Someone once said that the difference between heaven and hell is that, in heaven, the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian and the Swiss are the organizers – hell being, of course, a disastrous yet hilarious rearrangement of the above.*
I can at least ascribe to one of those sentiments after the latest installment of our weekly ‘family’ dinner here at Résidence Saint Symphorien. In a continuation of our mini culinary tour of Europe, it was the turn of the French, who, true to form slaved away for five hours, producing a three course masterpiece and putting us all to shame in the process.
My camera is currently taking a well earned rest in the repair shop, for the second time in less than three months (the fourth in two years: I possess an innate talent) so I will rely on Google images to provide a visual representation of the feast, whilst hoping noone sues me for copyright.
So, ladies and gentlemen, first up we have the Pâté des Pâques, a traditional entrée originating from Berry in the centre of France. A little heavy, this pie of sorts contains various meats, spices and herbs and is rounded off, in case you were lacking on the protein, with a hardboiled egg.
From there we move on to the tartiflette, a sumptuous dish of potatoes, bacon, onions, cream and bien sûr cheese, hailing from the Savoie region and moreish to the core.
To finish, the age-old favourite of tarte tatin, which basically consists of apples, sugar and butter arranged in the most delightful manner. Ever.
So there we have it; a lesson in French cuisine and the onset of obesity. Not bad for an evening’s work.
*On a separate note, I would like to come to the defense of the French as mechanics (I’m afraid, with myself as exemplum, the English as cooks have no hope) as along with cameras, I seem to have also developed a penchant for injuring bikes. No problem has been too big or small, however, for the repair shops of Tours, so, by way of thanks I would like to amend this myth. Thankyouthatisall.