A typical French lunch

Joined Sep 5, 2008
Forget canard à l'orange and forget tete de veau. Forget foie gras, frog legs and snails. Forget demi-glace, beurre blanc and consommé.

The other day my wife and I were craving for something REALLY French. We bought a fresh salad (red leaf) and made a quick shallot-vinaigrette (bit of finely minced shallots infused in vinegar with lots of salt and some black pepper for a few minutes, then add dijon mustard and emulsify with olive oil). Then a baguette and 3 different cheeses: tomme de Savoie, Beaufort and Saint Marcellin. Glass of wine.

After the meal, we were utterly satisfied. My wife said: well that was a typical French lunch!

And she's right. We used to do a lot of that back in France. Maybe if we were a bit hungrier we'd shred some carrots, or carrots + apples, or carrots + beets, or slice some beets, and hard boil an egg, or have a few slices of saucisson.

But really the trick is to have good products. Since you're pretty much just eating the products with almost no preparation, you want great products in the first place.

I feel blessed to have found a good cheese store in L.A. (Mr Marcel at the Fairfax/3rd Farmer's market). I feel blessed to live not too far from a Gelson's market which to my knowledge has the best fresh baguette in Los Angeles. Buy it warm off the oven, or ask them to make a fresh batch and wait, and eat it right away. In France, you usually don't buy a baguette that was baked two hours ago - or you don't buy a fresh baguette and eat it two hours later. You buy it fresh from the oven and eat it right away. By the way I'm talking about the Gelson brand "rustic italian baguette" (ironically, that's the closest to a French baguette) - not the La Brea bakery baguette that Gelson also carries.

Now saucisson... that's another story. I personally have never found any saucisson worth its salt in the U.S. - oh wait, once I did! But it was in a gourmet store in Tucson, AZ, so not exactly next door. If anyone knows a good source for saucisson in L.A.?
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