art and agriculture
i am in france with my husband, a food lover, which is in many ways a wonderful combination, although things can get a little food-centric around here, as a result of his boundless enthusiasm. that, i will admit, is not much to complain about, but it is sometimes too much, when i would rather be walking the countryside noticing the infinitesimal daily changes of color in the wild scrubland around us, or working on a new composition instead of wiping the kitchen counter after one of his passionate culinary leaps. on the other hand, what i do have going for me is the fact that art and food are never separated by much, here in the land of food, and art, and food-as-art. today’s exhibit: ail rose de lautrec. rose garlic from lautrec, which not only sports the obvious name of a great french painter, but is, almost intrinsically, a work of art. a beautiful rose streaked head of garlic, from which all but the final layer of papery husk has been removed, so that the tight pink cloves can be seen through the last translucent layer of skin. these are then tied into braids like sleighbells, and sold in fall markets, with a shelf life that lasts through to the following spring. they happen to taste strong but not overpowering, and as a result, i think of them as a sort of minor agricultural masterpiece, combining taste, tradition, terroir, art history, and simple beauty. three or four of these cloves will feature tonight at our table, in a daube de boeuf, or provençale beef stew, and there i am again, talking about food when i wanted to talk about art. still, the smell coming from the oven after five hours . . .
rose garlic/ ail rose du tarn (ail rose de Lautrec)