Pig Snouts & Peppermint

Portrait of Penelope Fitzgerald
by Jane Brown, via The Guardian
Penelope Fitzgerald's hauntingly spare and reserved novel The Blue Flower, a fictional account of Novalis' love affair with a very young girl named Sophie von Kuhn, doesn't contain a lot of food description, but the foodie bits it does trot out are pretty phenomenal.

For example, this meal from the opening pages of Chapter 30 "Sophie's Likeness":
The servants had already brought in the soups, one made of beer, sugar and eggs, one of rose-hips and onions, one of bread and cabbage water, one of cows' udders flavoured with nutmeg. There was dough mixed with beech-nut-oil, pickled herrings and goose with treacle sauce, hard-boiled eggs, numerous dumplings. It is dangerous—on this, at least, all Germany's physicians were agreed—not to keep the stomach full at all times.
Good appetite!
A towering Alp of boiled potatoes, trailing long drifts of steam, was placed in the exact centre of the table, so that all might spear away at it with outstretched silver forks. Rapidly, as though in an avalanche, it subsided into ruin.
"I don't want you to look at me now, Herr Maler," Sophie called across the table [Maler is an artist commissioned by Novalis to paint Sophie]. "Don't study me now, I am about to fill my mouth."
And here is the start of Chapter 38 "Karoline at Gruningen":
There are still Kesselfleisch festivals to this day in Germany
Even Tennstedt had its fair, specialising in Kesselfleisch—the ears, snout and strips of fat from the pig's neck boiled with peppermint schnaps. Great iron kettles dispersed the odours of pig sties and peppermint. There was a music of sorts, and the stall-keepers, who had come in from the country, danced with each other to keep warm. Karoline had been accustomed to go to the fair at first with her uncle, then with her uncle and step-aunt, and she did so again this year. — A fine young woman still, what a pity she has no affianced to treat her to a pig's nostril!
E.T.A. Hoffmann's Description of a Berlin Marketplace
Vintage French Sausage Ad

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