What Got Me Really Excited at My Market Today

You might think it was these gorgeous, glowing yellow limes…

limes

…which I’m not sure what I’m going to do with, but their sweet-tangy juice might make a refreshing summertime sorbet.

Or a batch of frosty Mojito Granita?

poulet crapaudine

It wouldn’t be a stretch to think it was coming home with a just-roasted poulet crapaudine, a chicken rubbed with herbs, spices, and a generous amount for salt, which seasons the crackly skin. I’m always wary about buying a whole one, since I’m certain I’d eat it all by myself—in one sitting.

(Not that I’ve ever done that. But I’ve heard about people that do.)


I was thrilled to find these glowing little Campari tomatoes…

campari tomatoes

Whenever the producteur has them, during the height of summer, I nab as many as I can. Over the next few days, I’ll be eating them simply dressed, with lots of shallots and fresh chives.

And speaking of fresh herbs…

basil

I’m still on my basil-bender, and when the bunches of basil are so fragrant you can smell them a few meters away, it takes all the restraint one can muster just to bring home one beautiful, leafy bunch.

And you might think it was these finger-length cucumbers…

mini cucumbers

…which I am fairly sure are destined for another batch of homemade kosher dill pickles…if I don’t eat them all first!

So what was it in my crowded market basket that so excited me?

market basket

At 20 centimes a bottle (…er…carafe?), at the risk of completely embarrassing myself, a wave of nostalgia hit me. And as I plucked one from the box at the wine merchant, and handed him a few coins, I wondered what would possess someone to import American rosé into France.

(And one that’s not exactly our best effort, either.)

I can’t decide whether to open it, or if I’ll just keep it for the memories. Sure the little carafe might come in handy, like mine did during college, doing double-duty as a holder for a wilted branch of ivy, one I had hopes of planting in actual soil but never got around to, or for decanting wine from a much (much) larger jug, one from an equally prestigious vineyard.

But if, and when, I do, I’m confident it’ll be exactly as I remember. The cap assures me, “We will sell no wine before its time”, which probably confounded too many Parisians, and may explain the sub-priced surplus.

But I kinda doubt it.

Categories:

Food Markets, Paris

33 comments

  • LOL! Well, we all have a soft spot in our hearts for some junk-y food that brings back memories. Many times have I found myself explaining/defending the allure of the Fluffernutter. (Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter sandwich on white bread, for those unfamiliar.)
    Hey, if Orson Welles endorsed the wine, it’s gotta be klassy, right? :)
    CMH

  • Why am I thinking of that Sesame Street song: One of these things is not like the others
    One of these things does not belong . . .?

  • That Paul Masson is scary, I didn’t know it still existed? Maybe you would like to know, Paul Newman has his own wine out now, I got a bottle, he is a nice guy.

    Salut!

  • I didn’t notice the wine at first. I noticed the red guys behind Paul. They look like some sort of radish maybe?

    Mojito granita sounds great. Mojitos sound great too, for what it’s worth.

  • Those tomatoes taste just like candy, don’t they? Yum.

  • At the roast meat stands I am more tempted by the potatoes that they cook on the lowest shelf which absorbs all the juices and seasonings of the meats above. But if there is roasted baby pigs I might want some too.

  • Hi Sam: I’m going to put the recipe in my next newsletter, which I’m sending out in a few weeks. If you, or anyone else reading, is interested, you can sign up by entering your e-mail address in the right sidebar.

    It’s a great recipe and perfect for mid-summer.

    Charlene: Yes, if Orson liked it, it had to be good. (although that isn’t quite what I remember…)

  • This makes me think of the parties my parents used to have, um, 25 years ago. My mom reused the bottles for all kinds of things. But Paul Masson + Parisian market? Does not compute. I love it that you bought some!

    By the way, there are outtakes from the above mentioned Orson Welles commercials on YouTube. Recommended viewing.

  • As soon as I saw those limes I thought, “Leslie’s Lime Sherbet” (the only non-”Perfect Scoop” recipe she made for me on my visit last month), here.

  • Hi David, do you know where I can find Valrhona chocolate in Paris???

    My blog today features ice cream place recommendations in Paris. Feel free to add other addresses in the Comments, that would be an honour!

    Try here! -dl

  • OOOOOHHHH!!! Fresh tomatoes! Try them just lightly dipped in white sugar. =D

  • Ran into your ice cream book at Williams and Sonoma. It is funny how you described your faves at the market. We all have our foods that give us warm fuzzies. :)

  • I am so jealous of your market finds…they all look gorgeous!

