Nov 24, 2014

Me, Myself, and I: Mizotte


And people think English speakers are egotistical: "I", "I", "I". A common quirk of colloquial French is that people often start their sentences with "Moi, je..." "Me, I...." Me, I'm here to tell you that sometimes the French also use this construct for others, for example, "Toi, tu..." (you) and less commonly "Lui, il..." (he/she).

From Pico Bogues: Situation Critiques by Dominique Roques and Alexis Dormal

I must not be the only one who finds this repetitive, superfluous, and redundant (yes, that was done on purpose). The French BD (bande dessinée) Pico Bogues mocks this common habit in the above cartoon. One boy starts off, "Me, I'd really like..."
The redheaded boy stops him, irritated, "Stop! Stop saying 'me, I'...'Me, I'd like'...'Me this'...'Me that'...'Me! Me! Me!' So? What is it that you would really like?"
And the first boy responds (punchline), "For you to tell us what you want for your birthday."
It serves no purpose, makes no real sense, and can even be slightly annoying. But it makes you sound like a more native speaker. Me, I like to sound more native.
Mizotte (pronounced me-ZOAT), sometimes referred to as Mizotte de Vendée, is named after a marsh grass, in the local dialect. It's known for its orange, salt-washed crust, which is scraped in stripes and is a pasteurized cows' milk cheese from, obviously, the Vendée. It's made with lactic fermentation to thicken it, and then the curds are pressed and treated. The cheese is then aged 5 weeks into a semi-hard cheese that is more creamy than hard.

For a pasteurized cheese, it has some flavor -- a sort of general, sour-sweet cows' milk tanginess, but nothing overpowering by any stretch. There are 230 tons of this made per year, all of it produced and much of it sold and eaten in the Vendée, Pays de la Loire region. It is also exported (thanks to being pasteurized) internationally, including to Canada.

Mizotte has one of the better videos of the manufacture process I've ever seen, if you have a minute and a half plus a deep interest in seeing how an industrial cheese is made (in the French language).
Mizotte, Myself, and I? Me, Mizotte, and I? Like so many French sentences, it's a cheese that starts with "me".


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