Peach and Camembert Baguette with Basil and Black Pepper. It’s an unusual combination, but, at its heart, it’s not unheard of. If you’ve ever wondered the streets of Paris you know that Camembert or Brie is often smudged between baguette slices to make an easy to carry sandwich-on-the-go. The first time I walked those streets it was the 1980s. I was quite young and a tad romantic; armed with just enough French to feel cocky I decided to conquer all the sights, sounds and yes, flavors I could in one brief two-day visit. One of the first stops was a French bakery or boulangerie.
I remember being overwhelmed.
Now, I’m no patsy to the ways of French pastry. My mother had been making brioche at home since my childhood. Still, all the unusual bread shapes struck me: baton, bloomer, boule, epi, ficelle, fougasse, pistolets…the list seemed endless.
On that first trip I sorta froze and quickly settled upon the simplest and most iconic of yeasty prodigies– a baguette sliced lengthwise and stuffed with gooey Camembert cheese. Camembert Baguette, oh my! What a sensation that was. The simple combination thrilled me and I often recreate the experience when I’m looking for a simple sandwich-on-the-go. But that is another story for another day.
Because I’ve got a problem I’d like to discuss. It’s the season. Summer is a very hard time of year for me. You see I’m an addict. In fact, I’m a relentlessly unreformed addict. There’s no 12 step program powerful enough to ultimately keep me from my obsession. In that regard I’m hopeless. In my defense, however, I will say that I’m an addict with boundaries. An addict with plenty of self-control – most of the year. That’s because I’m a peach addict. Let me be more precise. I’m a summer a peach addict.
January, February, March, April, May, and even June. My addiction is under control. I can go all that time without even thinking about peaches. Sometimes I see them at “off” times winking in my direction. But they lack the proper pheromones and I don’t even bother to pick them up and squeeze them. Why should I? February peaches are easy to resist.
I’m not saying I haven’t had a few illicit dreams in the dreary months of winter. Every addict has these dark secrets. But these thoughts are held deep in my subconscious and rarely keep me from performing my day-to-day duties.
Still, I have to admit that I have a problem. Fortunately, it’s a problem I can deal with. I can even keep my affliction under control in July. Well, most of July. Come August however and I know that the bingeing will start. I’m powerless to control it. Which is why I find myself tucking peach slices into my Camembert Baguette – slightly ashamed of the changes I’m making to this classic sandwich. But I can’t help myself.
Peach and Camembert Baguette with Basil and Black Pepper.
Once August begins to wane my identity as a peach addict gets serious. As my usual sources start to dry up. I find myself driving to Farmers Markets further and further from my home. By September it just gets worse. I’m often caught holding onto a plastic produce bag from the grocery store – standing over the sink, mealy peach in hand – totally jonesing for the juice to come dripping off my chin. So before the drip has completely dried up I’m sticking in a few peach slices wherever I can.
Hello. My name is GREG and I’m a peach addict.