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Apr 21, 2014

Neither Here Nor There: Cabri d'Ici

THE STORY:

When I was learning French, back in the Olden Days, I learned that "" means "there" and "ici" means "here". But, apparently, these words are not used the same in French. For example, somebody calls to see if I'm home in order to bring over a delivery. The question, "Vous êtes là?" is correctly met with the answer "Oui, je suis là" -- but not "Oui, je suis ici."


In fact, the word for "here" is used a lot less frequently here (in Paris) then there (in Anglophone countries). In general, if something is there, it is là, and if it is here, it is also là. Ici is used, but often feels like the more formal, grammatically-correct, yet unnatural choice.

When the children do roll-call at school, the most proper answer is "présent", but "là" will also do. "I'm there!"

THE CHEESE:

Cabri d'Ici is an unusual cheese, made specially for -- and sold only through -- the Fromagerie Beillevaire. It's a raw goat's milk cheese with a fine, lightly-ashed crust. The crust is delicate, thin, fine, and brainy. Inside is a light, thick, dry-creamy cheese that can be eaten younger and moister or older and dryer. It's a mild savory cheese, saltier as it ages.
 

THE CONNECTION:

The name, Cabri d'Ici, means "Goat from Here". Yet Cabri d'Ici is not a cheese made here and there, but rather just there, and sold there, at Beillevaire. Yet it's officially a cheese named "here".

 

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