When people want to assume cultural arrogance, words like pâté and terrine often come up, evoking the pleasures of a stylish picnic, in France of course, where you and your partner in a canoe are floating down a river in blazing sunlight on the way to an intoxicatingly beautiful garden alongside the riverbank. Wouldn’t your views take in some rolling lavender fields? A window-wall of medieval towns? Maybe Edith Piaf plays on your portable radio.
Even if your blanket is laid amid beetle and toad, le déjeuner (luh day-zhuh-nay) under a chestnut tree will still be in such picturesque, and expensive, comfort when you pop open a bottle of Champagne. Maybe a chilled rose. Follow that up with strawberries, gougeres (delicate cheese puffs), shaved smoked chicken, white bean tapenade, pickled green beans, escargot, tarts, and pastries. Rounding out this scrumptious feast will undoubtedly be a chunky rustic piece of bread for your pâté campagne, which has been chilling in your fridge for two days to give the flavors time to mature.
Whoa. What century do I live in?