While I am making a list, I will add pig (ham in various cuts and types) and entrecôte and baby cow and many kinds of fish, lieu jaune, loup, sole, rouget, dorade, cabillaud, morue, saumon, to name a few and let’s not forget the crustaceans, moules, huitres and palourdes and crevettes, gambas, coquille Saint-Jacques and let’s add the birds, chicken, duck, canette, pigeon, and, of course, foie gras and snails.
I have eaten everything from the list during the lunch hour either in Paris or in Marseille or both.
During a side trip to Antibes recently, a friend asked what I missed most during my 15 months absence from France due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We were eating lunch at a restaurant, and my first response, without thinking, was to say, “Eating lunch in a French restaurant.”
I was among friends I had not seen for fifteen months, and they had organized this lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Antibes, La Petite Escale. Quickly I added, “But most important above all are the friends I have not seen in such a long time. I have missed them most.”
I have missed the friends and acquaintances whom I have not seen for over a year. Everyone knows. My life and their lives changed when a significant interruption occurred.
But, I had missed eating lunches in France. Eating lunches, and dinners for that matter, are different from eating lunches in Portland, Oregon, where I live in the States, and so are the dinners, although I do not have much experience there. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
I do eat lunchs at restaurants in Portland. When I want to eat at a restaurant in Portland, which is not as often as my stays in France where I will eat lunch everyday, I will think first: “What dish do I want to eat. Will it be a hamburger? Pizza and salad? An unusual taco(s)? Thai food? Sushi?”
I know the Piedmontese Short Rib taco at Carlita’s. I know the chirashi at Yama Sushi. I will go to Bhuna for the Chettinad Chicken or the Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh. I know from week to week that those dishes will be there, in those restaurants; and if I go away for three months, let’s say, and return to Portland and return to those restaurants, those dishes will still be on their menus. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Those dishes are tasty, and I can try other items. But basically, the menus and the dishes are structured in the same way. But wait, there’s more!