One of the things I’ve always appreciated about shopping in France is how willing the merchants are to customize things, but I never expected the bubbles in sparkling water to be one of them.
Cheese, yes. “How soon are you going to be eating that cheese? Take this one.”
It shouldn’t have been a surprise that you can now buy sparkling water with your choice of bubble size, but it was.
When I lived in Paris many years ago, it was a faux pas to order a bottle of Perrier if you wanted sparkling water. Why? Because the French only used Perrier to mix cocktails. The bubbles were considered to be too big, gauche, too carbonated, and one of the many signs that you were an American.
Now that we’re in a new century, there are options (and more shelf space) for sparkling water. Perrier, previously considered too coarse, conquered that and now has a blue bottle with “fines bulles” (tiny bubbles).
Badoit, another sparkling water, went the other way and added an “intense” bottle (in red so you don’t mistake it for some wussy water), with “fort” (strong) bubbles.
If you’re confused, there are other options. A place we went to in Cannes, brought a good looking, heavy glass bottle to the table. Purezza is “l’eauriginale” and is customizable—bubbles or no, depending on your preference (and for the record, fairly large bubbles).
If you’re confused there are, as my mother would say, the old standbys, Pellegrino, Badoit and Perrier, which seems to have lost its gauche status (but that might just be because of the tiny bubble bottles).
If you’re confused and back Stateside, you can order a SodaStream, which now has a model that has three adjustable bubble sizes. Light, medium and high fizz.
I guess I revert back to my American roots. The new Perrier is fine (pun intended), but maybe too fine, Pellegrino is okay. Given a choice, I like Badoit, regular or “intense”.
What’s your choice in bubbles?