your personal preferences. You can add other things to them. Okay.
Matthew Amster-Burton 31:10
I wanted to ask, what is life in in Paris, like, like at this phase of the pandemic? And have you participated? I saw people saying that they were doing like virtual l'apero , like, over zoom? Is that something that you participated in? Oh, yeah.
Sutanya Dacres 31:23
In the high at the highest, like, high end, the beginning of the year, March 2020. I live on my own to live my own pairs. And yeah, there was, there were a lot of virtual apples, because that's how people connect right after a play at work after or after a couple days. If you haven't seen a friend, it's, uh, you know, it's like, you know, you call you text, like, are we gonna have an apparel tonight, like ketchup, blah, blah, blah. So people didn't have this, this social outlet. So there was a lot of virtual aperos. Maybe too many? Because it got to a point where I was kind of like, I am drinking like a bottle of wine. Like, this is not good. Yeah, yeah, it'd be definitely that was I think, I think even both Honestly, I think before figuring out like work stuff in my power, how am I going to connect to my email? A lot of people were like, how am I going to do the whole like, what's going on? So your second part of your question, this phase of the of the pandemic? I wouldn't say it's back to normal, you know, but we have there has been a lot of progress in terms of people getting vaccinated. I think the last time I checked the app, it was like 70%, or 75%. populations, made it Yeah. And we also have this thing called the past sunnydale, which is a QR code, right? That we have all your vaccine information or your testing information. So again, you vaccinated, how many tests you've taken, etc, etc. And you can't go to a lot of you can go to any cafes, or any bars if you don't, if you're not vaccinated, and can't go to any museums, any kind of cultural institution, some of the big shops like, like bH, like, VHB, like Gary Lafayette, like Pantone, like, you can't go in there. If you don't have you're not fascinated, that's great. When those things were like, do you want your social life or not, you know, in my opinion, the government knew exactly what they were doing. Because friendship, we're not going to give up their apero their dinners, they face their museums and movie theaters, and the whole, you know, the whole culture,
like, you know, the whole idea of like solidarity. Like, I just feel like it was probably easier for the government to come along and be like, we are going to do this for the benefit of for sure, everybody. Don't get me wrong.
Sutanya Dacres 33:30
There are lots of people that you know, there have been a lot of protests that people that are so yeah, they think it's infringing on your freedom. But yeah, I think at some point, the government stepped in and they like, kind of was enough. So yeah, I mean, it's, you know, you still have a choice, right? So you can not be vaccinated, she just won't be able to go to cafes, and restaurants and movie theaters and museums and all that stuff, and you won't be able to travel and like, that's your choice, you know? So,
oh, man, it has been such a pleasure talking with you. You got so much for having me on. You're fantastic. And I am particularly happy to hear your perspective as an expat there. Because Yeah, it's it's so relatable, just so so glad to get to hear from you. Well, thank you guys for inviting me on.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:14
Thank you. Tell us tell us about your podcast and where to find it one more time. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 34:17
so my podcast is called dinner for one. It is a podcast that explores what happens when the Paris fantasy ends and where life begins. So the fantasy was my ex husband, the ending was him being like over myself up again. And the way I did that was, you know, making a effort, a conscious decision and effort to make dinner for one for myself, almost every night of the week. And from that kind of app, exercise and practice of self care and self love. My little podcast was born. I just finished season four. Season Five is going to start soon. And I have a book coming out as well.
Matthew Amster-Burton 34:56
tell us please.
Unknown Speaker 34:57
Yeah, dinner for one. How could Paris saved me a story of what happens when the Paris fairytale ends detailing the author's experience of moving to France as a black American woman and her post divorce journey to empowerment beginning in her memoir kitchen, pulling back the curtain on the idealized expat life and exploring love loss and the true meaning of home with recipes. So recipes in the back of the book as I talk. Excellent.
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:21
Well, when it's available for pre order, we will we will let our listeners know.
Yeah. You guys a link. Let's see what happens. I'm really excited. Congratulations to sutanya dacres.
Matthew Amster-Burton 35:31
Thank you again for being on spilled milk. This was so much fun. I was already like feeling pretty down about being in the US, but now. I feel worse. Yeah.
You know, like when she mentioned, like being in the south of France kind of thing. I was like, once again, we Americans don't do vacation. Quite right. But yeah, we could at least do a little app at home. like okay, you know, like a little mini vacation every day in our mouths.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:05
Okay, I like that. Is this like a pitch for your next book? All right, like yeah, vacation vacation in your mouth.
I'm pretty sure somebody's already done this. Yeah, I think Yeah, regrettably.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:22
Okay. Yes. No, it would be regrettable if you did it also. Yo, yeah.
Yeah. Well, so you know, Matthew, I noticed that so Tanya didn't mention Kia or Kir Royale,
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:32
because I noticed that
these are like old lady Appiah. horadric Oh, I'm sure
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:37
yeah, but they are very tasty.
