Before I started cooking, I knew very little about food; let me put it this way: the fact that there were optimal seasons for fruits and vegetables was completely lost on me. I honestly believed that if it was at the supermarket, that it must be in season. Baffling, no?
So when I started going to the markets in Paris two summers ago in search of recipes to attempt (that were beyond pasta variants), I started becoming more aware of what was in season and how to base my meals off of such. Of the few habits that I follow through with, I somehow took this mode of thinking back to New York for my sophomore year. Every Saturday morning, I would find myself at the Union Square Greenmarket in search for ingredients so that I could try out some seasonal recipes.
Anyway, there are two things that I seemed to have taken better notice to on this second round of Paris: oysters and Beaujolais Nouveau. From what I gather from reading online, oysters are best eaten during the colder months (i.e. the ones ending in -er) because the water warms up, in which case they take the chance to spawn. I had never eaten an oyster before, and didn’t find it appropriate to embarrass myself in front of others, so I decided that I would take my chances and attempt to shuck them in my apartment.
Truth be told, shucking the oyster wasn’t as difficult as I had thought it would be, or as described on the Internet (so there you go, the Internet is not always the most reliable source of information). And the slimy texture of the poor creature is somewhat agreeable, though I wish I had prepared some kind of garnish or flavoring for it, because you get kind of bored of them after shucking and eating six of ’em.
Moving away from this brief oyster talk, this past Thursday marked the third one of November, which may not bear any meaning to most of us, but to the French, it has the significance of being “The Beaujolais Day” or “Beaujolais Nouveau Day.” In other words, the day marks when the latest batch of the light red wine made from Gamay grapes hits the market. So while the sophisticated wine writers are calling it “sweet, fruity, and having an authentic flavor that is similar to the excellent harvest of 2009,” I’m just going to head into a Nicolas and pick up a bottle for 4,50€ (which I already have and have found it delicious – which may not be the correct word to describe wine, but hey, what do I know?).