  • Gorgeous! And finally, a respite from all those vulgar panisses jokes!

  • Now you give me that whole roast chook, and I’ll make a nam prik dipping sauce – with the juice of 3 of those limes, 2-5 cloves of garlic chopped with some green chilli ,a tablespoon of fish sauce, a handful of coriander and their roots cleaned and chopped and a wee bit of salt and sugar.
    I guarantee they’ll not be a morsal of meat or gristle left on them bones.
    Serve with those baby cucs and radish.

  • Joanne: I agree-and thank goodness! But if you think that was bad, I had to endure 13 years of listening to those kinda jokes when I worked at Chez Panisse.

    So folks here should consider themselves lucky I subjected them to just one or two.

    ; )

  • Hey, at least it wasn’t Boone’s Farm Tickle Pink.

    Ah! The memories…

  • Thank you for this blog! I’ve been reading it for over a month now and it has inspired me to keep going on my own food journey blog several times. I can’t think of a better way to journey. As for the roasted poulet crapaudine, I feel the same way about chickens roasted at home and store bought rotisserie chickens…dangerously delicious.

  • your basil seems so fresh that it looks like fake plastic leaves :D pretty impressive !

    i’d love to have fresh herbs like that in my market, but we barely have decent ones.

  • What really got me excited today was that your book, The Perfect Scoop, arrived in the mail! I actually squealed with delight.

    I’ll be off to the market to find fresh figs tonight. Wish me luck. :)

  • Hi David,

    Been reading your blog for a while, and recently I decided to crack open my copy of The Perfect Scoop and try my hand at ice cream. While I didn’t exactly use one of your recipes (couldn’t find one for just plain-old strawberry, and they’re in season here so I couldn’t adulterate them), I did use your custard instructions. They were fantastic!! I’ve never made custard before, and I was worried it would be really tricky or fussy, but your instructions made it so much easier than I expected.

    Thanks very much for writing such an excellent book, and I promise to use one of your full recipes soon ;)

  • Matt: The Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream is a pretty classic version. Since I’m not a fan of custard-based ice creams with fruit, the sour cream gives the ice cream a much nicer texture. (and it’s much easier to put together.)

    Plus the gently tang of sour cream is pretty tasty. Give it a shot, or try the Strawberry Frozen Yogurt—it’s one of my favorites in the book.

  • David, I was making your Fresh Mint Ice Cream with some (what I thought was) fresh mint that I grew. I’m not that familiar with the look of mint leaves so I just assumed that the little stick in the pot that said mint was correct. The leaves looked similar to thyme but I didn’t think anymore of it. It wasn’t until I had steeped the “mint” leaves and it didn’t come out green that I realized it was actually thyme. I was going to throw it out but decided to try it anyway. It wasn’t that bad but I think next time I’ll stick to buying the mint at the produce store instead.

    One way to tell is that mint has a square stem. Hope that helps for next time! -dl

  • My first excursion out of lurkdom and into the comments: Sam, you’ve gotta try the Strawberry Sour Cream ice cream!! I made a batch last week and it was amazing. The sour cream/strawberry combo is magical!
    :o) :o)

  • Oops my ice cream encouragement was for Matt, not Sam! Sorry :o)

  • Drink the wine. What the heck. It might not be all that bad if chilled?? :)

    Those tomatoes look amazing… I think I can smell them all the way over here! I would make some basil mayonnaise, and have that on some bread with sliced Campari tomatoes. A tall, ice cold glass of fresh limeade would go great with it!

  • J’adore le nouveaux look, ça craque!

  • When I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, the word “crapudine” became strangely fascinating … floating out there in the darkness …

  • Enjoy the wine! I say, enjoy it all and to hell with foodie rules. :) Said the girl that’d rather a migas breakfast taco and a Bohemia over most more sophisticated meals. Okay, I’m no authority, but I enjoyed your little surprise. Happy summer eating!

  • I wish I could send you a crock/bottle of Lancer’s rosé from my Grandma Maud’s fridge circa 1975. It would be a handsome companion to your carafe of Paul Masson.

  • I am so excited to have found your blog!! It is very refreshing and I just love your photos…so refreshing just to look at!! You can bet I will be a regular….by the way love your ice cream book, just got it and look forward to making some wonderful treats!

  • David, I like the new design! And I haven’t heard of the wine, but the rest of your market goods look delicious!

  • Those beautiful tomatoes under the bright French sun has made me think again about M.F.K. Fisher’s “Two Towns in Provence” where she writes quite profoundly about how fast a tomato ripens and rots in Aix. Having experienced the same, your tomatoes brought up some wondrous memories.