hile buying the breakfast bread at the boulangerie last weekend, my eyes were drawn to the cake case. There was a small individual tarte au chocolat, as there would be (for it was Sunday, the day that the French eat treats after mass/lunch). What struck me was the careful detail on the tarte; the surface had not only little scrolls of white icing, but it also featured a small flat chocolate disk upon which was printed part of a piece of sheet music, in edible gold. It was delicate and beautiful.
This is why I love living in France. This attention to detail in places one doesn't always expect--or miss, really, if it weren't there. (I'd still buy a tarte au chocolat even if it came without a musical score.) The buildings with their larger-than-life caryatids and finely-finished facades; the lavendar water the maid fills the iron with when she presses the bed linens; the knife rests and the napkin rings you still see as a normal part of a table setting...all this attention to beauty, so pleasing to the eye (and the nose), the effort made to evoke pleasure through the visual and the visceral.