Friday, February 26, 2010
What is Tubissime?
The following email was sent to my boss by a local wine importer (this is fascinating and you MUST know about it immediately):
What is Tubissime?
Traveling around the wine road of life, you come in contact with characters that would make Tom Waits* seem boring. These are real people with lives very different from our own but they have one thing in common- passion. They may be passionate about peaches, cigarettes, or newspaper but they share a thread that makes their lives worth living and money is not their motivation- self-fulfillment and the love of life is.** Tubissime is the result of just such a character, one of the new cultural icons of Paris.
Think Wallpaper meets Saveur meets modern Parisian hip culture and you will have an image of Paul Vautin's universe. Paul is intent on bringing Apollo 3 style food, in all its space oddity into your briefcase.***When first led into his lair, it was like a Jim Jarmusch**** movie with past and present folding into one and other - antique bronze presses, strange mustard gadgets that only those deeply immersed in French mustard culture could understand....Orleans vinegar, mustard seed grown in Zanzibar, salt from the ancient Himalayan sea beds or coastal areas of Norway - this was no mustard "factory," this was the home of the Tubissime King, and judging from his success in Paris, he may be set to produce the next cultural slang word that becomes part of our everyday consciousness (like Kleenex or the Ipod): Tubissime.
What is Tibissime? Tubissime is something of a craze in Paris right now- it is a mix of modern day life, form and function (like a Design Within Reach apparatus). It is life on the go with no time to stop for food or to clean up after your mess- you have a suit on, you are in a hurry, you are on the Metro or in your car and you need flavor, flavor from a tube.
That's right, from a tube.
The French take condiments seriously and I don't mean Heinz ketchup. Ask a you Parisian for some mustard and he or she may just whip one of these from their laptop cases. Packed under pressure in a shiny metal tube, almost like a raw toothpaste tube with very modern Danish graphics, the mustard can be carried anywhere and used on a moment's notice. A small screw cap comes on and off and I've seen people in the Luxemburg Gardens squeezing a tube and then tossing it back into their bug-a-boo for next time. The mustards are made with natural/organic ingredients*****, in very small batches and they are not preserved- the vinegar (or sulfites in the wine flavors) keeps them fresh (although I would still keep them in the fridge after opening- the French do not seem to be as concerned about things like that)- I'm sure these will keep for quite a while but I don't recommend keeping them as long as that jar of Grey Poupon you've had open since 1997.
The inventor/philosopher of Tubissime, Paul Vautin, is intent on keeping his creation at a manageable level and each run is made from scratch with small batch ingredients and hands on care. His desire is to meet the demands of the masses, but I'm not sure how long that will last...for now, the Tubissime Mustard King will make mustard for you (from scratch) but we can only import his wares once a year (due to truffle availability, etc)."
My conclusion: Sign me up! I had always thought it was my dream to be a chic Parisian woman with a French designed purse. Know I know the truth- it was always to be a chic Parisian woman with mustard in her French designed purse.
**Really? There are people like that? Please, do tell me how you've done it.
***Why is it that if that was done in the State's it would be disgusting, and yet done in France, it's fascinating.
*****I guess that's why.