Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cheese, less glorious cheese

So remember way back when I left a promissory note in the blog that I would write a whole series of cheese posts? Much to the relief of some of you I'm sure, I never got around to it (though I did take pictures of many of those cheeses so you never know!). And if that was you, well you can rest assured that you will not be getting any documentation about the cheeses that are readily available in the average supermarket here.

Well, you won't after this post.

Note to cheese entrepreneurs: don't choose a name for your dairy product that makes it sound like animal parts in gelatin. When I'm in the mood for cheese, I'm very definitely not in the mood for head cheese.

Or there's this one, which at least sounds economical and dietetic, though not necessarily good:


Actually, there is good cheese here. It's just that what was "everyday cheese" in France seems to be a luxury item here. So perhaps for our next special occasion dinner, I will visit the specialty grocer with a walk-in environmentally controlled cheese room! Until then, Laughing Cow and Babybel are as good as it gets ... at least those names are slightly better than the ones here?

Monday, September 13, 2010

And the winner is ... bags!

Well, maybe not the winner. I actually still don't know which take-away container is the most common. However, the bag is indeed proving very popular for cold drinks. I see it all over the place, and have now been given a few myself.

Sugar cane juice with lemon:

Note the straw sticking out of the bag. The vendor put the half lemon in the bag, tightened the bag and squeezed it (oh the convenience!) then added ice, (freshly pressed) sugar cane juice and a straw. (I should add that this was possibly the best sugar cane juice with lemon that I've had here.)

Also used for iced milk tea:

Someone in front of us in the milk-tea line bought tea for four -- and it is definitely easier to carry four of these one handed than four cups (maybe even when those four cups are in a carrier). The coldness of the ice also circulates better in the bag than in a cup.

And here's how you drink out of the bag:

While walking.

Although you can't really see it in this photo (yes, the camera does take videos ... if its user switches from camera to video mode), James is in motion -- a key element to the bag take-away format because the fact of the matter is, you're not going to be able to set the bag down on your desk (oh the inconvenience!).

You could, of course, pour your beverage into another vessel (like we did the Indian food). James suggested that one could instead hang the bag from a coat rack or doorknob in your office. Now if I could just find a 10-foot straw ...