Greetings from a chilly winter Paris!
You may have noticed posts have been virtually non-existent this month, there has been some cooking but no time to organize photos and write them up. They are coming, I promise. The reason for this lack of on blog entries, is because I'm currently in Paris. The Eiffel Tower is literally right outside my window. Ok, well it's somewhere in the city...I'm not sure where as I actually haven't seen it!
For the most part I've been holed up in a super swank hotel working and eating lots! The French do cheese and bread phenomenally! Cheese and bread are two things that are seriously lacking in the United States.
First, the cheeses in the United States tend to be quite bland - ultra-pasteurized and wrapped in plastic. This is not conducive to quality in my opinion. I wonder if it's because of the regulations for bacteria in the sales of dairy products due to health concerns. This is the reason at least that you are not allowed to bring cheese through customs into the United States.
It is possible to buy quality cheeses in the United States, if you are willing to pay an arm and a leg for them. It's a major area of lack in our cuisine. Though I do love a nice extra sharp cheddar.
France also does bread very well. White breads better than probably anywhere. (Germany has amazing dark breads.) It's all about freshness. You can buy fresh bread at bakeries all over the country everyday and very inexpensively. In fact, when you buy bread, especially baguette, you should eat it the same day. While this isn't very single girl-friendly, you can't argue with it from a quality aspect. Most bakeries and even grocery stores also allow you to buy half a loaf of bread which is amazing. The United States is largely lacking in fresh bakeries and the majority of bread has so many preservatives in it that it will keep for about two weeks.
Granted when living in the Netherlands, I was very irritated when my bread grew mold after only a few days because I had no chance to eat it! However, I appreciated the quality and freshness of the bread. You just can't argue with the taste!
So I have very limited internet access while in France, so more on some of the culinary delights later, right now that's all I have to say - the United States is seriously lacking in quality (reasonably priced) cheese and fresh breads. Le sigh.