One of the greatest pleasures of Parisian food shopping is the astounding availability: any product made in France is regularly trucked and trained in to the city, to the delight of the deep-pocketed foodies who live here. Although I try to buy as locally as possible, from AMAP (like CSA) farmers and producers in the île de France, everyone knows that cows aren’t exactly grazing on the grounds of the parc de la Villette. Can’t you just imagine the tumult caused by cows nibbling tabbouleh from outdoor cinema fans’ picnic baskets? The bovines turn out in record numbers for My Beautiful Laundrette
or Pasolini’s Accatone
, displacing Parisians in a cinema-inspired transhumance. One trampled city-dweller hears a far-away moo, emanating from somewhere behind the inflatable cinema screen, and he reaches for his cell phone, thinking it was on vibrate mode. No, few Parisians would be prepared to accept a harmonious cohabitation of cow and human in their fair city. And they don’t have to, since nowadays the tractor trailers hauling in our wonderful products from all over the country are being put onto trains, to save on fuel, pollution, and road traffic. Occasionally, after obtaining yet another overdraft authorization from my friendly banker, and instead of spending cash on wicker platform sandals, I’ll walk my flaming pockets straight down to the cremerie
to buy one of these imported products: a mini-basket of butter from the town of Echiré.