{Edible Cities} Rouen, France, with Cheryl from 5 Second Rule

{Edible Cities} Rouen, France, with Cheryl from 5 Second Rule

Meet Cheryl Sternman Rule, an award-winning writer, cookbook author and food blogger who lives in Silicon Valley, California. She has been published in countless major publications and websites, and her blog, 5 Second Rule, provides a regular dose of her unique prose, which is often humorous, touching and informative all at once. She has just released her first {gorgeous!} cookbook, Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables, a collaboration with food photographer Paulette Phlipot.

My Edible City

Cheryl Sternman Rule, from 5 Second Rule

Rouen, France.  With so many amazing food cities to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to choose just one. But Rouen was probably the first city that blew my mind wide open to the unique pleasures of French cuisine. I spent 3 weeks living with a French family the summer I turned 16.  If I close my eyes, I can still see the old town square. When I look up, I see the cathedral that stretches towards the sky. Discrete moments of tenderness during that summer still stick with me. On the day my belly aches, my host mom brings me mint tea; she sits with me as I take small, tentative sips. Fourteen-year-old Babette brings out her radio, and together we sing into fake microphones like sisters. At night, I sleep upstairs, in a room with an angled ceiling, a fact that, while I can’t explain why, made me feel very grown up at the time.

My Favorite Dish

Buckwheat Apple Crepes, by Cheryl Sternman Rule of 5 Second Rule

Buckwheat crêpes. Apple products — hard cider, Calvados, and flaky apple pastries — are big in Normandy, the region where Rouen sits. It’s also probably the first place I ever had a buckwheat crêpe, with slightly crisp edges and a dark, mysterious flavor my American palate hadn’t encountered before.

I’ve tried making buckwheat crêpes at home, but they only get me so far. I sauté the apples with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until they warm and start to collapse. I make the crêpes as directed, and they are lacy and “successful” and fine. But I’m not in Rouen. I’m not sixteen. I’m not a foreign girl in a magical land with a cathedral just outside my door. And I’m not on the precipice of something I can’t quite see.

Useful Links

Next Week on Edible Cities

Next week, Daniela Cruz, freelance graphic designer and bilingual lifestyle blogger at Mami Talks, is taking us to Studio City, Los Angeles. Don’t miss it!

Photo credits: Rouen picture by Julio Cezar Winkler via Flickr; Cheryl Sternman Rule portrait and Buckwheat crêpes picture by Cheryl Sternman Rule.

What do you think of this recipe? Got any questions? Let's chat!

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