venez avec moi à Banon:
a carefully wrapped chèvre, fennel confit,
and fleshy balsamic-drenched fig jam
You may have heard of a French cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves and that this cheese is typically served with fig jam. The rumors are true and the cheese is from an actual village in Provence: Banon.
Running in Provence, I was thinking about both the cheese and the jam (which I had enjoyed the night before); however, there was a problem which my grandfather would have referred as “skinny.” No, he did not use the word to describe a person but an undesirable thin consistency of a gravy or jam. Grandpa would have said that the fig jam is skinny and he would have been right. Figs are lush. It is a shame to reduce them to a seedy consistency, losing all of that fleshy texture. It is akin to a peck on the check when you could get a full kiss on the lips. I do not think anyone would choose the former if you could have the latter. My Millay fleshy fig/lip thought was only interrupted by the fennel growing wild on the side of the road and the thought of Apt’s candied fruit. It was the culmination of these thoughts — fleshy figs, creamy cheese, candied fruit, wild fennel, and that Millay sonnet — which inspired this week’s (regional) simple pleasure: Banon de Banon A.O.C. with fleshy fig jam and fennel confit. However, before you go there, venez avec moi à Banon (come with me to Banon). Read the rest of this entry »