11 | Dec | 09

Richard Johnson

The Holy Trinity

I love Gascony. It’s where Tony Blair used to go to relaxed. He urged the locals to “m’appellez Tony”. But when the Gascons presented him with a spirited pony called Justin, Blair got confused. As he later confessed to Des O’Connor “I didn’t know whether to ride it or eat it”. Eat it, fool! In Gascony, you won’t offend anyone by eating anything. Confit, anything cooked in goose-fat, prunes – this food is best approached in loose trousers. Especially the cassoulet. A bootmaker used to hang a sign outside his shop that read, simply, “Closed on Account of Cassoulet”. It wasn’t clear if it was the making, the eating, or the recuperation afterwards — or all three — but, even in London, cassoulet is a serious business. There are three types of cassoulet – the Holy Trinity. There’s the ‘Father’ (pork and goose), the ‘Son’ (mutton and partridge), and the ‘Holy Ghost’ (sausage, mutton, and duck). I think this man sold me a Holy Ghost. But his English wasn’t great, and he was trying to deal with a lunchtime rush. If I got it wrong, would that count as blasphemy?