Monday, September 1, 2008

The Baroness Triggers A Memory

In a post, The Baroness said-

*International Curse Word of the Day: Muenster - some wretched French comestible, passed off as "gourmet" fromage, which is, in truth, rancid foot fungus scraped off of a marathoner's post-race sock, "smoked" over a Galois cigarette, then shaped into a misleadingly appetizing cheese wheel.

The sensory assault which ensues can only be expelled by either rubbing the side of one's tongue on a belt sander, or by a radical taste-bud-ectomy.

Ah yes, France. Most of memories of Paris were horrible, yet I still don't blame Parisians...mostly because they are Parisians. Because they live in such a wonderful city, they are in a way, petulant, existentialist teenagers bored on wine, and ennui. As a word, "jaded" doesn't even come close.

I haven't had Muenster in awhile, though I somehow don't remember it tasting much like we would imagine the monster family of the same name could. I do remember being in Paris during the year of Orwell and we went to a restaurant that literally had cheese on the walls. I mean in every free space, every alcove and all the way literally up to the rafters. Being the young ugly American that I was, of course I wanted a steak with fries, don't spare the steer, garçon. The best the waiter could provide was a salad with a little jambon.

The waiter did not appreciate my attitude, and everything went downhill from there. Let me just say that his English was superb, so he was used to Les Américains barbares. My problem was that French cheese for me, was just for appetizers and only appetizers. I wanted heartier fare...coq au vin, bœuf Bourguignon and the like. Not the appetizers and rabbit food that they dished.

I spent more time arguing than eating that night. Of course because of my age, I wasn't savvy enough to know that if you piss off the waitstaff or the cooks, you will get something undesired in your food. Then came desert and you know that I was still starved by then. If you also know this branch of Le Cuisine de France, then you know that half of the deserts available at that restaurant were cheese.

I didn't say it out loud, but he surmised from the look on my face was "again with the (expletive) cheese?" I ordered ananas, which in my nineteen year-old mind equaled "bananas" and if you had just one year of French in junior high school, you'd think the same thing to...that, and Madeline Alvarez looked hella hot in that sweater.

The word next to ananas? I couldn't read it though in retrospect, it was probably sorbet. God, I'd like to go back into a time machine some twenty-four years and just slap some sense into myself. So he put this small dish in front of me and I said where is the ananas?

"They are right there."

I'm looking for bananas. I envisioned something similar to bananas Foster.

"C'mon, don't mess with me, where are the ananas?

"There...right there. There! La!"

Words and gestures were exchanged...and for short time, cutlery was almost involved. No the police weren't called, although now? I wouldn't even dare to walk within a block of that place, as I imagine that they still have a picture of me up in the kitchen with these words-

Cormac est voulu mort...or mort! Le coût n'est pas d'objet !
(Cormac is wanted dead...or dead! Cost is no object!)


paulbrazill said...

Don't get me started on Paris. really... the further South I ever got in France the nicer the people and the better the food(Lyon was soooo good for food) but Paris ...

Cormac Brown said...

Paulie Decibels,

I prefer the cuisine and people of the Côte d'Azur as well.