May 5

While dining at an out-of-the-way spot in the 11e arrondissement, our correspondent makes a startling discovery: In French, pomme can mean both "apple" and "potato." The metaphysical implications are, to say the least, Gopnikian. Where Americans see deep frying as a discrete activity, to be consummated with a minimum of fuss and perhaps even a certain embarrassed informality, the French draw no distinction between the preparation of delicious golden potatoes and the seasonal rhythms that attach to that most elemental (even biblical?) of fruits. This item goes into our correspondent's already packed notebook of ideas for future essays.

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