I don’t write about salmon quiche often. But when author Shelley Workinger invited me to write a guest blog for her series “But What Are They Eating?“, I felt I had no choice.
Her fun site features short articles on the role of food in books. So many dishes feature prominently in the stories we read.
Food, or the absence of it, plays a big part in A Whale in Paris, too.
Nazi forces occupy the French capital and steal crops from the surrounding farms to feed the German soldiers. Parisians must invent new ways to find food and fill their stomachs. Chantal and Papa, two of the main characters in A Whale in Paris, fish for salmon in the Seine at night.
Unfortunately, they’re often unsuccessful. Most days Chantal eats nothing but stale bread for breakfast. She must get by without the things she once thought essential, such as hot croissants and hazelnut macarons. But sometimes the stars align. Sometimes she and Papa catch a large fish and take it home in a bucket. Sometimes the priest of the Notre Dame gives Chantal an armload of zucchinis as a reward for working in his vegetable garden. Sometimes Papa has enough ration tickets left to buy flour and butter. Sometimes Aunt Sophie trades on the black market and brings them fresh eggs in a bundled handkerchief.
And then… then Papa bakes his super-delicious salmon quiche—Chantal’s favorite dish. The full recipe-spectacle is only available in the book, but if you want to try a taster, please visit Shelley Workinger’s literary food blog to read my post.