When I first came across “Le Melon”, I was immediately charmed by the sensuality and passion of the poem, which btw was written by a French poet—hence his rapture over food, I suppose. After reading the poem, it made me want to bite into a succulent melon flesh pronto. Read on and you’ll understand what I mean.
Marc Antoine de Saint-Amant (ca. 1580)
What aroma do I sense in this room?
What amber and musk sweet perfume
Enters my brain to delight
And my heart to excite?
Oh! Good God! I fall into an ecstatic haze:
Would viewing beautiful flowers in this vase
On top of this buffet
Produce in me an effect so intense?
Has someone burned sweet incense?
No, I do not think it can be any of those
Things that you to me propose.
What is it then? It is something I have seen
In this basket overflowing with green:
It is a melon on which nature, like a glove,
Has engraved its surface with a thousand jottings of love
As a clear sign for everyone to eat
This soft and amiable treat
Not the dear apricot of which I dream,
Nor the strawberry lavished with cream,
Nor the manna from heaven sent,
Nor honey pure as testament,
Nor the sacred pear of Tours,
Nor the sweet green fig’s allure,
Nor the plum juicy and divine,
Nor the Muscat grape on the vine,
Are more to me than bitterness and mud
When this ravishing melon courses through my blood
Oh living source of light, creator of all that is right,
Who sees and embraces all, on my knees to you I fall
In humble gratitude
For the gift of this heavenly food
How can one not be gripped by such zeal and fervor? I was so affected by it that when Ryan and I shared a small-sized honeydew before his concert this past Sunday, I was reminded of the poem and I turned into a woman possessed.
Armed with Ryan’s SLR and coaching, I captured shot after shot of four cubed honeydew pieces (thank you, babe, for cutting the fruit, etc) which I paired with a Balsamic vinegar and honey sauce (basically, mix ¼ cup of Balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp of honey, heat, and reduce until thick).
Now go forth and eat a melon.