Fr Cn De Es Pt It

XVIII - Nathalie et Christian Durand Charcutier Traiteur


Painting by Jean-Marc Guéroux

Christian Durand has a diploma in Brawn (fromage de tête), a diploma in Black Pudding, a diploma in Chicken Liver Pâté and a diploma in Liver Pâté.

Elisa had never known that you could get a diploma in all these subjects and was full of admiration. Even more so because the Durands had also won the “Coupe de France” for butcher’s brawn two years in a row!

Butcher’s brawn is a pork product made with 1 pig’s head, 1 pig’s foot, 1 pig’s tongue, vegetables and condiments. Jym loved it. Elisa had to be convinced… There were a variety of dishes prepared with refinement and love. Elisa often purchased a half-avocado with prawns for her lunch, a habit that earned her a wry reputation in Madame Durand’s eyes.

Fortunately, her encounter with Jym made up for Elisa’s downfalls. Jym was ecstatic when he saw all the food on display and talked about it with the expertise of a chef. Just hearing him talk made you want to try everything.

Jym was honoured with an invitation to visit the deli kitchens, located in the back of the shop, the smoking room for the sausages and ham, the place where the owners prepared their delicious Lapin Chasseur, braised endives and egg custard.

The concept of the French deli, “traiteur” in French, has no real equivalent. The English “caterer” and the German “Feinkostgeschäft” don’t do it justice. The dishes are homemade.

Nothing about their preparation is industrial. It hails back to the time when your mother or grandmother, who weren’t career women yet who bought deep-frozen food to pop in the oven, prepared wonderful dishes that simmered all morning, taking their time, for the simple joy of delighting you.

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