Sunday, 9 May 2010
Couronne de la vie
I have only visited Paris three times, which is pretty shocking – as a Brit, I have no excuse. The residing memory I have of all three times isn’t the Rive Gauche, or the fashion, or the museums, it’s the bread and the life experiences that seem to curl themselves around the loaves.
First memory, sitting in a park twenty seven years ago, with a good friend from University, he a diplomat, me still a student. We had bought wine, pate and the ubiquitous baguette to eat for lunch. Whilst distracted in conversation opening the wine, and wrestling with the baguette, a huge dog came bounding towards us and stole the pate from our blanket and ran off with it. The owner of the said dog was very embarrassed and extremely apologetic, all I could do was roll around laughing it was so funny.
Second memory; visiting a S. African friend in the 19th arrondissement. Three times a day we went to worship at the local boulangerie, serving the morning bread at lunch being tantamount to heresy. I had no idea that such a routine could be so addictive – and how on earth did the French women stay so slim? A random fact; French bread contains no fats, sugar or preservatives.
Third memory; visiting American friends on the southern outskirts of Paris. Their village bakery was difficult to get out of, simply because the ability to make decisions vanished the moment you stepped over the 18th century threshold and sniffed the dough fragranced air. My schoolgirl French simply couldn’t cope with the complexity of choice and I left armed with far too much bread due to my linguistic paralysis. Later, wandering around the Jewish quarter of Paris, I found myself following my nose and buying more.
The smile arrives simply with the memory of French bread, so not surprising then at today’s waterfront market, I made straight for “Simply Paris”. All bread made by the café with the same name on Cuba St, Wellington. Bon Apetit!