If you walk the streets of any village or city in the morning and you don’t see people scurrying home with a long stick of bread under the arm, followed by the distinct whiff of freshly baked wholesomeness, a smell that quickly captures unsuspecting passers-by, you are not in France.
Unlike us culinary savages, no decent French Femme will be caught serving for breakfast ordinary toast, baked by the thousands in sterile food plants, cut into even slices by machines, to be imprisoned in plastic bags with the label “Big Fresh” or something to that tune.
Jamais! Non, it has to be a baguette. More so, the baguette has to be fresh, still warm from the oven, if possible, purchased from the boulangerie down the road, where you can watch the baker preparing lovingly the next batch of this wonderful French invention.
Even though the baguette is in and of itself perfect enough to be enjoyed on its own – you can see that because rarely does a baguette arrive at home unharmed – each baguette really only springs to life when it meets its ideal partner.
Let me introduce to you Mr. Camenbert. Riped for a few months in cold cellars, he is ready to jump out of his ‘skin’ flowing creamy like white molten lava onto the cheese knife to be spread generously and, I may say, with much anticipation onto said baguette.
Close your eyes and imagine biting into a fresh, crispy crusted piece of baguette topped by a majestic camenbert that is slowly flowing over the rough edges of the bread and onto your tongue, causing an explosion of flavours on your taste buds.
This is the ideal marriage! While soft and creamy in texture, the taste of the camenbert is strong and intensive, yet not unpleasantly dancing on your senses with the crisp, earthy taste of the baguette. There is no competition but each is enhancing the other. And any accompanying drink elevates this combination to a meal of kings. With coffee in the morning it awakens spirit and soul, while with red wine or a fresh rose later in the day it sets the tone to a wonderful feast to be had.
Why would you eat anything else?