Friday 4 April 2014
What was more definitively consigned to the dustbin by the New York Times journalist, in January 1892, however, was the whole load of blarney associated with the benedictines being hard at work churning out their famous tipple by the barrel load. Investigation of a report from several weeks earlier of a disastrous conflagration at the Abbeye de Fecamp, complete with cowled monks battling the flames in a attempt to save their precious production, revealed that there was no Abbeye, there were no monks, and that the whole Benedictine 'story' was a fairytale dreamed up by an imaginative local boy with an eye to the main chance.
Mind you, the association with Benedictine of all sorts of creative nonsense doesn't appear to have ended back in 1892. A trawl online about the stuff uncovered the claims that apparently it is the favourite tipple of the supporters of Burnley FC, and that the Burnley Miners Club is the single largest consumer of Benedictine anywhere in the world. I say 'apparently' since these claims seem curiously reminiscent of the gem which appeared in Norman Mailer's Wikipedia entry shortly after his death stating that he had been a lifelong supporter of Bristol Rovers, and which was unthinkingly repeated in the obituaries of Mailer published thereafter by certain particularly witless journalists. When it comes to that particular fact, or a mouthful of benedictine, I'm unclear which of the two would be the harder to swallow.
Duck Breast, with red-wine sauce; potato galettes.
Tarte Tatin of Apple and Rosemary.