Pont l’Eveque, Muscadet and Red Leaf Lettuce

Well, the Taster has returned from his annual French holiday and now talks of nothing but small-town French food markets and their large, befrilled, dewy, red-and-green lettuces on sale for 70 cents (55p) each. He also bursts into tears if anyone mentions Muscadet-sur-Lie or Entre-deux-Mers. Hey ho. His main report is: the trendy new dishes across the Channel are oeufs en cocotte (a soupy egg-and-cheese variety) followed by a salad of little slices of duck breast; the latest tableware fad is for presenting wine bottles in a transparent thick-plastic bag half-filled with ice water. The bags are prettier than they sound, and take up much less space on the table – always a consideration, in a cramped bistro.

He has returned with the usual haul, including tinned escargots (we will see if tinning improves them), ready-made French salad dressings (Surely, we said, Surely you did not enter a *supermarket*, even if it was French? He looked guilty and refused to reply), two runny cheeses, a pot of mixed dried Provencal herbs and a selection of wines. This, plus a truly monstrous lettuce, created a delicious cheese salad, just sufficient to give him the energy to dispose of a bottle of Cote de Gascogne before tottering off to bed.

How we love the unreformed old connoisseur. When he wakes up we’ll try to find out where he’s hidden his camera & put up some pics.

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