- The Plate
The Hidden Pleasures of Compote
The family served a local aperitif, rillettes made in their kitchen, white asparagus from their garden and a chicken from their flock. At the end of the meal, the proprietor plunked down on the table a bowl of dark fruit in a thin liquid.
“From my cherry tree, out front,” he said, spooning up small bowls. I looked in mine, wondering if I had heard him correctly. They were cherries, cooked but with the pits still inside, some of them still on the stem. He served them accompanied only by a plate of shortbread biscuits. “They’re just done in water,” his wife told me. “Water and a little sugar to bring out the juice.”
As the meal wound down, people talked about