Thursday, July 14, 2016

A brush with France

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,

Amanda Hesser
The Cook and the Gardener
  A Year of Recipes and
  Writings from the French
Norton, 1999©
op. cit.

Ivan Terestchenko

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