Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pineapple Salad and Ice Cream

A few more pages of Swann's Way, a few more mentions of food. The aunt's sisters got a case of "asti" from Swann. Obviously "asti spumante." Why not champagne? I hadn't remembered how much humor there was in the book. The sisters attempt to thank Swann for the asti without actually thanking him. The weird reverse class consciousness. The petit bourgeois in evidence. Really good stuff.

The narrator's aunt asked Swann for a recipe for "pineapple salad." Wonder what that was? Certainly NOT a slice of canned pineapple on a mound of cottage cheese. No-siree-bob, no. Maybe fruit salad? The mystery deepens.

Two references to ice cream, which must have been a stylish elegant dessert. The coffee-pistachio didn't pass muster. No wonder, ick. Another reference to a burnt nut ice cream. Hmmmm. Burnt almond? Burnt nut doesn't sound so delicious.

Now of course, snoopy Odette thinks it might be nice to have a copy in French to ferret out the odd food translation. Are we on to something here? She is also wondering what the words that led to "beef stew" were? And whether Scott Montcrief, translator extraordinaire, was a foodie for his day and age? I'm thinking NOT.

Apropos of pistachio ice cream. A young child in our family, when confronted with a very green pistachio ice cream, said, "Daddy, I don't like salad ice cream." Nothing Marcel would have ever confessed to the old man.



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