Sunday, August 21, 2005


Matière Grasse

Once upon a time the standard fare for second year Latin students in high school was Caesar's Gallic War, which opens with this sentence:
Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur.
In the translation of W.A. McDevitte and W.S. Bohn:
All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in our Gauls, the third.
Waverley Root, The Food of France, chapter 1, makes a different division:
The Continent is divided among the three domains of butter, of lard, and of olive oil. One reason, though not the most important one, for the supremacy of French cooking may be that within her national boundaries France has large areas devoted to each of the three types of cooking founded on these three types of fat. Though each area tends to adhere most faithfully to its own school, none is unaware of the others. Thus at the outset French cooking is gifted with the great asset of variety.

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