An impetuous tendency to celebrate
someone else's country is one that
tempts us to the limit in response
to France. Courtesy, being flouted
in this way, may go so far as col-
lecting a visitor's card from each
of us, with a message of no great-
er scale, of what we cherish most.
For me, with them, it is the land.
Louis XVIII was a great fan of peaches.
One day his gardener, Saturnin, had his
son bring the king two perfect peaches.
The young boy took the peaches in a bas-
ket to the king. Louis XVIII was charmed
by the young boy and had him stay while
he ate one of the peaches. The king then
decided to share with the boy and offer-
ed the second peach to him. The boy took
the peach without hesitation, pulled out
his pocket knife, and began carefully
peeling the peach.
Seeing this, the king cried, "Malheureux!"
and ordered the boy never to peel a peach.
"But on my way," the boy explained, "I let
my basket fall while collecting mulberries
and the peaches rolled in horse dung."
We know how they draw their wines,
their history, their customs from
the land; but how do they extract,
The Cook and the Gardener
A Year of Recipes and
Writings from the French