des choix

by jemma margaret

I am not a good decision maker.

That is not to say that I don’t make good decisions (which is debatable). Just that sometimes it takes me FOR-EV-ER to decide. And even after I’ve made my decision, I continue to vacillate. What if…I ponder, what if…

So despite other factors, I probably would have enjoyed grocery shopping in East Berlin pre-1989. No need to decide what brand of jam, mustard, bread, pickles, etc. I’ll just take the state sponsored brand, thank you. This is also one of the several reasons why I enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s.

The United States is notorious for its variety of choices. Would you like your peanut butter with or without salt? smooth or crunchy? sweetened or not? shelf stable or needing to be refrigerated once open?

Salted, crunchy, unsweetened and without added oils, please.

Phew, at least I’ve figured that one out! However, Paris welcomes a whole new lot of edible options. Milk comes in full fat, half fat, and non-fat, but also UHT, microfiltered, or raw. True Parisians order their baguettes well-done, medium, or pas trop cuit. Steak, on the other hand, is either bleu (blue), saignant (bloody), or why the hell are you ordering steak?

Though the temperature currently hovers around a less than tropical 50 degrees, spring produce is finally arriving. My Ruche sent an email advising us all to wait for the truly local stuff, but the hexagon is only a bit larger than California and I could only hold out on strawberries for so long. This morning I folded.

My market produce stand had strawberries galore. Seven different variants (!) to be precise spanning an array of provenances and price ranges. After quite a bit of council from the salesman I splurged on the second most expensive French fraise gariguette. And though I know strawberries really should be washed, I could not resist eating one there and then.