Filling delights

Aveyron A classic home-cooked dish, farçous are typical fritters from southern France. The ingredients depend on what the cook can find on the shelves: it’s usually a mixture (which varies with the seasons) of Swiss chard, onions, garlic, eggs and sometimes some sausage meat or lard, and milk or cream with bread. This stuffing mix is formed into patties and fried. The smell of farçous floats over the Aveyron markets, where you can pick them up at a stand and enjoy them straight out of the pan.

Himalayas With a name that sounds like that of an old friend you’ve invited for lunch, the momo is easy to get along with: this small dumpling, originally from Tibet, is now found throughout the Himalayan region, from the mountaintops of Nepal to the foothills of northern India. Fried or, more often, cooked in large steam baskets, they are stuffed with all sorts of fillings: finely chopped vegetables (including cabbage, carrots and spinach), pork stuffing, chicken or yak, and flavored with generous pinches of ginger, cumin and Sichuan pepper. But apparently what’s most important “is to have lots and lots of onions.”

Ghana What’s the prize item in West African markets? Bobo. A giant snail, known as the tiger snail. It’s as large as a woman’s fist, as striped as a tabby cat and is the pride and joy of the women vendorswho tap them gently to urge them back into their shells so they don’t escape. In the wild, they are considered highly prized bush meat and make superb brochettes. The snails are so popular that they’re bred in farms, where they are fed leaves, fruit and roots. The proper name for it is heliciculture. Served stuffed or with a peanut or palm nut sauce, these snails have a legion of fans.

Le jeu d’échecs de Stefan Zweig, sur la terrasse de sa maison de Petrópolis.

Zweig’s chessboard on the terrace of his house in Petrópolis.



The world as it is