Learn to order food by season – Parisian style
You know where to eat and when to eat – now ﬁnd out what to eat. By month. By season. The fine art and charm of dining is not in flopping into a Restaurant, grabbing the menu, sweeping it quickly with your eye and calling to the waiter, ‘ Give me some of this; give me some of that.’ Just the same old ‘Bread, meat and potatoes’ that everyone else orders. Why not know Food as you know other fine things?
Why be at the mercy of a menu at all? Why not order the dinner in your mind before you enter the restaurant? Two or three hours before. What a gorgeous idea. The thrilling anticipation of it. How much nicer to know the novel, the exceptional, the exquisite in foods and when they are in season. Not just any dish; any old commonplace food like ‘Corn beef and Cabbage’ or ‘Ham and Sauerkraut.’ You never knew there were so many marvellous foodstuffs.
And you can have them all, in Paris. Show the Head – waiter that you know as much about beautiful food as he does. Take every month of the year. Just see and marvel at what each month reaches out to you in the way of epicurean delicacies.
Eat turkey, capon, chicken, rabbit, goose, lark, pheasant, partridge, widgeon, woodcock, wild duck, plover, snipe, teal, hare and venison. Eels, smelts, oysters, turbot, cod, carp, cravettes, lobsters. Spinach, endive, brussel sprouts.
The month of green geese, whitebait, giant asparagus, globe artichokes, pronns, pigeons and truffles. What on earth is pronns?
The abundant fish month. Sole, plaice, flounder, eels, perch, pike, smelts, carp. Early green peas. Mppr fowl and plover. Some choice dishes are Omelette aux huitres 9oysters), Filets de Soles Colbert, Mackerel Hollandaise, Turbot Dieppoise or Perche gratinee or brochet en dauphin.
Red and gray mullets, fresh herrings, ham, lamb, spring chicken. Plover’s eggs are the hors d’oeuvres of the month.
The great delight of May is the fresh vegetables. The early green pea with sweetbreads, and pigeons and baby chickens and duckings. And the mushrooms and the first strawberries.
Here is a typical June dinner. Green pea soup. Turbot with lobster sauce. Saddle of lamb, mint sauce. Asparagus and new potatoes. Roast duck. Hearts of lettuce salad, strawberries and cream. Or substitute a luscious home grown chicken, roasted to a golden brown with creamy bread sauce; cherry pie. After that a fragrant slice of camembert and a pony of brandy.
The month for suckling pig, the peach, the green fig, the grouse and venison and mutton.
The grape gathering month. The month of partridges and oysters and abundant fruit. And the French Thrush is in perfection. (Their own orgies on the grape vines give them a fine flavour). Order your ‘Thrush au Chasseur a la Choucroute’. Or have it Au Choux or swathed in fat bacon.
Mackerel comes in now. And pheasants. A pheasant pie, sautéed with truffles; served with an orange salad and chip potatoes.
Now we welcome the Turkey. And the Chestnut. And November is the month of soups, Petite Marmite or Pot au feu and mutton broth.
The month of feasting. A York ham basted in Champagne and spiced sausages. Turtle soup. Plum pudding. Roast Turkey. (nothing changes)…