One of the few restricted diets with which I am not well acquainted is dairy-free. So when my room mate informed me that she might have to go dairy-free for a while (apparently she finds it much easier to recover from things like colds if she doesn’t eat dairy) I thought it would be an awesome idea to give it a go as well. All I can say is Epic Fail.
I think the longest time I managed to spend without slipping up was 16 hours. I was asleep for eight of those.
And I have decided to blame it on France. At first you think it would be way easier here because all the milk they have is that terrible UHT milk (I don’t mind it too much, but really, it’s not the same). But then you remember cream.
The French certainly know their way around some cream. But you think, that’s not too hard, it’s getting towards winter, well autumn, so I don’t really need ice-cream anyway.
And then, you remember butter. Buttery pastries are surely the heart of this land. The warm, melt-in-your-mouth heart. They hide it with a cold exterior, but when you get to that chocolatey centre all of the love in France’s heart gives your mouth a hug.
But you think, really, it’s not very healthy for me or my bank balance to buy a pain au chocolat, also known as a chocolatine, every day.
And THEN, you remember cheese. If butter is the heart of France, then cheese is the rest of its internal organs. And it was to cheese that I finally succumbed. Cheese graces the top of the ‘pizzas’ you can buy in any bakery, it’s in and on the croque monsieurs, it can be squished into a baguette for a cheap student lunch, it’s on all of the ‘sandwiches’, in all of the quiches, whole rows of ridiculously cheap and incredibly delicious cheese grace the aisles of the supermarkets, giant wheels of it call you from the markets.
And if that doesn’t do it for you, you can always remember the chocolates. Had the cheese not gotten me, I’m sure the chocolates waiting in the fridge would have.
Maybe I’ll try again sometime soon, and maybe I’ll last more than a day that time.
I’d like to take this time before I go, to point out that I am not in the least put out or upset about my utter failure. And I think that’s an important factor here. You may have noticed that I was taking this whole story quite light-heartedly. That’s because it’s funny. The look on my face half-way through my ‘pizza’ when I realised it was covered in delicious delicious cheese (and that cheese was made of milk that came from a cow) was probably very very funny. And I feel, for me, that it’s important to be able to see the fun in things when they don’t work out quite right. It was a little experiment, and it really doesn’t matter one way or the other whether I succeeded or not. It can be really tempting to get worked up about things that, in the long run, don’t matter at all. Joie de vivrepeople, joie de vivre.