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Oct 3, 2014

When Life Gives You Limonade: Faisselle de Chèvre

THE STORY:

A word of warning. If you order a citron pressé (meaning "pressed lemon") in a French café in the hopes of having lemonade, think again. Just as an orange pressé is a fresh-squeezed orange juice, a citron pressé is fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Just the juice, and nothing but the juice.


They will serve it to you in a large glass (too small for delicious fresh-squeezed OJ, but much too large for pure lemon) without anything else, and you are welcome to drink it. As is. They won't make you pay any extra for a second glass of plain water and some sugar, but they will make you work for it; you'll have to get your harried waiter's attention and ask for it specifically, then messily mix like a mad scientist. And at the beginning, there will not be enough space in the glass for the amount of water and sugar you want. So the first half of the drink will be pretty much pure lemon, until you can make room in the glass.
 
In the photo above, there is only a small-ish amount of fresh lemon juice, with lots of space, and that's because I take this photo at home, where the squeezing of the lemons is just step one in the lemonade-making process, not the final product. And frankly, this is enough lemon juice for three or four glasses of lemonade, whereas it's about half of what you'll be served in a café.

Alas, when doctoring up your citron pressé, the sugar won't really dissolve anyway, so it will only be sour at the top, and powdery and cloying at the bottom. The good news is, ordering citron pressé is a mistake you only make once.

You won't fare much better if you order a limonade, by the way, unless you like Sprite or 7-Up. And in case you're wondering, I don't.

What you want is a citronade, but since that basically doesn't exist at any French café or restaurant that I've ever seen, what you actually want to is to be magically transported back to the fresh-squeezed lemonade booth at the Minnesota State Fair.

Puckering up in Paris: It's not just for kissing, anymore.

THE CHEESE: Faisselle de Chèvre

Faisselle, like its cousins Fromage Blanc, is a creamy cheese eaten with a spoon. Usually it's made of cows' milk. In fact if it's simply "Faisselle", you can assume it is cows' milk. Whether or not it's pasteurized depends, largely, on the quality (and price). But there's also a variant of this -- Faisselle de Chèvre -- that's made of goat cheese, which is the one pictured here.


A "faisselle", after which the cheese is named, is a sort of strainer. This Faisselle de Chèvre, made with raw goats' milk, is strained in the manufacturing process but then comes with its own strainer, too, to keep it thick. What's left in the cup is the yellowish, tangy whey.


While I love yogurt, Fromage Blanc, and even Faisselle, I can't say I'm fond of Faisselle de Chèvre. Along with the tang is the sour, just-off flavor of goat. I love that taste in a savory cheese, but when it comes to my morning yogurt (or thereabouts), it just seems wrong.

THE CONNECTION:

Like a glass of citron pressé, Faisselle has a surprisingly acidic bite, and when made with the raw goat's milk, it tastes particularly sour, rather than simply tangy.

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