‘Ramen Shop’ is a delicious tale of reconciliation

This is not your ordinary foodie flick, for it touches on a subject that is not likely to be found in a culinary film: WWII memory lodged in the mind of those who had lived through Japanese occupation, a generation of victims and witnesses of a horrific chapter in Asian history. That is the backstory. Acclaimed Singaporean director Eric Khoo offers us a slow cooked, savoury broth, using ingredients that are comforting and heartwarming to present a scenario of reconciliation.

Ramen-Shop-Still 1
A scene from Eric Khoo’s “Ramen Shop”, screened at SFFILM earlier this month, now in selective theatres. Courtesy of SFFILM.

Screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival earlier this month, Ramen Shop is now released in selective theatres. Unlike the ramen western Tampopo (1985), Khoo’s concoction is of a gentler nature, melodramatic moments that are quiet and tasteful, including a moving denouement. Ramen Shop also shows how ordinary folks live and cook, much less spectacular than what we have seen in Crazy Rich Asians (2018), but delicious in a down-to-earth way.

Young ramen chef Masato (Takumi Saitô) from Takasaki, Japan, goes on a root-searching quest to Singapore where his late mother Mei Lian (Jeanette Aw) came from. She died when Masato was still a child; the boy grew up missing his mother sorely, especially her Bak Kut Teh, Signapore’s signature Pork Bone Soup.

Masato’s father Kazuo (Tsuyoshi Ihara) is a notable chef and owner of a ramen shop. To those not familiar, this is a good alternative if you’re reluctant to befriend raw fish (sushi and sashimi). Ramen are thin noodles in a long-cooked broth, usually goes with slices of braised pork, half a soft-boiled soya egg, scallions, sea weeds and other veggies. A trendy eat nowadays so the movie is timely.

Since his wife’s death, Kazuo has been too grief-stricken to notice Masato shares the pain no less; instead, Kazuo practically ignores his son.

“Sometimes I wish I were a bowl of ramen. At least that way, he’d show more interest in me,” Masato laments.

After Kazuo’s sudden death, Masato decides to go on a personal quest to search for his mother’s Singaporean roots, to find his long-lost Uncle and through him, his Grandmother who had estranged him since his birth. Taking with him faded childhood photographs, his mother’s journal written in Chinese and sweet memories of his mother’s comforting Bak Kut Teh, Masato heads to Singapore. On screen, the childhood scenes are presented with a washed-out colour, blending into the present effectively as we follow Masato walk down memory lane to re-live his early experience with his parents.

Food blogger Miki (Seiko Matsuda) whom Masato has been following online now acts as his personal guide while in Singapore. A chance encounter leads him to reconnect with his uncle, his mother’s younger brother. Played by Mark Lee, Uncle Wee is an animated and humorous character. He welcomes Masato into his home where he lives with his wife and two daughters, Masato’s new-found cousins.

More importantly, Uncle teaches Masato how to make Bak Kut Teh, literally meaning Pork Bone Tea. It’s called ‘tea’ because after finishing the ingredient-rich and savoury noodle soup, people usually drink tea as a wrap to the satisfying meal.

Upon Masato’s urging, Uncle brings him to meet Grandmother (Beatrice Chien). Realizing Masato is her late daughter’s son, Grandma rejects him outright; acknowledging a half-Japanese grandson would be too painful for her as her husband died in Japanese hands during the war.

The animosity his Grandmother holds against him shatters Masato but does not deter him. In a museum visit, he learns about Singapore’s wartime history. Eventually, he figures out a way to show his sincerity: what better way to reach out to Grandma than a delicious bowl of Japanese and Singaporean fusion, thus creating ‘Ramen Teh’ to bring to Grandma. Blending the favourites of both countries of his parental heritage, ‘Ramen Teh’ becomes the broth of reconciliation and the name of his new ramen shop when Masato returns home to Japan.

If a bowl of fusion noodle soup can melt away bitterness and long-held grievances among peoples, the world would be a better place. We have Khoo’s imaginary tale to thank if we move even one step closer to that ideal.

