Monday, April 21, 2008

Bread and chocolate trauma

I have been craving a good light crunchy baguette lately. It's hard to find a baguette as close to the ones sold in France here in Austin. Most of the time, they're too soft.

Even more than baguette, I love a couronne, which is a ring shaped bread. You can buy it small, petite, or big, grosse. Well, I remember the grosse couronne my grandparents would buy from their baker. It was crunchy beyond what you can imagine and bien cuite, or well baked. Brownish / black on top. That's a personal preference though. This couronne was very messy to cut. I mean crumbs would fly all over. So much that when you'd be on "bread cutting duty", we would sometimes go outside to cut it, to avoid a complete mess. But otherwise you don't care, because it's the best bread ever, and you'd rather sweep the floor again than not have it. 

A joke in my family about good bread and good cheese (how French can you get?), is that when you have just a little bit of cheese left in your plate with a big piece of bread, you MUST (yes that's right you must) help yourself to some more cheese. Why waste the bread, right? Might as well finish it! And of course when you have a lot of cheese left in your plate, with just a little piece of bread, you MUST get some more bread to finish the cheese. That's just a lame excuse to eat more. Don't find any logic to it! 

Well I was reminded today of a memory from when I was in maternelle (preschool). Please don't laugh at me! My Mom used to pack me a piece of baguette and milk chocolate for my morning snack. And she'd do that almost every day. Now, that's a pretty common childhood snack in France, only all the kids around me at my school were having "cool" store-bought cookies ("chocoswere a classic). And I grew to be ashamed of my chocolate baguette sandwich snacks because I thought I wasn't "as cool"! I would not eat them! Yes, it's true!

But don't you see what's happening? That's karma my friend! I'm paying for this now! Thank goodness, our supermarket Central Market has a lot of other types of bread that are worth a try. Thank you CM! 

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