Photos and text by: Corey Amaro
FRENCH BREAD. The endless world of Baguettes.... After twenty some years in France ONE would think I could walk into a bakery and not drool on myself.
At the market a woman walked by carrying three baguettes, they looked the same at a glance, but look at the ends... Each one has a slightly different end... Different endings, though the taste is more or less the same. With that said, I prefer the one on the left, the ficelle, it is long and narrow, more chewy crust per bite. Good for dips and spreads.
The square ended one is called a pain de campagne, it has some rye or whole wheat flour, lasts longer than the one day shelf life of a classic baguette.
The one in the middle is a batard. It is shorter than a ficelle, half the size and thicker than a baguette. French bread descriptions.... sounds like body types don't they? I wish I could say I was a ficelle body type, not a batard!
Batard means "bastard" in English. When the baker comes to the end of the dough, and there isn't enough for a baguette he uses the left over bit to make a batard.
Anyway bread, cheese, wine... the daily love feast of the French. The last supper, my favorite supper. Oh these French classic basics. Give or take a beret, soccer and cigarettes.
Thick edible crusty goat cheese, Valencay is covered in charcoal. Direct from the farm. Soft center. Lovely with a green salad.
The name of this cheese cracks me up....Bouton de Culotte - Underwear Buttons. Also a goat cheese. Can you imagine asking your guests if they would like some more "Underwear buttons with their Bastard?"
The French know how to add humor to their daily rituals. They know how to hide a smile. They know how to beat the system. They know that life is not that serious even if they get caught up with how to cut the cheese.
Why yes, there are rules on how to cut the cheese. I will talk about that another day.
Anal is just another word for why constipation runs high in France.
Goat cheese is my favorite
(No, it doesn't smell like goat urine, anymore than cow cheese does.)
Chabrion is a soft cheese with rosemary.
Add some tomato chutney, a bit of this cheese and a glass of Medoc.
Sechons, or dried hard like a rock, tough as brick, break your teeth is a goat cheese.
I think if you take fresh goat cheese (above photo) and let it dry for ten years and a day, you would have Sechons. Doesn't that sound yummy? They are, but they are not my favorite. Honestly hard as a rock cheese, why?
My theory is: Leftover cheese that didn't fly off the shelf. Re-brand it. Call it Sechons.
Bleu d'Avergne, Gorgonzola, Roquefort.... love it.
Endive Roquefort Walnut Tart is one of my stand by quick dinners.
Isn't there a saying that says, "You can tell a foreigner by the shoes they wear?" I am sure I have heard that before.... Anyway, in France they say:
"You can tell a foreigner by how they wear their scarf."
I am teasing the French don't say that.
Melons and strawberries, cherries and peaches.
Summer is for romancing the taste-buds.
I love these little signs, especially when they are attached with these metal hooks.
Onions in a basket from Cevennes.
Flowers in a zinc bucket.
Fish in shells.
Then I saw the cherries which caused me to shiver.
Where is the love story? Somewhere between the lines.