From Paris to Provence (to Northern California)
When I was growing up in Northern California, my parents couldn’t find the charcuterie we bought and ate almost every day during our summers in France—jambon cru, all kinds of pâtés, fromage de tête, not to mention the special spicy Merguez sausages we liked to grill—back at home. If we wanted those, we had to make our own, and often we did. Now,there are French-inspired artisan charcuterie makers and butchers all over the Bay Area, including my friend Taylor Boetticher’s Fatted Calf in Napa and San Francisco, Café Rouge in Berkeley, The Fifth Quartier Charcuterie at East Bay Farmers’ Markets and Olivier’s Butchery in San Francisco’s Dog Patch. Visit them to assemble a lovely locally sourced Assiette De Charcuterie.
Any café or bistro, in the tiniest country village to the bustling streets of any city, provided us with glimpses into the lives of locals: the postman stopping by for a quick coffee at the bar while on his morning route, traveling salesmen eating alone, workers having a drink at the bar at the end of their day. At the bistros, changing menus sported regional and local specialties for lunch, and sometimes the cafés had hot sandwiches. Savory salads with poached eggs and tender boiled potatoes or baked goat cheese with bitter salad greens and bacon are the salads we looked forward to, hopefully served with a charcuterie plate of pâté, jambon cru, and saucisson.
—From Paris to Provence: Childhood Memories of Food & France by Sara Remington and Ethel Brennan (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013)