The latest New Yorker leads off with an article called “Come to the Fair” (“The food-and-booze fest that is France’s national agricultural exhibition”) by Lauren Collins; before I had read a word, the photo of a butcher’s display at the Salon de l’Agriculture made me want to move to France. But I digress — I’m bringing it here for this paragraph:
In 2013, the first year I went to the Salon, I was living in Geneva. One Sunday morning, my husband and I caught the seven-forty-two train to Paris. By eleven-thirty […], we were sampling what would become my favorite delicacy in all the land, the tourteau fromagé of Poitou-Charentes. (Giving Mancunians and Arkansawyers a run for their money in the demonym stakes, the area’s residents are known as the Picto-Charentais.) The tourteau fromagé is—getting into the compound-word spirit here—a goatcheesecake. The shortcrust pastry of the bottom part forms a lip where it meets the upper half, which rises domelike from the cereal-bowl-shaped base, and looks as though it were composed of volcanic ash. The burnt top is deceiving. It imparts just the slightest char, in the manner of a good pizza crust. The inside is tangy. Poke the crumb, and your finger emerges feeling almost wet, as though you’d stuck it into a loofah. At Tourteaux Jahan, Joël Ricard’s stand in Pavilion 3, the wares are displayed on risers, like a boys’ choir at a holiday concert. Ricard has been coming to the Salon since 1983. In a week, he sells five thousand cakes.
I love a good demonym (see this post, and note the update in which I point out that Garner has actually amended the sillier entries in his list), and Picto-Charentais is certainly among the very best. I must say, though, she missed an opportunity with “goatcheesecake”; surely, getting into the Picto-Charentais spirit would mean calling it “capricaseate cake.”