Food Post!

October 23, 2006 at 1:19 pm | Posted in food, writing | 2 Comments

It was Friday afternoon, and I was at home. Writing. In my pyjamas, as I had been more or less constantly for the previous few days. The book, you see, it needs a new opening, and I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t leave the house until I came up with something decent.

That’s when — *ping!* — I got an email from Amanda, asking me if I’d caught the Marché Gourmand going on this week at the base of the rue Mouffetard. Apparently, she proceeded to inform me, it happens every year during the Semaine du Goût.

Mouffetard! That’s, um… a block from my apartment. And I’d been so wrapped up in my writing that I had no idea. I was a little embarrassed — working on the book is all well and good, but what’s the point of living in Paris if you’re going to miss out on things happening just down the street?

Thus shamed, I hopped out of bed (yes, I write in bed), got dressed, and headed down La Mouffe to find something for dinner.

Oh hey — the best thing about special marchés? Food samples! As I shopped, I got to nibble tiny squares of tarte tatin, individual escargots, and best of all, a buttery-smooth paté de foie gras. And I bought:

saucissons des pyrenees

Go ahead, snicker, but I dare you to find a G-rated way to photograph sausage.

Anyway, here we have saucissons made from duck and wild boar. These were far from the most exotic options; I was briefly tempted by a deer sausage, and considerably less so by the donkey sausage. Just say it out loud: donkey sausage. There’s something really unsettling about that. I think it puts me in mind of a video I once saw in college.

Okay, now try to wipe that image from your brain while I present my omelette au sanglier:

omelette de sanglier

Full disclosure: dried boar sausage tastes divine, but it smells like wet dog. Be forewarned.

I picked up a little dessert at the marché, too:

brioche aux fruits

When it comes to fruit cake, I’m usually the first in line telling the “hard as a rock” jokes, but seriously, this brioche aux fruits was fantastic. Sweet and soft and full of interesting flavors… By the way, that’s coarse sugar on top, not pretzel salt.

brioche aux fruits

So, the upshot of all this? I stayed up late with indigestion, and at three in the morning, managed at last to bang out a decent first page.



  1. I will never forget this particular marché, because last year I ate my very first French macaron there. I had expected a rough cookie made of sweetened grated coconut, like the macaroons I’d had in the US, and I was so surprised and pleased by the one I bought, that I have never again been able to eat a macaron with so much enjoyment. The experience of discovering new foods is one of the really wonderful things about living in a foreign country. It might take me a while to work up to donkey sausage, though. Congratulations on your first page!

  2. Thanks, Amanda. And yeah, it’s very unfortunate that so many english-speakers assume that macarons must be related to macaroons. They could hardly be more different!

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