"I've crept into your temple, I have slept upon your pew…"

by Katie Pizzuto on December 5, 2008

in Celebrations/Festivals,Charcuterie

There are dozens of reasons to laud the French, but there are also dozens of reasons to chide them…The Hundred Years War and Beaujolais Nouveau being a couple. Every November, Parisians celebrate the release of that blasted banal grape juice, but thankfully there are other, more obscure, far older and much cooler gastronomic par-tays that go on as well.

charcutiers-25986I’m not usually for any type of organized religion and I’ve got no room in my life for blind faith. That being said, however, there is something beautiful to be found in the act of worship,…depending of course, on what it is you’re worshipping. Every year, on the third Sunday of November, nearly 1,000 “disciples” gather in the shadowy nave of a 368-year-old church, just across the street from where Les Halles (the legendary market) once stood. But they’re not there to worship Jesus or any of his sandal-wearing posse. They’re there to praise pork at the Messe du Souvenir des Charcutiers (Charcutiers Mass of Remembrance)! Forget everything you know about “Sunday Mass,” people. This one honors the nation’s sausage, ham and paté makers—an act of reverence I can definitely get behind. The scripture readings? “Succulent meats and sensuous wines, yadda yadda yadda…” (my French is rusty, but I’m sure you don’t hear the words succulent or sensuous in any other sermon delivered by a monotheist). And get this, they even have a procession that includes the Fraternity of the Knights of Saint Anthony, an organization named for the charcutiers’ patron saint!

_dsc0002_1The service concludes with a tasting of dry-cured hams and other mouth-watering delights, which are no doubt chased down with wines that do NOT include beaujolais nouveau. I consider myself a spiritual person, but seldom do I step foot inside a house of worship unless there’s a REALLY good reason for it. Honoring the art of charcuterie would definitely be reason enough for me. In the words of the church’s pastor, “It’s not just about taking care of an organic need of the human body, but, more important, about providing what responds to our desire for conviviality, for sharing, for good taste, for beauty.” A-friggin-men.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ron Washam, HMW December 5, 2008

I was baptized at Our Lady of the Cloven Hooves. When I die I shall not be buried, nay, I shall be charcuteried. Some bodies go to med schools, mine goes to Jimmy Dean.

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2 Katie Pizzuto December 5, 2008

A man after my own heart, Ron…me, I’ve donated my curves to the men of Pata Negra!

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3 Coupe 60 December 6, 2008

Why don’t you have any room in your life for Steve Winwood, Eric clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech..

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4 Ron Washam, HMW December 6, 2008

Wow, Katie, and those are some curves worth negotiating! Slippery when wet.

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5 Katie Pizzuto December 6, 2008

That would be Blind Faith with caps (baseball preferably) Coupe! 🙂

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