They are so you know, if you were going to have your own like ideal apero. Like I want to know like location or setting. I want to know what your snacks would be and I want to know what you would drink.
Matthew Amster-Burton 36:50
Okay, I'm gonna invite myself over to to sutanya's apartment with her and her girlfriends who are younger and cooler than me. Okay. So I definitely want nuts because you know, I love mix nuts. I definitely want saucy soul. Like, yeah, so see some sec. Yeah. And like various charcuterie I think and I just want like, like, three great cheese's. Like Yeah, like, why does that seem like a weird? No.
Seems like it's going to turn into an apero D nuts. Wow.
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:20
I already warned everybody that like I you know, I can't. I can't like rain in like the snack appetite. Okay, like, I think I could learn to do this. But I think like the first hoh are gonna like it's gonna be my own private apero . Whoa, Dino tois.
Yeah, I mean, why why bother to rein it in?
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:39
Okay. So sutanya mentioned Comte, like, that is one of my favorites. Also love that stuff.
Did you say what your setting would be? Well,
Matthew Amster-Burton 37:48
I mean, I said it would be it's a tiny apartment. But I guess, really? I mean, the south of France, obviously. Are you kidding? Okay. Okay, how about you?
Okay, you so yeah, I'm going to go to the south of France with you, you know, we traveled pretty well together. Yeah. And though, you know, just for the record, we're, you know, we're still not married to
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:04
each other, but we'll keep you posted.
But we travel really well together. In fact, perhaps better than we would if we were married to each other.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:12
Yeah, I think that's true.
Yeah. I really like traveling with non spouse people.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:17
Mm hmm. Yeah. I mean, we, we did such a great job of sharing the bathtub when we were in Japan.
We did. Anyway. But so I would go to the south of France with you, Matthew,
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:28
is the south of France the same as the Cote? desu?
Well, a particular part of of the south of France. I mean, that's, that's going to be more like, the nice area, the south of France. could be any number of areas. You know, there's a lot of coastline there. And I would say that like, some inland areas might also count.
Matthew Amster-Burton 38:48
Okay, cuz I remember in high school French class, the code desu came up a lot as like, that's the place you want to go. Yeah, yeah. I don't know why.
Yeah, I mean, fair enough. I'd go okay. Anyway, so here's the thing. Yeah, I'm going to come to the south of France with you. And yeah, we're gonna have a nice cold Rosa. I mean, it's hard for me to think about anything but what Sutanya said. So we're gonna have a nice cold rosae I think I want some olives and I think I want maybe like two different kinds of olives like one oil cured, like really black wrinkly ones. And then one that is that is maybe green and and brined instead, like bright, you know, regular non oil.
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:27
I still don't like all those and I still feel bad about it.
Oh, it's fine. It's fine. And then I think so I love that she mentioned anchovies because I was
Matthew Amster-Burton 39:37
very appealing. Yeah,
right. And I think what I would want is I would want like bread and really good butter and anchovies and I think Did you ever you know at the Italian restaurant in Seattle spinoff say they when you sit down they bring you you know a free little bite and it is like a little Melba Toast piece of crispy, thin toasted bread. Spread thickly with unsalted butter with an anchovy draped over the
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:04
Oh my god. Okay, so that's what I want to eat that olives. Cold, cold, cold. Somebody even say crackling cold
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:13
crackling cold, Rosa. Yes. Yeah. Wait Is your mom coming to that's fine.
I guess we can find mine's gonna be a romantic getaway. Okay. But the other thing is, so I want to I want to say one thing even though this is like a very French episode. I think that a lot of what I know about aperitif, especially drinks, comes from Italy, you know from like, Negronis americanos aperol spritz. So I I'd be hard pressed. I don't know to ultimately decide between a crackling cold rosae and a Negroni? Let's be let's be honest here.
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:46
Okay, I would go for the rosae. And if I could, like sneak a Kia in there. Okay, I would do it.
Okay, so Matthew, one last question.
Matthew Amster-Burton 40:55
Yeah, I'm excited for this. So
since we're not going to go to the south of France anytime soon. I don't like kind of, and since it seems like you know, COVID is in a weird place again, seems like we're going to be doing at battle at home in our various in our separate houses. And it's going to be more like kind of a like a snack you have while you're cooking dinner. Does that seem right to you? Or like apero ? cuisine that
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:24
that's not great. But anyway, what is your ideal thing to drink and snack on while you're cooking dinner?
Matthew Amster-Burton 41:34
Okay, so the thing that immediately came to mind was mixed nuts and hard cider. Because like, I we've had like a like a bottle of like pear cider in the fridge for a couple days. And like I keep thinking like, while I'm making dinner, oh, I could like pour myself a little of that. And I do and it's great. Love hard cider. And the thing I'll reach for for snacking is mixed nuts. That's just like my default snack. But if there's like an ingredient, or component of the dinner that I'm making that can be snacked on. That is the ideal. I feel like that really like wakes up my appetite for the thing I'm going to eat. So like if I'm making pod Thai or kung pao chicken, I will snack on the peanuts that are going to go into that. If I'm making a salad with homemade crotons. I will eat crotons that's like the chef's prerogative.
