I can see now, it’s going to become a bit of a habit. On those mornings when you wake up without an alarm and you slowly lean over to pull the curtains away from the windows, away from keeping the light out of your bedroom, because you want to be able to see the tops of the trees. It’s spring here so they’re green and still swaying in the breeze that was left over from winter.
It was last Thursday that caused this habit to form. Alarm went off at 8, and I pulled on my exercise gear to get my walk on all the way down to the markets. TPP was out on the streets that particular morning (The Parisian Pee’r). We see him all over the city, always in different disguises.
At 8 the markets weren’t busy as this is early here in Paris for those who have the luxury of buying their vegetables, cheeses, breads and meats from them daily. And every morning, all the time, there’s really quite a culture down there on Rue Richard Lenoir at the Bastille Markets. I think it’s the yelling that I’m most fond of. Or have become most fond of. At first you instantly think; abuse, yet again. But then after time, it is the one thing that you have become to understand about the French. They’re not yelling as such, they’re talking… loudly and urgently because what they are saying is apparently very important. The other day at work the owner came in and said (yelled), “make sure this bread is used up!” My job has nothing to do with bread, I don’t touch bread, I don’t order bread, I don’t talk about bread. It was all very confusing. “I’m not supposed to take bread out to customers,” I said. He replied (yelled), “No I know but I’m just saying (yelling) it should be used up! It’s waste!”
Once you come to these markets and when you get to see how long this particular cheese stall is, that it takes up a considerable amount of space, you will understand why this particular stall is the one I have chosen alliance with. In the twenty minutes of cheese-window shopping on Thursday morning amongst the affectionate yelling (because everything in this market is really very important), I saw a large white bucket and written on the side in blue linked letters was this; ‘fromage blanc.’ Right away I thought that I must try this. And so I bought a small tub for 79 euro cents and I bought some strawberries, almonds, fresh dates and a banana because it makes sense in my head that all those things would only go well together. I came home and placed them all in a bowl in layers, just like you would assemble a tiramisu. My first spoonful consisted of only fromage blanc. Thick, creamy, nothing tart, nothing sickly sweet, just everything perfect and leaving your desire for something creamy completely fulfilled.
And then once I had finished my entire bowl of breakfast (about half an hour later because I am trying this thing of eating slowly), in retrospect, I wished I had left out the banana, strawberries, almonds and fresh dates, because this is something that you don’t want to add anything to.
However, if the occasion calls for a friend to accompany your fromage blanc seulement, I would recommend the following:
Fromage Blanc with raspberry compote
Fromage Blanc with only fresh dates (I can imagine this would have gone well)
Fromage Blanc with caramel sauce and a sprinkling of granola (Grace this is for you)
Fromage Blanc with cake, any sort of cake…