See how I bait you there with the promise of cheese? Like a sneaky bloggy version of a mousetrap. Only way more humane and fun than getting your neck snapped. ANYWAYS...
When I was 15 I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in France. Before you think I'm a spoiled brat, when the trip was brought to my attention as a sophomore in high school, here is how the resulting convo went at Chez de W:
- me: So, the french department is taking 30 students to France for three weeks next Summer and I would really, really like to go.
- The Parents: hmmm, okay... what are your reasons for wanting to go?
- me: Insert all the logical, parent-oriented reasons including but not limited to: learning the language via submersion, architechtural and historical enlightenment, and all around cultural exposure.
- The Parents: how much will it cost?
- me: $3k
- The Parents: Okay, here's the deal: you come up with half by the payment deadline (4 months away) and we'll pitch in the other half.
::Insert parents exchanging look of "pssshaw right" complimented by mutual congratulatory glances on their uber-intelligent, non-confrontational roadblock of my Grand Parisian Plan::
Well, four months later and looooots of QT working at the neighborhood Benny's Bagels, I came hauling in the scrilla. I don't think they anticipated the determination of a starry-eyed 15-year-old with Big Plans.
The look on their face when I came across with the cash was priceless. But being the amazing parents they are, they honored their promise and kicked in the other half. I think they will agree to this day that it was money well spent because it truly does change your life to get out and see more than your little corner of the world.
On to the cheese part of the story: We spent three lovely weeks there which involved an insane amount of walking, museum wandering, stair climbing, castle perusing, etc. Every single person on the trip lost weight with the exception of me and my two girlfriends.
For the following reasons:
Baguette avec Jambon et Fromage
These things quickly became our Parisian obsessions. I'm talking eating Nutella on the bus between cities (out of the jar. with a spoon.) and stopping to get baguettes when we had just eaten lunch. So it was only natural that I would want to find/recreate my newfound food loves when I got back to the states.
Nutella: widely available and I don't believe my parent's and/or my pantry has been sans nutella since 1998.
Crepes: with the availability of Nutella, the only thing you need a good recipe and one of these suckers.
Kinder Bueno: Luckily for my figure, this is not widely available in Dallas. On my last trip to New York, however, I did find that some of the markets carried it. I cleaned out two of them. Literally.
A happy, happy girl.
Baguette avec jambon et fromage: Nothing compares. You can buy a baguette. You can buy the best ham and cheese you can find. You can slather that sucker in butter like only Paula Deen could imagine and you STILL won't be able to recreate it. I've thought a lot about this. (sad, perhaps?) and the only conclusion I can think of is that France is far less strict about pasteurization thus making the butter and cheese much richer and impossible to find stateside.
So you can imagine my giddiness when I just saw this in my reader.
The foodie in me is screaming... "GET TO MOLTO FORMAGGIO, STAT" the more sane version of myself that controls the cash flow (albeit, not very well) is telling me to go freeze the credit card in a block of ice before I even think about spending $39.50 on a piece of CHEESE.
But what if that piece of cheese is the missing link to recreating one of my favorite foods from my trip? What if that satisfies this craving I have had since 1998? What if this tides me over until the next time I can make it back to France? THEN wouldn't a piece of cheese be worth $40?
See how I rationalize things? It truly is a gift...
So I'm torn... do I reserve my fancy hunk of cheese in hopes that it will taste the same as in my memory or do I save that $40 and put it toward a plane ticket and get the real deal in like 2020 when I will be able to afford to go back?