Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quelle est la plante, monsieur?

Not too far out of Chalabre, on the way to Limoux, is a sweeping U-curve in the road at St. Benoit. It courses around a crop that I haven't been able to identify. Every time we've passed this way, I've anticipated another glimpse, in hopes of yet another clue. The other day, with Bill and Kathy in tow to the Limoux market (and lunch at Alaigne), a monsieur was out tending the crop. When I asked for the group's opinion and no one knew, Kathy suggested stopping and actually asking.

"Tabac", he identified as he proudly plucked several of the flower stalks and presented them to us, as if pinning a corsage on our prom dresses. The thought of tobacco leaves had fleetingly crossed my mind, but I asked him if this was not unusual for France. In this neck of the woods, everything is either sunflowers or vineyards. His reaction seemed to imply NO. Through "20 Questions" we determined that his tabac was used for cigarettes---and not just any cigarettes, mind you---MARLBORO! Quelle bizarre.

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