it's back!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2004

It goes to show that everytime I pause from hyper-social activities one particular part of my body becomes the primary voice : my stomach. And, if I ever had a reason to stay in France, despite my moanings and gripings, it’s because the food is about ten times better than anywhere else in the world I’ve ever been.

Yes, Japanese food is incredible. Though I’ve never been there I’ve freaked out on some low end high end stuff and it’s hard to beat the sheer elegance and delicateness of taste and presentation. But there’s always something finicky about it, something prepratory. And the Japanese wrap everything in double dosings of packaging…bleah…

Singapore, my country of birth, is a veritable beacon of hope in post-modern cuisine. The word fusion can hardly be a new culinary expression there. Singaporeans seemed to be obsessed with two things, money and food. (If I could just replace sex with money, I could reclaim my heritage.) Well, that’s an island for the intensely gluttonous and those in search of piercing tongue sensations…not for the subtle at heart. And while I’ve perused a few open air markets and can attest to their greatness, there’s one thing that’s missing : dignity.

It’s the pride that sets those fucking french apart. They stand behind their market stalls with an imperious air. You should be so lucky as to be able to buy my red pepper. It been lovingly caressed since it’s childhood, slavered over in some remote region of France, and transported only under confidential cover. You cannot touch anything. We hold all physical rights until money changes hands. Bwaaa haaaa haa haaaa. Evil deadly emperors from empire strikes back could have nice wars with french fruit sellers.

Of course the situation is changing. France in definitely not immune to the industrialization of food. McDo and Pizzas have made significant inroads, and local farmers are becoming an endangered species in almost all the major regions. However, the French also have people like Jose Bove, radical farmer striking fear in the hearts of industrial agriculturalists everywhere. And they also have the national pride to fight for the preservation of a certain kind of culinary heritage. Leading chefs like Joel Robuchon or Alain Ducasse are rabid supporters of biologically concious farmers…the type of guys who specialize only in making a certain kind of potato, in very specific soil, with specific kinds of water and organic fertilizer. (had ephiphany-like experience the other day when I found a lady who was selling 9 different kinds of organic potatoes) And they still have knighted societies devoted to things like sausages and hams. (I will be a lady of the boudin noir one day...)

Which brings me to the present day.
Wednesday morning, just down the street at the market, I found these funny two guys, one black, the other arab, not much older than me, horrifically dirty and sullen, standing behind two plastic boxes. They had just come back from mushroom picking (it’s the season NOW), and had trompettes de la mort and chanterelles. I bought a whole bunch of mushrooms, for 5Eu, and almost gave my hand in marriage.

Then I went home, put the water to boil with a good chunk of salt, minced some garlic, threw in some mini farfalle and three ripe medium tomatoes into the boiling water, fished the tomatoes out after 2 minutes, put the pan on the fire with some butter and olive oil, when oil was hot, threw in garlic with salt and pepper, before it changed colour threw in my mushrooms, then squashed tomatoes up and squished them in at the end, with a smidgen of more garlic, and some sugar, drained pasta, threw in sauce and wizzled and handful of minced parsley and some fresh raw cream. HOLY GOD OF MERCY…YEAH ! ! !

Today am going to indulge in a little aioli…bought mini courgettes, fresh carrots, sweet peppers and haricot verts…plus have special cheese from the Abbaye Pierre. Gooey gooey good.

only goes to show, after the party's over there's meal waiting at the end.