Dec 30, 2013

Raw, Naked Courage: Lou Titounet

I frequently pass by a small artist studio on the Rue de Bievre in the 5th arrondissement. Lately a sign has been hanging in the window asking for nude models. As an experience junkie, I think this is certainly something I should try. First of all, I am in Paris, one of the world's great art centers; secondly, I am not particularly modest (I've done way too much theater with backstage quick-changes); thirdly, I seriously enjoy shocking my husband and mother, which gets more and more difficult to do since this is a known personality quirk of mine. Still, despite limited modesty or shame, I admit it does sound a bit embarrassing to stand there in my starkers while somebody eyes me critically for a drawing. So it takes me a few days to work up my courage to call the artist, both because I'm volunteering to be painted/drawn nude and also because I will have to have a conversation in French, over the phone, about a subject matter I've never tackled before.

I need not have worried, as the only question he asks me is "How old are you?" and when I tell him 44, he simply replies, "My models are younger," and that's that. So my short-lived career as an artist's nude model ends as it starts, fully clothed in my apartment.

I'm wondering if I should argue the point with the artist, since I think I am in better shape now than I ever was 20 years ago. (For all I know, he's aiming for something Rubenesque, and I'm too fit.) In the end, I just tell him I understand and hang up. "Standing Female Nude, 1910" by Pablo Picasso and "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2" by Marcel Duchamp show me why it might be important sometimes to have a young, nubile model.


THE CHEESE: Lou Titounet

Lou Titounet is a raw sheep's milk cheese that comes from southern France. More often, cheeses in this form with the white crust are made from cow's milk. This texture and appearance do, in fact, bring to mind a small cow cheese, the flavor has a sweet, grassy flavor that definitely hints of sheep.

It's creamy and quite nice in a simple, easy, not-so-spectacular way.


It's a raw cheese, and it's got the word "tit" right in the name. Honestly, I don't have any better reason than that.


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