THE BLOG
10/18/2013 10:55 am ET | Updated Dec 18, 2013

Paris Journal V: Croque Monsieur

The croque monsieur is a delicious sandwich made from ham and melted cheese. You can also have the jambon which is composed of ham and fresh baguette, freely spread with butter. But one of us is going to croke one day, monsieur and it's something that could happen precisely when you are eating either of these delicious sandwiches--or for that matter the Croque Madame which is made with an egg. There's a little joint down at the corner of St Michel and St Germain right by the Odeon stop. You're mouth waters when you look at the piles of freshly made jambons behind the counter. You know how fresh they are since the place has a huge turnover. Once you crunch into the bread and soft interior oozing with butter, you're overtaken by an experience that's akin to passion-- the temporary madness that leads to consummation. That very experience of abandon is similar to what one experiences when eating a freshly cooked croque monsieur (croque monsieur literally means "crunch, mister"). Who knows? Pheromones may even be released. However it's precisely in a moment like this when one is filled with the rapture of everything that makes France great (among these yet not limited to bread, sweet butter and ham--oh yes and brie), that one forgets to chew. And all of a sudden the bread (particularly if it's the baguette of a jambon) is lodged in one's trachea and yes, there on the Odeon one may croke monsieur. But what a way to die!

{This originally appeared in The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}