We all have our favorite sayings; some are regional, some are trite, some are witty and some are not. For instance, perhaps particularly in the South, we may grow accustomed to hearing, “Hey Sugah”, or “Bless her heart”, or the more familiar “Well, I’ll be a…” The latter is sometimes followed by quaint phrases such as “ monkey’s uncle”. Now why anyone would want to be a monkey’s uncle is beyond me – it does seem to cast certain aspersions upon the rest of the family. Perhaps those words are uttered by the same person who actually wears the t-shirt that proclaims “I’m Stupid” for all the world to see – yes, if you wear that shirt, you most certainly are stupid and I don’t care if your uncle gave it to you.
France does have its share of monkeys, uncles, t-shirts and phrases. Our particular favorite is a simple one, “Merde!!” We don’t care to use that one when we visit the market however, because the possibility exists, almost certainly, that we will come home with some in a bag. Fortunately, we have learned to identify what is pate, and what is not – even when they try to pretend it is laced with dark, earthy, rare mushrooms – don’t believe a word of it even if you do speak French! Just avoid that word at the market even if someone trods on your toe or you get stung by a bee. (Bees are popular in France.)
If you go to the Saturday market in Beaune, and you are musing aloud at all the interesting stuff they sell there and you should to happen to unconsciously utter “I’ll be a…” it may be confused for the French word “abeille” especially if you have a Southern accent. As we again stress: Be Careful what you ask for in the market; or this darling, colorful creature may fly home with you. You would then have your very own abeille. You might have to, then, ask yourself the confusing question: "to bee or not to bee ?".
Suit yourself and have a good day!
p.s. the artichokes are amazing!