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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Golden Apple

Paris gave the golden apple lovliest-goddess-prize to Aphrodite. Why? So he could marry the most beautiful woman in the world. Thus began the heartache of the Trojan war. *sighs deeply* I never understood it. I never understood the big deal of the golden apple until I experienced Pomme d'Or in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia.

We visited the gorgeous Grand Pre National Park which features a museum with mini-videos of various aspects of Acadian life: one of costumed people reaping hay with scythes and building a hay rack; one of women spinning; one of men weaving green branching through saplings to form a fishing weir. In that video, the Bay of Fundy tide floods and recedes (off camera), and you see the people return to the weir to pluck the fish, waist-high, from the woven pockets. We saw the commemorative church that has a series of murals (picture below) telling the story of the Acadian diaspora and where a cat named Evangeline comes in every morning to rest on a blue pillow.

                                                    Men are being forced on a boat while the
                                                    women and girls (and cat) are left behind.
Outside the church, a path leads you to a reconstruction of an Acadian house, its back windows opening down slope across the salt marshes to the bay. Out front door is a thriving kitchen garden and an apple orchard. It was a drizzly morning, no one was near-by. I know because I glanced around before plucking the low-hanging fruit, a small red apple. I have never tasted such an apple, sweet and tart at once, its sugar calling me back for one more bite.

The Acadians were French settlers, so naturally they brought grape vines with them. The vineyard of Grand Pre takes advantage of all the conditions that allow grapes, apples, all crops to flourish.

Close your eyes.  Picture the color gold, real gold. Now infuse it with sunshine, and, at the edges watch the gold fade to pure light. Pour it in a pretty wine glass. (If you really closed your eyes, you can open them now.  Hey! OPEN THEM!)

Put your nose in the glass and inhale just the faintest smell of crisp apples, sweet and tart at the same time.

Sip. You’re tasting sweet apples and tart, with an alcohol conveyance, sliding over your tongue to the back of your mouth and down with just a hint of sugar calling you back. That is Grand Pre’s golden dessert wine, Pomme d’Or, the Golden Apple.

Turns out there’s an old law. Don’t you hate those old laws? Canada passed this law in an agreement with the US to protect Americans from the sins of liquor during Prohibition. Now you can’t get a couple of bottles of Pomme d’Or (calling you back, calling you back) shipped to the States. What’s that, you say? Prohibition was done away with almost 100 years ago? And you think a government might have changed the law? *sigh*

On our last night in Nova Scotia, we ate a delectable dinner at Chives in Halifax. I concluded my meal not with chocolate cake, not with pie, but with a glass of Pomme d”Or. It was a perfect dessert all by itself (although it paired deliciously with a bite of Steve’s coffee ice cream with caramel sauce), and I’LL NEVER GET TO TASTE IT AGAIN! Is this the definition of pleasure and pain?

                                                   Evangeline on her pillow in the church.
                                              This is how I feel after a glass of Pomme d'Or.
                                            (My sister took this picture.  :)  )
(This will be my last post about Nova Scotia, cheer or sigh, depending on your reaction to that. Next post will be about Squirrel Splat - and that’s not a pot pie.)

1 comment:

  1. minivancook@gmail.comOctober 21, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    Bummer. Because if Squirrel Splat WAS a pot pie, you might be able to gues blog again for me.