On 9 November the Shelford Twinning Association enjoyed a very pleasant evening, our speaker being Francine Rouanet-Démocrate, founder of the Alliance Française in Cambridge. Francine has now given us several talks, each one informative and absorbing. This year was no exception when she spoke to us about – to quote the advertisement – Du pain, du vin et du Boursin – the essentials of French life.
The baguette is widely known of course, but even in France the standard varies and competitions are held in countless villages to find the best baker. Interestingly the genuine baguette contains only flour, salt and water, with no yeast. Cheeses: as in England, hundreds of different cheeses are produced, big and small, hard and soft, on large and small scale. Vineyards as we all know are found widely throughout France and the French are justly proud of their winemaking traditions. The quality of the wine depends on many elements – the soil, the mineral content, the aspect, harvesting at the right moment, and the winemakers themselves.
After the meal we enjoyed a substantial and varied ploughman’s supper, washed down of course with wine or fruit juice, followed by a raffle with wine and chocolate prizes to round off the evening.