Sep 2, 2014

Start Your Engines: Triangle de Bique


La rentrée -- "The Re-entry". Those two little words that strike both fear and intense joy into the heart of parents. The French equivalent of back-to-school also means back-to-work for the French returning from their August vacations. On the other hand, it's also back-to-a-normal-routine, where your children are taken from you, educated (we hope), and then returned alive at the end of the day, leaving you to have some time for yourself. And though I love my children dearly, after about 10,000 games of backgammon this summer and near-constant togetherness, there's something nice in that. Vive la rentrée!

With it comes the annual shopping trip to get school supplies -- one of the great joys of the school year, for the children. I don't know why I say, every year, that we have enough markers and that we will not buy more markers the following year and then, when the following year comes, I buy more packages of new markers. It is both environmentally unsound and infuriating. I am proud to say, however, that this year I stand firm on the colored pencils, and do not buy any new packages. At this rate, we will use up our existing colored pencil stash in approximately 65 more school years.
La rentrée also means the annual rush to sign up for things. This is less of a joy for anybody as, sadly, France has not entered the 21st century in this regard. Signing up for activities means running around, standing on lines, and paying by check. Nine times out of ten, I forget my check book: twice the waiting in line means double the fun! This process makes me feel like stomping my foot like a petulant child. I don't want to stand on line; I want to sign up and pay online.

THE CHEESE: Triangle de Bique

Triangle de Bique is a raw goat's milk cheese from the Loire in the Rhône-Alpes. A bique is actually a variant of the word "bic", and no matter how you spell it, it means "goat".

It's an absolutely lovely, creamy goat cheese with a fine, delicate crust and a sweet-salty, goaty, flavor. Every bite of it shows that it's a very high quality cheese. It's not a very common cheese, so I lucky to find it at the Fromagerie Pascale Bellevaire in Paris. Mmm, it's one of those perfect goat cheeses that anybody would love (anybody who can at least tolerate goat cheese, that is).


Each year on the girls back-to-school list provided by their teachers: a triangle (angle ruler) and a Bic à 4 couleurs (though they don't mean to specify the brand, that's what they call a 4-color pen).


So a cheese called Triangle de Bique seems about right for a back-to-school story.


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