les américains à l’étranger

by jemma margaret

A quick survey of ex-pat blogs will reveal the trials and tribulations involved in searching for baking soda, chocolate chips, molasses, peanut butter, and so on. Certainly all of these items are findable in Paris, but one needs to know where to look (pharmacy for the baking soda and any kind of natural food store for the latter). You also need to be prepared in advance. Many grocery stores open late and close early. A cookie craving that strikes on a Sunday afternoon may well go unsatisfied. But there is an all-American timeless treat that can be whipped up in about half an hour anywhere flour, eggs, butter, salt, sugar, and chocolate are sold.

Le Brownie (or perhaps la brownie, since ending with an -e is usually a sign of femininity) is a symbol of French and American accord much like le jazz and la revolution (américaine). A recent batch (minus the vanilla) I served to an international crowd was praised as “le pétit dejeuner des rêves” when eaten for breakfast the next morning. I was able to replicate similar results using ingredients from 24 hour markets in New York despite a failed attempt at oatmeal raisin cookies (due to unlabelled measuring cups and perhaps too wholesome flour, both of which were corrected for the brownie making endeavor).

So for all you ex-pats and ex-ex-pats and ex-ex-ex-pats, for a taste of the new old country I recommend a brownie. Possibly the only food easier to make from scratch than from a box.