Philly with a French Accent

After I posted the blog yesterday about my mom’s pumpkin muffins, I received an email from a woman here in Paris, who had read the blog, immediately made the muffins, and then told me where to buy frozen (!) pumpkin — at Picard, the all-frozen food store, the dirty little secret of so many Parisians.

I wrote back, thanking her for the tip, because as much as I love buying 3-kilo hunks of pumpkin, lugging it home, chopping it into reasonably-sized pieces, baking it off for a half hour or so, letting it cool, and then pureeing it, truth be told, I’d be quite happy with frozen pumpkin, because for one thing, it sounds much easier to transport.

I told her that I wanted to do a cream cheese icing for these muffins (because they’re really are more like pumpkin cupcakes), but have only been able to find Philadelphia cream cheese at the President Wilson Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Italian stand, of all places. As much as I also love going to the market, and especially when it’s rainy and cold, as it has been lately, it’s all I can do to get out of bed, get dressed, and walk Rose at the park. After that, I pretty much stay inside the apartment, where it’s warm and dry.

She said that she’d been using St. Moret cheese to spread on her bagels as a Philadelphia substitute.

So today, while I was at the Carrefour for what is becoming my weekly trip to complete grocery shopping hell, I picked up a package to give it a try.

Now, I don’t want to upset the Philly cream cheese people…BUT this Frenchy stuff in the cute white box tastes darn close to the real thing –I did an official taste test on a Ritz cracker, as you can see – next, I’m gonna try to whip up some cream cheese icing. Or maybe a batch of cream cheese brownies. Or both.