Tonight, my stomach is lined in a coat of warm potato leek soup and my throat is a fine combination of earl grey infused hot chocolate and ginger tea. Walking, I turned into several delis and markets to meet strange looks when I asked for leeks. How do I describe something that is so similar and yet so set apart? Green, partially white, leaves spreading, thickly stemmed, not quite scallion, an appearance of celery. Later, I stood, dumbfounded, trying to distinguish between cilantro and parsley merely by sight. Both were so familiar to me, I could not bridge the distance without furtively breathing in. I felt like someone who had never been to a supermarket; not quite sure if I should ask where they stocked butter. Perhaps Rue de Lévis lingers. Grocery shopping in France was truly delightful. One street lined with a boucherie, fromagerie, a multitude of boulangeries, two wine shops, and an ample amount of fruit and vegetable stalls. The man who sweetly gave me extra poultry, the grocer who always handed me the most succulent, mouth-watering mangoes, the fromager who encouraged me to try cheeses that were just a little older than I was accustomed to, and the dears who never appeared to judge how frequently I popped in for a canelé (or two). If I one day go missing, I guess you'll know where to find me. Mango and monaco in hand. Luckily, I've enough grenadine to relive (perhaps less wildly, less recklessly) those short, rose colored days life afforded me in Paris.

Also, it makes me chuckle how little this has to do with anything related to The Graduate.


  1. hehe my boyfriend and i sometimes have arguments about whether we got cilantro, and not parsley. also it seems like those leeks are sometimes hard to come by when i need it, but i always see it when i don't. i made some potato leek soup a couple of weeks ago and trying not to make them too often, but it will definitely be on rotate this season.

  2. What a lovely post. It makes me want to re-live my Parisian experience all over again. You seem to have had a wonderful time!

  3. Your blog it so lovely. The Graduate is one of those movies I come back to once a year and find my perspective on it has shifted a little every time. It's a good story, thanks for reminding me.

  4. Reading this lovely description of your market place experience in France and the sounds of Beirut lightly playing in the brightest corner of my bedroom takes me to a place I have never been, but so often day dream about visiting.

    For many years I had no concept of a leek, the appearance, taste, nothing. When a recipe called for a leek I looked it up quickly and found out I had been eating leeks since I can remember. The issue was that I did not recognize it as a leek, but as puerro. That happens quite often when you live in a predominantly Spanish-speaking household, at least in my family. Some words just get lost from one language to another.