~ ~ ~ Ripples

 

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Summertime… and the feeding is easy

No matter where you stand in the food chain, in the summer woods, everywhere you turn is a ready picnic, nature’s smorgasbord. Just look at all these flies:

Appetizers.jpg

Yummy appetizers for the Yellow Warbler:

The Hungry Warbler

Or this succulent fruit. I’m sure the bee knows he’s an item on the smorgasbord too.

to eat or not to eat.jpg

But for the moment, indulge:

bee.jpg

Not so lucky for this dragonfly, securely locked in the beaks of a Song Sparrow:

Song Sparrow lunch.jpg

Robins are clean eaters, they swallow berries whole:

Robin

But not the Goldfinch:

American Goldfinch messy eater.jpg

Eat to your heart’s content, no need for etiquette here:

Messy eater.jpg

This baby Oriole in its high chair waiting for lunch. Be patient, junior, mommy’s coming:

Feeding 1.jpg

Feeding 2

Feeding 3.jpg

Take it easy, my Deer friend. I wouldn’t want to do the Heimlich Maneuver on you:

Deer friend.jpg

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What’s your summer smorgasbord like?

Camden, ME: A Gem of a Town

The scenic drive from Rockport (last post) led me to the town of Camden where I was welcomed with free parking everywhere. A walk down the streets could make you feel you’re stepping right into a movie set.

Camden's Main Street

Camden's Street

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Camden Harbor

But the stunning view came later when I drove up to the summit of Mt. Battie in the Camden Hills State Park. There at the highest point of the town, a panorama of Penobscot Bay and its surrounding countryside was fully displayed:

The Summit

View from the top 3

VFTT6

View from the top 4That was the same breathtaking view a young aspiring poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950) beheld, inspiring her to write the famous poem “Renascence”. Her epiphany at the top of Mt. Battie set off a poetic expedition which eventually led the Poet to the literary summit of a Pulitzer in 1923. There on the mountain top was this plaque honoring ‘America’s finest lyric poet.’

Edna St. Vincent Millay Plaque“And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.
I screamed, and—lo!—Infinity
Came down and settled over me…”

– lines from “Renascence”

Every time I feasted my eyes and mind, my stomach would in turn crave for my attention. So after a lingering at this inspiring site, I went down the slope back to town and found my way to the popular Cappy’s Chowder House. There I had the best chowder of my life: A Lobster/Oyster/Mussel/Seafood Chowder, yes, all of them in a Cappy’s cup for $9.99

Best ChowderAll substanceA good finish to a rewarding day.

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Follow my New England series:

Lobster, Lobster

In pouring rain I drove north from Wayland, MA on Interstate 95 to Portland, Maine, about 120 miles. As I came close to the city, anxiously looking for exits with the car wipers at the fastest speed, I saw a sign in a distance with a digital message. I strained to check out what it was saying, could be crucial information. Soon I got close enough to read this alert: “Rain Pounding on Road” Thanks. That was helpful.

A bit later after I exited and entering Portland, I was met with another warning sign: “Flash flooding in some intersections”. Thanks again. Which ones?

After a few tense moments, we found our way to an Arabica Café, calmed down with a latté and regrouped. In this weather, no sight-seeing around town was possible, so might as well drive to our next destination, a must-see, pounding rain or not. That’s New Harbor in the eastern tip of Maine, about 70 miles from where we were. What’s the bait? Lobster of course… and, Kevin Costner.

Earlier on I came across the website epicurious (love the name), Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Wharf in New Harbor was listed as one of their 7 favorite lobster shacks in Maine, and the tidbit that it’s one of the filming locations of the movie Message In A Bottle. So obviously, the motivation to get me driving all that 70+ miles in the rain under a dark grey sky was not just the lobster but Kevin Costner… oh, throw in Paul Newman as well.

Here’s the place at the end of a long and winding road along coastal Maine in fading daylight:

Shaw's Fish & Lobster WharfA view from the dock:

Costner New HarborInside the bar, a movie poster:

Movie PosterProduction Photosand some production photos (See Paul Newman in the middle?)

Since it was getting late, we decided to take out instead of eat there. And so we did, heading out to our rental car with two cooked live lobsters (oxymoron?), drawn butter, paper plates, and a lobster cracker kindly thrown in for us, all for $30. Not a bad deal.

