The crème fraiche dialogues

We were recently in Paris. It was delightful.

This is a delightful place in Paris.

This is a delightful place in Paris.

Sadly, I experienced a bout of illness after a meal at a delightful place in Paris, and was incapacitated for an entire day. Troy, in his solicitude for my well-being, purchased a variety of soothing foods before heading off for a delightful evening of watching repertoiry film on the Left Bank. They were the usual––apple sauce, soda crackers, juices, and yogurt.

The next morning, I remarked to him that the yogurt tasted a little strange, whereupon I noticed that it was not in fact yogurt. It was “crème fraiche,” which Troy had mistakenly purchased, largely because it was in that part of the grocery store (you know that part) where one might expect to find yogurt, and indeed, it was packaged as if it were yogurt. This is important.


I was strolling through the dairy aisle at our local supermarket, when a woman, standing in front of the yogurt selection turned to me and said, “Excuse me, I am French, may I ask you a question?”

“Of course,” I replied.

“I am looking for crème fraiche, but I cannot find it.” She gestured at the sour cream. “Is it the same …?”

I assured her that sour cream was not what she wanted; I even mentioned that I’d been in Paris recently. She was unimpressed by that fact (who hasn’t been to Paris recently?) but after thinking, I said, “it might be in the cheese section.” Sure enough, there it was, packaged as if it were cheese:

We keep it in the cheese section.

Looking like cheese …

The woman was grateful, but mystified, just as I had been by Troy’s thoughtful purchase.

And now you know “plus de l’histoire.”

Au revoir mesdames et messieurs!

Explore posts in the same categories: Food

4 Comments on “The crème fraiche dialogues”

  1. joelb Says:

    i think it’s sad that you denied this woman the chance to have the same sort of cultural discovery moment that you’d enjoyed with the yogurt in Paris.

  2. mike Says:

    I love this story! But sorry you were ill in Paris.

  3. Ed E Says:

    I’m so sorry you missed your chance to experience French yogurt. While the corporations which produce said product are global, the recipes vary to match regional tastes. It has truly been a highlight of many a trip to enjoy the distinct, exotic flavors of walnut and fig (Croatia), grape and plum (France) and pecan and caramel (Mexico).

    In the US, a more democratic system allows each individual to add the mix-ins of their choice to their “I can’t believe it’s not yogurt”, be they oreos, cookie dough, moon pies, or all three!

  4. Ed E Says:

    I was sort-of kidding about American people putting cookies and candy in yogurt. But, and I should have guess this, you really can buy yogurt with snickers or twix mix-ins.

    (Warning this link uses the work “forking”.)

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