Tuesday, August 24, 2010

C' Est a Mourrir

Death by Pleasure
My friend Lindsay asked me if I would blog about French fashion; and I hope to. At the moment, however, I am having an outrageous love affair with the French bakery shops and particularly the one located in our little village in Saint Syr. This hamlet sits on the side of the mountain and overlooks Lyon, a most beautiful view. We go there nearly every day (except their days closed--Mercredi (Wednesday )and Jeudi (Thursday). Like most shops in France, they are closed every day from one until four in the afternoon, reopening again until about 7. I am coming to appreciate this long lunch time and I suspect the incredibly hot weather dictates closing early, because air conditioning in these little establishments is scarce.
But also, the French are lazy (or so I am told by a French person I met). They have 5 weeks of Government paid holiday, take two hours each day for lunch, often do not work on Mondays and work about 5 to 6 hours a day. On the other hand, they often live into their 90’s and seem to enjoy life. So, you decide if they are lazy or just smarter than us.
Every time I show up at Monsieur’s shop I vow to stay away from the dessert counter. But it’s NO use! I invariably convince Rahn we need something in the way of sweets to leave the shop with us. I have never thought of myself as a “dessert fanatic” and especially not a “chocoholic”. In France, I am both. I cannot seem to pass up a dessert anytime I walk through that door! Not only do the after dinner treats look positively scrumptious, but in the taste department, they are also exquisitely luscious. And when it comes to presentation? Gorgeous! How often have you been fooled by a fancy looking recipe only to find a mediocre tasting product underneath? Not so in France! How it looks and tastes are equally important.
As to presentation, I make my purchases carefully (it is so hard to decide) and each piece is then lovingly wrapped up or boxed, complete with pink ribbon, while the breads are enclosed in pastry paper with a twisted flourish at the end. Nothing is mundane or haphazard, including garnishes on the freshly made desserts.
In addition to presentations and garnishes, they are also tres clever at what to serve desserts in. One evening we spent a particularly delightful time at an outdoor café in Julieanas, part of the Beaujolais Country wineries in Burgandy, where we were served dense chocolate mousse in small old fashioned glass canning jars with French bales. Sucrees!
As I write this I am realizing words will never really do it all justice.  And even though they say a picture’s worth a thousand words, mine pale in comparison to “being there” . Still, it’s better than nothing.

Enjoy and Bon appétit!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you haven't forgotten my fashion request. ;) I do want to know all about their food, too!


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