That French people come together on a hot summer afternoon to eat a ripe meal with their average fellow mortals – that makes me love the French. For what France brings to the table in the family of nations IS the table, the utter love of fully immersing in finer points of food. It might be a crisped skin of a duck, cêpes, the potatoes of course golden; a wine that takes no prisoners. The lunch might take two hours or even three. “We’ll all arrive at noon at the same time,” the French saying goes. Live in time, don’t worry about it.
If this consciousness is the French tradition, gift and patrimony, does everyone get to sit at the table? In restaurants above the Victor Hugo market place in Toulouse (one amazing food town), the salt of the earth gather to eat their traditional fare. There are “etrangers” who dig into the fat-laced patrimonial magret with their families like they were born to it.. France as a nation-state may devolve someday, but ripeness as an idea in the mortal should endure. Happy Bastille Day!