The Little French English Improvement Project

little french person trying to improve her english, little french english person trying to improve herself, french english person trying to improve a little bit… and blogging along the way. (Now in Deutschland)

Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Croissant, cheese and wine: or the risks and dangers of living in France

Posted by Alice Challet - alicethefrog on October 16, 2010

Well, I didn’t do so well yesterday after all…
After launching my brand new blog with style and two shiny posts, the rest of the day was not so productive. I got home and read two further pages of Wolfgang Koeppen’s Das Treibhaus, one of the previously mentioned books I have to read (in German) for my literature course. The thing is, I have never been good at reading assignment books. Having to read anything just ruins it for me, especiallly when said text has page-long sentences and our lecturer announced very early on that the main character was going to jump off a bridge in the end. Not my kind of literature at the best of times.

Hindering my progress was also the silent beckoning of the baker’s shop down the road. My sister and I share this flat, not three minutes away from the languages department of the University and on the way there and back every morning and afternoon, unless I take a major detour I inevitably walk past  this Boulangerie/ Patisserie and the temptation is enormous. I have just come back from a year in Germany where you cannot find a decent croissant.  You have to give them credit, they try their best, but the results are always too floury or dry, usually bland, sometimes flaky and they also tend to look a bit deflated and sad, like something pulled out of a freezer and just left out to thaw. In other words: not the real deal. The first thing I did when I got back to France was going to a bakery and getting a fresh-from-the-oven croissant.

It was heavenly. Properly puffed up and a shiny golden-brown colour and the smell of it… I stood on the pavement outside, pulled it out of its brown paper bag and ate it on the spot. The outer layers of the puff pastry were so, so thin and lovely and crisp, and the middle: soft and warm and it just melts instantly in your mouth and you know you have just eaten more butter than you woukd normally eat in a week, but you still want to go back in and get another one!             Well yesterday I did resist the call of the croissant, but I got a brioche… Not quite as fat, but anything you get at that bakery deserves your full attention when you’re eating it , so that took a little while (and there was a queue). By the time I got back to the flat it was time to pack and my sister drove us home to my parents’ house for the weekend.

There, surprise! During the week my parents have received invitations to this “Salon des vins de France”, so can you guess how we were going to spend the following morning? Yes, we went and tried about a dozen different sorts of wines and gourmet specialities: cheeses, cakes, chocolate, nougat, foie gras…. It is the sort of place where you exchange your ticket for a wine glass at the entrance and then deambulate past various stands and if anything catches your eye, your glass gets filled. At  the end of the visit, you may keep the glass as a souvenir. Needless to say we have many such glasses at home… (what does that say about us?). We left quite merry and heavily laden with boxes and had to borrow a trolley from one of the merchants to transport everything back to the car. I got a couple of bottles myself; it’s about time I started compiling a decent wine collection. I got two bottles of 2007 red Bordeaux, and two of a special rosé wine, which was very unusual in that it has quite a lot of tannins so it looks like rosé and it feels quite light and fresh, but it tastes like “proper” red wine. Yummy. It’s called Bordeau clairet and it is lovely. I’m keeping a bottle for when I land my first job. Someday.

So the weekend hasn’t started off that brilliantly (no studying so far and probably a couple of kilos added to my already-not-so-slim waistline) but somehow I cannot bring myself to feel that bad about it. Even so, maybe it is time I published this post and went back to Koeppen. Yuck.

Scottish friends over for dinner tonight. Should be a laugh!


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