Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Haricorts what?

"Does this look like the fucking face of somebody who eats vegetables?"

This was not the right stand at the Marche Bastille. I understood this place to be a chic marche, one that everyone who's anyone shops at, and even though I saw 1 euro shoe stands and trial size bottles of Dove reminiscent of the Ashby Flea Market, I had faith, I had lucques olives and incredibly fresh apple cider, I believed this was like the Bay, but better, because this, of course, is Paris.

This ain't the Bay though, and my navigation of Paris markets is not as up to speed as I had imagined either. Now, I have been doing my research - I usually go to the stands with gorgeous produce that is fresh, local (from France) and in season, and I seek out the bio (organic) stands as well. I spy and observe and look for the longest lines and people battling to order and I go there - and this involves breezing past the stands that are empty of customers, where the vendor has cigarette ash spilling onto his framboises, where there could possibly be enough time to be mocked.

So here I am, nearly out of the bustling Sunday market tired of my foot being run over by elderly ladies' carts and baby carriages, thinking to myself, "any beet at this market must be pretty good, so of course I can stop at this nearly empty of customers stand on the way out and get two beets."

Liam and I approach the stand. For the second time this week when asking for deux betterave (two beets), I receive one beet (perhaps I am asking for doux betterave, or sweet/soft beet, or even du betterave, 'some beets'). As the man puts my one pre-roasted beet (see previous post for picture) into my brown sac, I implore Liam to ask in French how to cook haricorts coco (pictured above) which I can't figure out but have 500 grams of in the fridge. So after the man mocks by betterave pronunciation ("it was in a nice way," Liam insists later), he points to his: mug, face, mouth (all possible translations of the French he used) and asks his rhetorical question.

And ends, "well, like haricort verts."

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