When she worked as a copywriter, British novelist Fay Weldon created the slogan, “Go to work on an egg”. It was a brilliant punning directive that my mother took as a command. Every morning for breakfast before school, my sister and I were presented with a hard boiled one. As soon as I left home, I vowed never to eat another boiled egg again.
But this April is a special month for eggs. Easter is observed and the shops are stacked with chocolate versions. Hens are happily, as opposed to unhappily, back outside, producing what’s expected of them. Everywhere, eggs are being celebrated.
Bugle Editor, Steve Martindale, looks at the origins of the humble chip. As a proud Belgian resident for 6 years, but now raising a family in France, his loyalties are torn on the topic of who exactly did invent the French Fry…
Sprinkled with salt, dunked in ketchup, soaked in vinegar, covered with gravy or dipped in mayonnaise, everyone has their own specific way of enjoying the humble, crisp strips of fried tuber known the world over as French fries!
The origin of the fried potato, or chip to the British, is a matter of dispute among experts; both France and Belgium – where they are the national dish – have laid claim to the invention of fries, but until now there has been no definitive answer.
Every region of France has its local customs and the Dordogne is no exception. One you may have seen out and about, and which some say is the reason behind the impressive longevity of the area’s inhabitants, is to pour a splash of red wine into your empty soup bowl before picking it up, swilling it around and draining the contents, or more concisely, faire chabrol.
The tradition originates in this department, and although your grandmother may have always told you never to drink from the bowl, the opposite is the case with this old ritual. Whilst some say chabrol and others chabrot, most agree that the expression means “boire comme une chabrette” – to drink like a goat.