Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I could get used to this...

So my baguette for dinner tonight was still warm when I picked it up. On my way home from the organic grocery store (which also has me elated...more on that later) I popped into a bakery that had a line out the door, always a good sign. While there were still a few customers in front of me, the clerk, and perhaps a baker too, wheeled out a basket of fresh baguettes from the back. I proceeded to the counter, ordered my baguette and presented the 80 cents for it, impressing the woman that I had my change ready. As soon as she placed it in my hand, I think my step got a bit lighter. The baguette was very much still warm from having just been baked. I might end up eating a baguette a day at this rate.

Many have asked "how's the food?" or "what have you been eating??" Well, the short answer is a lot of bread and cheese. Typical, non? However, I do have a chicken leg and thigh roasting with some potatoes and onions that I'll eat with my baguette (ahem, the half that I didn't eat already) and the cheese my flatmate brought home from her trip to Normandy. For those of you that don't know, Normandy is famous for dairy products and apples. No big surprise that I was presented with an ooey gooey Camembert that had been soaked in Calvados!! Calvados is an apple brandy, and delicious! Soaking the Camembert in Calvados doesn't leave it the prettiest piece of cheese, but perhaps one of the most delicious. The brandy compliments the pungency of the cheese nicely, mellowed of course by that crispy baguette. There is a fruity acidity to the cheese, the way orange juice is zippy on the tongue, but not too distracting from the creamy texture. I almost forgot I had dinner in the oven.

So, here's a picture of what I had last night for dinner, no roast chicken, and I didn't even make that soup, but I was pretty happy. There exists here a store called Picard, and it is basically the frozen section of the grocery store, that's it. All frozen food. Many of you know how much I love freezing food. It really is the next best thing to fresh. "That freezes well" is often said by me, and lo and behold many of you have your freezers full of egg whites, slice and bake cookies, even fried green tomatoes. Picard sells frozen soups, which I hope everyone knows freeze well, and you just heat and serve, season if necessary et voila! The soups come in bags, already frozen in little pieces, like a piece of Bazooka gum, so they thaw and heat up quickly. I am definitely a fan. Here you see dinner composed of that soup, carrot this time, and a easy mesculun salad with a whole grain mustard vinaigrette and cornochons - those little pickles, I could eat a jar of - and a goat cheese 'crottin', red wine and a baguette, the one pictured is from another bakery, currently my favorite boulangerie. Unfortunately it is right around the corner...


  1. what's the food scene out there? in SF it seems like little specialty shops are popping up everywhere--like the ice cream place we've yet to visit, a maracon shop near jess and now "venga empanadas," specializing in 12 different flavors of the latin american street snack. some of these places don't even own a storefront (like venga and mission street food, which borrows a chinese restaurant two nights a week) but business flourishes by word of mouth. is this phenomenon unique to here?

  2. oh my god, I just tried to eat my computer screen. Left my face and the screen worse for the wear.

  3. The food scene here is quite similar to SF, but I think that might be the only US city to compete. Although there exists here in Paris the large supermarkets, and even mini ones for all the grocery needs, everyone is still used to getting anything fresh at the specialized stores; bucher, bread, cheese, produces, pastry, wine, charcuterie, and the farmers markets that have everything. SF has a unique market that supports those highly specialized food vendors, and is a little less conservative when it comes to holding onto traditions... I don't know if an empanada shop would work here, but then again, I wouldn't be surprised!