Just as we congratulated ourselves on our triumphal exit with lobsters and Costner poster photo, we saw the iPhone on which we’d so depended for its GPS to be not in service. Now we had to find our way out of this remote place before darkness totally engulfed us. It’s not as easy as you might think. It felt like forever for us to find our way back to the main road and headed north for another 40 miles to our motel in Rockport. It seemed a much longer drive when you had two cooked live lobsters in the back seat.

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Another seafood restaurant I can whole-heartedly recommend is Archer’s on the Pier in Rockland, ‘the lobster capital of the world’. Just a 12-minute drive south of our motel in Rockport, Archer’s lobster is one of the best I’ve tasted for as long as I can remember. Of course a bit pricier than Costner’s place, but well worth it with all the extras, corn cob, coleslaw…

ArchersArcher's Livethe location and the view:

Archer's deck

A tasty catch

Archer's view

I haven’t seen much fall foliage yet but that’s ok. It’s been a delicious journey so far.

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Follow my New England series:

Historic Concord, Massachusetts

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
– Henry D. Thoreau

Just a few miles north of Walden Pond is Thoreau’s birthplace, Concord, MA, a beautiful town bursting with history. The Minute Man National Historical Park, North Bridge, Paul Revere Capture Site… major historical events took place right here. I’d learned to appreciate their significance especially in a modern day context.

But what caught my attention as I drove into town was this church building, meeting place of the First Parish in Concord:

First Parish

History of First Parish

While the present structure was built in 1900, the Church – the gathering of a  community of faith – stood as a monument of the social history of America dating back a few hundred years to the 1670’s. To me as an outsider, this is meaningful. It’s the first of many such Christmas card icon that I would see during my road trip, in every town I passed by.

The Concord Museum displays history in a nut-shell. In there I found the actual furniture from inside Thoreau’s cabin in Walden Pond:

Thoreau's furniture and those in Emerson’s home:

Emerson's StudyLesson learned? No, one doesn’t have to go to the woods to live a Spartan life to be inspired. But, the experience sure could help develop work skills in case the writing vocation didn’t pan out.

I skipped Emerson’s House across from Concord Museum, instead, followed the sign of ‘Authors Ridge’ in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to the graves of Thoreau, Hawthorne, Alcott, and Emerson. Much amused to see pens and pencils left at the authors’ graves:

Pen tribute

Thoreau's GraveAs I was pondering the philosophical meaning of this sighting, a greater urge suddenly took hold of me, one Thoreau could empathize, the necessity of life sustenance: food. I said goodbye to the great authors and drove back down to the main streets of Concord in search of the essential.

It’s the name that first attracted me: La Provence. The little French restaurant/café and patisserie on, where else? Thoreau Street. I ordered at the deli counter their popular Jambon de Paris sandwhich and a cream of mushroom soup. To my delight, as I stepped into the dining room with my lunch I felt like I’d entered a van Gogh painting. (Click here to see what I mean.)

While the sandwich was just average, the mushroom soup was superb. I wouldn’t mind a second helping but reminded myself another essential I must make room for, a dessert from the patisserie.

I was over at the glass case in the pastry section in no time. As a chocolate lover, my choice was easy… just look for the brown color items. I pointed to my selection and upon asking its name, was given two different replies by two different staff. So here I’m combining them: “Milk and Honey Chocolate Dome”, and it’s heavenly.

A crisp milk chocolate dome shrouding smooth melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mouse on a thin layer of cake at the bottom, this little dome sealed the best a dessert can offer any chocolate lover. The white chocolate bee on top was the added fun.

Le Provence choc domeFall foliage will have to wait.

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Follow my New England series:

Haute Cuisine Movie Review

My first entry for the Paris In July 2014 blogging event is a review of the 2012 French film Haute Cuisine (original name Les Saveurs du Palais, which can be translated as ‘The Taste of the Palace’ or ‘The Taste of the Palate’)

 

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Haute Cuisine Movie Poster

 

The film begins with scenes on the remote Crozet Island in Antarctica, at the Alfred Faure Scientific Base. The cook, Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot), is preparing dinner for the dozens of workers there. It’s a special occasion, her own farewell dinner. This is the menu she has prepared:

  • Thai clear soup with fresh foie gras
  • Sweet and sour duck with Sarlat potatoes
  • Saint-Honoré cake

Not your ordinary cafeteria food for workers in Antarctica, but then, Hortense Laborie is no ordinary cook. If her one year gig working on the Crozet island sounds extraordinary, it is yet not as remarkable when compared to her previous job. Hortense was the personal chef of the French president (Jean d’Ormesson) for two years before she quit and sought a change in venue for her talents. Her kitchen used to be in the Élysée Palace in Paris, the official residence of the French President.