What about like, if you're making pizza? Will you eat the pepperoni?
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:24
Yes, yeah, that's called sociis. All sec.
Exactly. Exactly. So as you know, I did that last night. For me. It's usually kettle chips, either jalapeno chips, or the sea salt ones. Usually that and a glass of wine. Although I do also love You know, I really love the old pal.
Matthew Amster-Burton 42:45
I think I think you like you got this at at bar Victoria. And let me taste it right. Yes, yeah,
variation on a Negroni. So instead of gin, it uses rye whiskey. And instead of sweet vermouth, it uses dry vermouth, so it's dry vermouth, Campari and rye whiskey and cut that with potato chips.
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:06
I mean, speaking of potato chips, like I can't believe our listeners didn't get in touch to let us know about that. Or maybe they did and the email got lost. But did you know that there's now Lay's Cool Ranch Dorito flavor so they're Lay's potato chips, but they're and they're not ranch flavor? They're Cool Ranch Dorito flavor so I did get some I don't think I would have identified them as Cool Ranch Dorito flavor if it didn't say that on the bag, but they're fine. I'm glad they tried it. I think they also have a lace Cheeto flavor and maybe one other
so you're not going to recommend these four.
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:45
But like I just I just I like knowing they exist but I don't need to get them again.
Okay, well, Matthew, I think it's time for us to move into segments.
Matthew Amster-Burton 43:52
Yes, we've got a new segment it's called a teased it we teased it last time remember it's called what's going on in the underworld. So Abby, can you get some real like evil sounding music?
What is going on in the underworld now?
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:10
So there's this video game called Hades that I bought that the the show bought for me because it's gonna be a segment so it's tax deductible. It is a game. It's like a hack and slash dungeon game where you are Hades son, and your dad is a jerk and so you're trying to break out of the underworld and get to Mount Olympus and hang out with your friends there.
Oh, this sounds like very Percy Jackson.
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:33
It's very Percy Jackson. So you like sometimes you meet Poseidon sometimes you meet a fury and have to fight them. I want to focus on one thing that has gone on oh and and teenager the show December is is like the primary driver of Hades and I mostly like sit and watch and like
sports. So this is your version of an animal crossing segment. It's
Matthew Amster-Burton 44:51
exactly it's like Animal Crossing but with like 100% more stabbing. Okay. And so a report from the under world we met Karen the boat man of the river stacks. Oh, and he sold us some overpriced french fries.
Were they good?
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:07
I mean, they I think they restored some health points. So I'm gonna say yes.
Okay, fair enough. Okay.
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:13
All right. So I hope to have another report from the underworld next week. Okay, great.
Well, hey, I'm gonna do now but wow. So, you know, I just want to shout out to sutanya's podcast one more time, because I think that maybe at this point in the pandemic, we all could use some thoughts on being in our apartment and cooking for one, even if we're cooking for three or four. Yeah, anyway, just want to say again, go check out to Tanya's podcast dinner for one you can find it wherever you find podcasts.
Matthew Amster-Burton 45:48
Yep. And I would like to shout out to a friend of the show Hondo and win who who is an amazing graphic artist. And she did a like a two panel not to panel like like a two page comic adaptation of the tempura chapter of my book. Pretty good. Number one. We'll post the link in the in the show notes. You can find a player. Yeah, it was like yesterday.
Wow. I love how when you write a book, it like has this life and it keeps going on even when you think that nobody's paying attention to it.
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:20
Yeah. Is anyone made a comic adaptation of the fixed stars? No,
not yet. But maybe Han don't win? Well, yeah. Let's
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:29
let's just ask for more unpaid labor. Okay. So, so yeah, well, we will link to to Honda's Instagram. I think she has a great Instagram. And it's really like amazing and flattering work.
Wow. Cool. Well, our producer is Abby Cerquitella up maybe we'll invite her with us to the south of France. Maybe? Maybe? We'll see. I guess. Yeah. And you can rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. I mean, while you're over there, subscribing to dinner for one you can rate and review spilled milk.
Matthew Amster-Burton 46:59
Yeah. While you're over there in the south of France. Wait, is this going to be our corporate retreat? Yeah, cuz we weren't gonna we were gonna go to polls Bo Washington for our corporate corporate retreat, but maybe it's not too late. Yeah, change the switch to the code? desu. Yeah.
your eyeballs got really big when you said
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:19
Matthew, where else can our listeners do things?
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:25
reddit.com slash are slash everything. spilled milk is a great place to meet other people. Listen to the show and share. Share a virtual pillow with them. Yeah,
yeah. All right. Well, thank you for listening to spilled milk, the show that's coming to your house and bringing a bottle of cream to Cassie.
Matthew Amster-Burton 47:45
I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.
And I'm Molly weissenberg.
Oh, Matthew is taking off his shirt right now. Oh my god. Wow. I got