#AMREADING MURIEL BARBERY, GOURMET RHAPSODY: CELEBRATING YOUR GUT FEELING.
A dying man reminisces about his childhood, his family, and the gastronomical highlights of his life.
On art and his wife: I’m not ashamed of considering Anna the most beautiful work of art – this woman who for forty years has used her finely chiseled beauty and her dignified tenderness to enliven the chambers of my realm.
On his real love – gourmet food: This was it, the perfect rhythm, the shimmering harmony between portions, each one exquisite unto itself, but verging on the sublime by virtue of the strict, ritual succession…The entire history of humanity, of our tribe of sensitive predators, can be summed up in these meals.
What does a man experience when his tongue – which, up to this point, has been saturated with spices, sauces, meat, cream, and salt – is suddenly refreshed by contact with an avalanche of ice and fruit that is ever so slightly rustic and ever so lightly lumpy…Quite simply, he experiences paradise.
I rub the Geranium leaves between my fingers: slightly but sufficiently tart with a vinegary insolence, but not so tart that they could fail to evoke at the same time the delicately bitter scent of candied lemon with a hint of the acrid odor of tomato leaves, whose boldness and fruitiness they preserve – that is what geranium leaves exhale, that is what I was growing drunk on, with my belly to the ground in the vegetable garden.
On dinner talk: I feasted on their words, the sort of words that, at times, delight one much more than the pleasures of the flesh. Words: repositories for singular realities which they then transform into moments in an anthology, magicians that change the face of reality by adorning it with the right to become memorable.