Haute Cuisine is a movie based on the real-life story of Danièle Delpeuch, a Périgord farmer and renowned country cook appointed by the Palace Élysée to be the personal chef for French President François Mitterrand in 1988. She was responsible for preparing home-made, simple cooking for the President’s own private meals and his personal guests.

In the movie, as soon as she stepped into the Palace’s Main Kitchen Hortense knows what she is up against: a macho army of 24 all-male chefs who guard their territory like a castle. They serve 70,000 meals in a year, using some of the copper pots and pans dating back to Louis-Phillippe’s days. Hortense does not work right in that kitchen, but that is her source of supplies and ingredients (initially), and the battlefield for territory and sphere of culinary power and influence. The battle begins as soon as she steps on this holy ground.

The Battleground 1

Hortense works in a small, homely kitchen joined by a tunnel with the Main Kitchen. Her helper is a young pastry chef Nicholas Bauvois (Arthur Dupont). The two form an unlikely alliance and share an endearing camaraderie. Frot’s portrayal of Hortense is most amiable. She is not a harsh boss over Nicholas, but she can stand her ground and be assertive in front of the Main Kitchen chefs, and even with the President’s staff. Hortense is an iron fist inside an elegant, velvet glove.

So from the kitchen in Antarctica to Paris, the film goes back and forth to tell the story of Hortense, how she gets the Palace job and why she quits two years later. The shifting between the two time frames are smooth and seamless. With the two drastically different settings juxtaposed against each other, viewers can savour the irony: That the exquisite culinary skills and fine art of Hortense’ cooking are more appreciated by the Crozet Island workers than the Palace Élysée.

A delightful movie not just for foodies, Haute Cuisine is like a layer cake, blending multiple tastes together by tackling various issues of contention… the battle between the sexes in the work place (the kitchen is probably the most volatile), efficiency in meal preparation vs. passion for cooking, and, the dilemma of all food lovers: gratification or health (no sauces, fats, or cheeses? How can that be in French cuisine?)

A well crafted film that moves as efficiently as an experienced server, removing your empty plate as soon as the food is consumed, quietly slips in the next item for you to enjoy without a break. Yes, it’s relatively fast-paced, lean and fat-free with no wastage; to top it all off, the delightful, well-timed and orchestrated music composed by the prolific Gabriel Yared is like the light cream on the Saint-Honoré cake.

The President deeply appreciates Hortense’s home-grown culinary offerings. Her ingredients are locally grown right from the Palace garden,or nearby markets, or from her own farm, yes, truffles too. The tastes remind him of home when he was growing up as a boy. He has found a foodie soul-mate in Hortense. Here’s her first meal for him and his five guests (with two hours’ notice as to the number of guests):

Stuffed Cabbage

  • Brouillade with ceps and chervil
  • Stuffed cabbage with Scottish Salmon and Loire carrots (“I like things to come from somewhere”)
  • Saint-Honoré (her Granny’s recipe)

But I personally like this one the best:

Beef fillet pastry wrapped

 

  • Cream of asparagus soup with chervil
  • Fillet of beef (pastry wrapped) with Chanterelle Fricassee
  • Cream tart with fruit of the forest and pistachio nougatines

A virtual meal, so delicious and satisfying… and best of all, fat-free.

~ ~ ~ Ripples 

 

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Paris In July 2014

This is my first post for the blogging event Paris in July, 2014.

This year the hosting team has expanded to four. From the original creators Karen and Tamara, we now have Adria and Bellezza. Thanks to their time and dedication, we can travel to France on a virtual flight, no need for tickets, no baggages to drag along.

Also discovered another similar blogging event and that’s a Monday Meme Dreaming of France from Paulita’s An Accidental Blog. The more the merrier I’d say.

