In France, but not everywhere, it is a widely-accepted belief that when something mundane and ordinary is a perfect version of itself it can be sublime. In the countryside, near Nantes, I met a maraîcher, which is a special kind of market gardener, a cherished profession in this part of the Loire valley, where the alluvial soils are renowned for producing the best carrots, leeks, onions and potatoes. (The carrots are especially famous.) In the past there was a big business selling these vegetables to ships to provide for long ocean journeys. For the same reason, biscuits from here are also famous. ...


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