Food in France is wonderful (or not).
I wasn’t going to say anything about it, truly I wasn’t. Because Solange and Philippe are friends, and they’re really nice people too. And I didn’t want to say anything even remotely negative. But I have been driven to it.
This morning, Michelle, the caretaker, asked conversationally where we went out to eat last night. “Vous etes alles ou?” she asked.
I told her (but in French of course) that we went to the Indian restaurant in Royan. Well, she said (but in French, of course) that is an odd choice considering that here in France we are reputed to have the best cuisine.
Arghhhh. Why do they say that ? Why do they even think it ?! I think it is because on the whole the French don’t travel very much, and the ones that have travelled don’t say such silly things.
It is one of the Ten Commandments, you know. One them says, I am sure of it, “thou shalt not allow the French to labour under false illusions”. So I didn’t. That is a myth, I told Michelle, it is a French myth.
This is what we had for dinner (a dinner party – there were ten of us) one balmy evening a few weeks ago at Solange and Philippe’s house near La Rochelle:
- Tepid fish soup served with packet croutons
- Chipolata sausages and potatoes (no mustard let alone veg, salad, sauce …)
- Cheese – that was fine
- Shop-bought macaroons
I rest my case. Oh, I do, I have lived in France 22 years and boy oh boy I rest my case ……
Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites. Her sketches are on her web site http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk . Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.