|analytical Q||May-Aug 2000||Sept-Dec 2000||Contact||Discussion|
FRUITS DE LA MER
Seafood in France translates to raw fruit of the sea. With the exception of shrimp and prawns, the oysters, clams, mussels, whelks, and periwinkles all come raw.
For some strange reason, this dish by the same name in England just doesn't taste the same. Fruits de la Mer has to be savoured and consumed in France - no other place.
England, for all the advantages of being an island, has invented fish and chips. The rest of the fruits from the sea never made their debut. The French caught them instead. A simple invention - serve them raw - and even the English would cross the channel for this multi-layered dish.
Last night in a French brasserie across from the Paris Bourse, I ordered Fruits de la Mer. While my peers indulged in the fresh catch of the day, the lamb chop, and the rump steak, I followed my raw organic food diet.
When in France, do as the French. For dessert, I ordered Creme Brulee. The real thing was twice the size served in England and elsewhere. Instead of espresso, I asked for The Infusion - herbal tea, to take me past midnight.