I spent Christmas in Paris, five food-fuelled days when my inner gourmet turned gourmande as the train drew into Gare du Nord. A regular visitor to the city, I have museum visits interspersed with three good meals a day down to a fine art. Not to mention afternoon pauses for hot chocolate and patisserie. Yet the dish that most excited me on this recent trip was a cauliflower. It sounds more romantic in French — choux fleur — even though this offering was brazenly unadorned. Not served en croute, truffled or even gratiné. Paris is not renowned for its vegetarian fare — menus can be rather sparse for those who eschew meat — but in the Marais neighbourhood vegetables have been causing a stir. Long lines form outside a tiny, street food eatery called Miznon, where cauliflower and broccoli fly off the grill and are delivered onto wooden tables on sheets of grease-proof paper. It is noisy, crazy and very hip. I am not vegan nor even vegetarian but would happily swap my cote de boeuf for a...

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