The Olives of Wrath

Sitting in Café des Irlandais last weekend, Johanne and I sat over a shared starter of foie gras served with chocolate shavings and croissant. The dish was cohesive: the croissant complimented foie gras; the chocolate drew out the paté’s flavours. A number of olives were scattered on the plate. I avoided these. I eat olives, but they aren’t my favourite food.

I decided to brave an olive. I took a small piece of the croissant, patted the foie gras onto it and pricked the olive with a fork. The moistness of the olive added to the taste experience. The olives tasted sweet.

“These olives are delicious, Johanne. Try one!”

Johanne grimaced slightly. “I’m not a big fan of olives. I find them bitter.”

“These taste sweet, as if they were soaked in something.”

“I’ll try one.” Johanne leaned forward and pierced an olive with a fork. She bit into it and nodded her head. “Mmmm, you’re right, they are nice.”

“See, I told you.”

“I can see what you mean about them being sweet. But that’s not really a surprise since they are not olives. They’re grapes.”

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