Dreaming of France Meme Eiffel

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Click Here to the New York Times’s profile of Danièle Delpeuch, the real-life personality on whom the movie is based.

Other Food Related Posts on Ripple Effects, coincidentally, all Paris-related:

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais (movie adaptation coming out in August, 2014)

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The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

How do you get to Paris from Bombay? Food, Food, Food.

What better transport is there than a light vehicle that provides a fun and wild ride, taking me out of Midnight’s Children‘s Bombay to my next destination, Paris in July? Thanks to Karen of Book Bath for organizing the trip.

This delightful, breezy read is that speedy transit. It tells the story of Hassan Haji, a Muslim boy who lives above his grandfather’s restaurant in then Bombay and how he ultimately ends up as a three-star chef in Paris.

Growing up immersed in the savoury aroma of Indian food and spices,

I suspect my destiny was written from the very start, for my first sensation of life was the smell of machli ka salan, a spicy fish curry, rising through the floorboards to the cot…

Hassan is endowed with an exceptional gift of culinary talent. After the Partition and the death of his grandfather, religious and political turmoils push his family out of the country. They first land in London, later immigrate to France. The boisterous family finds a home in the resort village Lumière near the Alps and starts its own restaurant Maison Mumbai, serving Indian dishes and bringing a welcome change to the villagers.

Hassan soon is jealously noticed by the veteran, feisty two-star French Chef Madame Mallory across the street. She is the proprietor of the small country hotel, Le Saule Pleureur. Her restaurant is a haute French culinary establishment that plays Satie in contrast to the Indian music from a loudspeaker at the Haji’s. After many animated and almost cartoonish conflicts between Madame Mallory and Hassan’s Papa, Abbas Haji, both concede to the reconciliatory move of allowing Hassan to become Chef Mallory’s apprentice.

Thus, Hassan takes the one hundred-foot journey and crosses the street to stay at Le Saule Pleureur, learn all he can from the great Chef and answer ‘the irrefutable call of destiny’ to be one himself. Towards the end of his apprenticeship, Hassan is left on his own to create recipes for pigeons, gigot, and hare, all to the satisfaction of Chef Mallory. After three years under her wings, Hassan is ready to move on.

Chardin’s Grey Partridge Pear and Snare on Stone Table, one of Hassan’s favorite paintings.

Next step, Paris. Hassan starts as a sous chef with a couple of smaller restaurants. After a few years, he decides to open his own and is approached by a benefactor who offers him reduced rent in an upscale location near the Panthéon. The one-hundred foot journey has brought him fine training, now he can take flight.

Here is his trademark dish:

the Siberian ptarmigan, roasted with the tundra herbs taken from the bird’s own crop, and served with caramelized pears in an Armagnac sauce.

We as readers are privy to the actual cooking procedure beginning with the feathered live bird.

For me, more a movie buff than a foodie, the book conjures up many cinematic images… the colours and conflicts in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the prejudice in Chocolat, the sumptuous offering in Babette’s Feast, and, the training sessions in the The Karate Kid. Dev Patel (Marigold Hotel, Slumdog Millionaire) will be perfect for the role as young Hassan. I couldn’t help but think, this book is good movie material.

And then I found out from the Acknowledgements after I finished, the book is an homage to the late Ismail Merchant, the film producer behind the Merchant Ivory productions (Room With A View, Howards End, The Remains of the Day) who met an untimely death in 2005. The bond between the author Richard Morais and his friend Ismail Merchant was food. This book was started with a subsequent movie in mind.

