Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coffee and Chocolate

Here's one way to fight jet-lag: shop at flea markets all day for dinner plates with silly French sayings, watch the country's hero qualify for the French Open final (which he later won), and stop for a mid-afternoon treat of tartes au citron, mini éclairs, and choux pastries coated with crackling sugar and filled with glorious cream. Once you've devoured all that, rev up with a grand café, and savor a handmade bar of Swiss dark chocolate studded with almonds. For dessert, naturally.

Even thinking about Switzerland makes me feel fat. When I'm here I can't stop with the chocolate and the cheese (particularly the cheese), and this time, I'm going to buy or rent a bike, so that I can pedal along the lake, and up in the hills near the working cows, near the foothills of the alps, and after, eat all I want for dinner. It would be a shame to skimp on all the fatty goodness that makes this country great, and I do not intend to let those cows down. In preparation for the dairy I plan to eat, I've already overdone it here in a healthy way: two days ago I made a textural mix of organic barley, wild rice and spelt berries, made even earthier with dried porcini mushrooms that I added directly to the cooking grains. I stewed together a tomato, green bean, and tofu 'ragu' to top the grains, and we had fruit for dessert, loquats and physalis and red raspberries. As Tuesday is market day, I haven't even purchased any cheese. I am waiting for the real stuff; I am waiting to buy it from the people who make it.

With nutritious meals in my belly, some tough hikes and bike rides planned, I am feeling just fine about indulging in a little cheese and chocolate. Bring it on, Switzerland. I'm ready for you.


Anna said...

Yay, pastries, yay Roger!

Pocket said...

Banu, I am your neighbor right now. I am in France (a small village, St. Julien south of Lyon). I laughed when i read this post because i have eaten so much cheese since I have been here. I was not eating ANY cow diary or wheat for almost a year (long story to do with breast feeding) and when i landed in France I called off the fast. Since my arrival I have been having a very satisfying menage a trois with my old lovers cheese and bread. Last night I ate the most stinky and delicious unpasteurized cheese I think I have ever had. Yum, I LOVE the french. Safe travels.
xo angie

Pocket said...

Hi again...FYI that last post is from me...Angie Hauser.

Banu said...


Great to hear from you. One of the best goat cheeses I've ever had was from Lyon. It is in such small, artisanal production, that only one web page came up when I searched for it on Google. Luckily, I'll be returning there in August, because I forgot the name. That cheese is reason enough to return to Lyon, if you ask me. Enjoy your sexy lovers, and congratulations on the baby!