Julia’s First Meal in France
with Husband, Paul Child
We rolled to a stop in La Place du Vieux Marché,
the square where Joan of Arc had met her fiery fate.
There the Guide Michelin directed us to
Restaurant La Couronne.
Rouen is a 2000 year old city located in Normandy
on the Seine River not too far from the English Channel.
In Rouen, France
The waiter is telling them about the chicken they ordered, Paul whispered, how it was raised, how it will be cooked, what side dishes they can have with it, and which wines would go best.
“Wine?” exclaimed Julia, “at lunch?”
We began our lunch with oysters on the half shell.
They had a sensational briny flavor and a smooth texture that was entirely new and surprising.
Rouen is famous for its duck dishes, but after consulting the waiter Paul had decided to order Sole Meunière…perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.
I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter.
It was a morsel of perfection.
Then came the salade verte laced with a slightly acidic vinaigrette.
Along with our meal, we happily downed a whole bottle of Pouilly-Fumé, a wonderfully crisp white wine from the Loire region. Another revelation!
Paul and I floated out the door into the brilliant sunshine and cool air.
Our first lunch together in France had been absolute perfection.
It was the most exciting meal of my life.
(This is as she describes her meal to us in My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme,
published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006).
Happy Birthday Julia Child
Toujours Bon Appétit
Join the world in celebrating Julia Child: #CookForJulia
To commemorate Julia Child’s 100th birthday on Taste With The Eyes
I am reprinting a few of my favorite JC posts this week.
Then on her actual birthday, August 15th, I will share a lovely new dish
Loup de Mer à la Provençale
prepared especially in her honor.