Bordeaux, Week 3: The Lettuce

 

 
DSC02336  Would I emigrate to France for the cheese? Would it be worth moving here for the wine, since wine sales in France are falling (see here) and I’d have more of it to myself? The pâté, like the duck-fat dabbed smudge on a baguette slice I’m eating right now? The bread? (No, not the bread. That’s been the single biggest disappointment since I arrived in this city. I’ve found only one great boulangerie and it’s booth at a Sunday market.) Those are all reasons to come here occasionally. I don’t think I’d outlive a ten-year diet of that playlist.

But I might move here for the lettuce. These French people, they know their way around a head of lettuce. I see in the markets luscious bouquets of red-tinged and lime green leaves. For one euro, a market man forced on me two floribunda heads of lettuce that would look terrific as a centerpiece and I couldn’t say no.

Now, every night I dress my salad with Molly Wizenberg’s Bordeaux-appropriate delicious vinaigrette, available here (I add shallots), and munch on the lettuce while I keep the football teams company (to call what I do in front of the TV with the World Cup playing anything else would be inaccurate to an extreme. France just lost.).

Tomorrow is Saturday. Oysters!

4 thoughts on “Bordeaux, Week 3: The Lettuce

  1. Maggie

    Oh Sally, I totally agree about the lettuce! One Sunday I bought this absolutely most spectacular head a butter lettuce I have ever seen in my life. And, it was from a tiny little store just a couple blocks off the Blvd, of the Opera. And, the saddest thing of all was that when we left that wonderful apt to head south that gorgeous lettuce was still in the refrigerator. I pray that the cleaning lady took it home.
    So, in the fall, I went to Tallinni’s nursery and bought eight 6 packs of butter lettuce and it was not butter lettuce at all when it grew up.
    Happy July 4th and a pre-mature Happy Bastille Day. One Bastille Day we sat on a boat in the Seine at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and watched the fireworks. It was magical.

    Reply
  2. limeandbarley

    You’re so right. French lettuce just has a softness you can get here in the uk. It’s so so good. Can’t say I agree with you re. The bread though – wow, the best I’ve ever had was in saumur. I find it all a bit samey though after a week or so. I prefer the Uk food because there’s so much more variety 🙂

    Reply
    1. Shadowcook Post author

      I don’t mean to sound wishy-washy but we agree more than you might think. Saumur, yes, good bread. Great bread in Paris. But I think not all French bread is the same or the same quality. Here in Bordeaux, boules and other round loaves are more popular than the variety of baguettes.

      We are absolutely on the same page when it comes to food in the UK. I am amazed at the outdated perception people in the US and in France have about British food. And I say that as someone who rarely eats in fine restaurants in the UK. Can’t afford it very often. But the food shopping! The farmer’s markets, farm shops, etc just amaze me with the quality of products.

      Reply

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