Sunday, July 11, 2010

French phrase of the day: j’ai une pêche

Def: I have a peach, literally. Colloquially, it means I have a really great thing.

This weekend, while not entirely conforming to the proper usage of the phrase, has been a really great thing.

After Friday night, I got up a little late and pushed myself out of the treehouse by noon. The destination: le Marché Batignolles. While Sunday morning’s Boulevard Raspail organic market gets all the buzz, I found this Saturday morning, in the 17th arrondisement organic market, which I’ve been wanting to check out for some times now, a little lovelier. Fewer baby strollers, fewer bottlenecks, plus most of the same stands as Raspail, and then some.

I was on a quest for lunch goodies to bring to Square de Batignolles for a solo picnic. When I finally chose my produce stand after making a couple leisurely rounds, and decided on a peach for my piece of fruit, a really cute girl served me —and then decided to give me the peach for free. I don’t know why, but needless to say, the gesture made my day.

I had also noticed a strand with dried pineapple—sauvage, even: no added sugar—which is something I can’t easily resist. Thank god I didn’t. I tasted it before I left the market and think I gasped out loud. It was perhaps the best dried pineapple I’ve ever eaten. Unlike the gummy texture of most—which, don’t get me wrong, I love—this was caramelized at the edges, so it tasted like pineapple upside down cake, without the cake. Heaven.

The peach, I finally ate in the park, after my onion tart. I gasped again. Perhaps the bloody best peach I’ve ever eaten in my life! Ah, the food in France…

The rest of the day was equally wonderful. I lounged in the park for a bit, before strolling around Montmartre. I did a bit of shopping and I took my time. At the end of the day I spontaneously called Sarah for a movie date as we’d been talking about seeing L’Illustionniste.

I love my Triplets of Belleville, but this movie was a peach as well. So bittersweet! Quel charm! It made me and Sarah grin and gush. A must see.

After the movies, it was still light out, and we found a terrace for a light dinner. Again, totally pleased with my food—a multicolored, perfectly composed salad of greens, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, cucumbers, peas, yellow peppers. It was almost too pretty to eat. But I did and guess what? It was delicious.

Finally, in that long beautiful blue hour here in Paris, I Velib'ed home. I took left turns and right turns through the Marias, sometimes going in circles, just so I could prolong the ride in the quiet streets. Starlings screeched overhead, there were few people walking, and it was just the most serene and lovely ride home.


  1. I linked to you from A Broad in Buenos Aires...and she's right, you are marvelous.

  2. You make me want to pack up the dog, the husband and some clothes and take off on the next plane for Paris.
    You are a peach, yourself, you know.

  3. that's the market not far from place de clichy? Spent many a happy morning wandering around there - usually sniffing cheese and tasting wine (yes at 9am!), buying honey, nibbling a croissant and waiting for former friends to get their act together and leave the hotel - not once did they ever get their act together and visit - which is why they are former friends!

  4. the parisian passion is seeping out of your post - i can taste the peach and i must try the pineapple. It is a joy to read your experiences of the pleasures in life.

  5. Candice & friend of Candice and Camille, you are too kind. Thank you for making my day with your nice words! I'm glad to have you along for the ride.

    Eli, it's sad but true: sometimes it's necessary to cull (and cut) friendships. I mean, passing up a marché bio?! C'mon! (I still have to get back to Chartier... it's been 17 years!!)

  6. ... pour avoir LA pêche, vous en avez une sacrée !
    et bonne continuation...

  7. I had to get up and go get a peach...
    now it;s warming up from being inside the fridge
    I've never been to that marche, only the other one crowded with $#@! strollers. IWILL go next time.
    I have Les Triplets sitting here for another viewing. I almost went to L'Illusionists for that reason but the reviews and trailer were a little turnoff - love Jacques Tati!!
    Will see it since you say so.
    Nice Sunday!