In-depth research has gone into writing the book, culinary history, recipes, game, desserts, soups, the French kitchen, the Indian kitchen, restaurant operations, even for me the uninformed and casual eater, there are plenty to savour. The book is a smorgasbord of gastronomic delights. My only criticism is that its literary treatment may taste a bit raw, simplistic, and at times, didactic. However, read it like a comedy, it can satisfy like a dessert.

~~~ Ripples

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais, Scribner, NY, 2010, 245 pages.

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Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

Gourmet Rhapsody

Before the French publishing sensation The Elegance of the Hedgehog, there was Gourmet Rhapsody.  We in English-speaking North America were not aware of such a delicacy until after the translation of Hedgehog was introduced to us.  Too risky to sell to a different palate?

As a first novel, Gourmet Rhapsody, the 156-page collection of short chapters, is like an appetizer to the main dish that is Hedgehog.  It is a foretaste of the more meaty philosophical pondering of the latter.  Now that we have savored the main dish first,  might as well treat Gourmet Rhapsody as the dessert.  Does the cover not make you think of a raspberry sorbet?

If food is a metaphor for life, then the food critic is almost at the status of divinity, especially ‘the greatest food critic in the world’.  That self-ascribed praise is the egotistic utterance of none other than Pierre Arthens, the celeb resident on the fourth floor of the luxury apartment at 7 Rue  de Grenelle, the setting for Hedgehog.

Pierre Arthens’ pen is indeed mightier than the sword.  The knowledgeable and merciless food critic, the ‘true genius of the food world’, is feared from all corners of the world, ‘from Paris to Rio, Moscow to Brazzaville, Saigon to Melbourne and Acapulco’.  He holds the power to exalt a chef and restaurateur to stardom or crush their ego and future like eggshells.

Between these two extremes — the rich warmth of a daube and the clean crystal of shellfish, I have covered the entire range of culinary art, for I am an encyclopedic esthete who is always one dish ahead of the game — but always one heart behind.

But what use is the allure of fame and power when one is on deathbed, at 68, given only 48 hours to live.  Alas, from the years of Epicurean pursuits of cream and butter, oil and sauces, games and other culinary delights, the world renowned food critic is dying not from liver or stomach ailments, but cardiac failure.

Gourmet Rhapsody is a collection of Arthens’ own reminiscence of a life with food and his final quest.  The vividly evoked memories are interspersed with poignant commentaries by those who have come into the path of his life, including his wife, children, nephew, granddaughter, restaurateurs, his doctor, his concierge, his mistress, and even his cat.

And alas, what pity it is to find that none of the entries from these people is positive.  His daughter Laura stays in the stairway, refuses to go into his room to see his last.  His son loathes his ego and his ruthless destruction of theirs.  His wife Anna, whom he had loved as an object of possession, is ever more ambivalent at his deathbed.

And what irony, the only positive review of his life comes from his cat Rick:

… here I am, nineteen years I’ve knocked about as head tomcat on the Persian rugs of my abode;  just me, the favorite, the master’s alter ego, the one and only, to whom he declared his thoughtful, undying love…

So, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses the love from his wife and children, or respect from those who have crossed his path?  This ultimate question belies the enticing and delicious offering described throughout the chapters.  As in Hedgehog, Barbery has cleverly created a philosophical concoction without appearing didactic.  Here in Gourmet Rhapsody, food is the delightful sauce bringing up the taste of such rumination.

As a lover of sushi and sashimi, my favorite chapter is ‘Raw’, in which Arthens reminisce on his first taste of these Japanese culinary delights:

It was dazzling… True sashimi is not so much bitten into as allowed to melt on the tongue.  It calls for slow, supple chewing, not to bring about a change in the nature of the food but merely to allow one to savor its airy, satiny texture… sashimi is velvet dust, verging on silk, or a bit of both, and the extraordinary alchemy of its gossamer essence allows it to preserve a milky density unknown even by clouds.

But the powerful food critic has but one final quest on his deathbed.  There is one particular food that he wants to taste most before his imminent demise, but which he fails to name.  No, not the coq au vin, or the extravagant pots-au-feu, or poulets chasseur, or the grilled meat of Tangiers, or the Moroccan kesra, or the velvety, melt-in-your-tongue sashimi.  Should I reveal it here?  Alright, Spoiler Alert.

It is the chouquettes, cream puffs, but not from fancy patisserie.  Pierre Arthens wants to taste those chouquettes that are stuffed in plastic bags from the supermarket.  After a life of bourgeois elegance and Epicurean odyssey, it is the mundane, ordinary thing that Arthens seeks on his deathbed.  In the face of mortality, every single moment of mundaneness is something to devour.

If only he had savored that sooner, not just food, but the people in his life, and everything else.

~ ~ ~Ripples

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery, translated by Alison Anderson, Europa Editions, 2009.  156 pages.         

To read my review of  The Elegance of the Hedgehog, CLICK HERE.

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