Details from the menu for a Christmas Eve supper described in the first novel of Lawrence Durrell's Avignon Quintet provide a unique opportunity to explore the author's depiction of Provence from a culinary perspective. Although the origins of this menu can be traced to medieval times, Durrell's inclusion of Chicken flamed in Cognac conflicts with the holiday supper's traditional meatless nature. Moreover, raïto, a fish dish with ties to Provençal nationalism during the nineteenth century, serves as an important clue in discovering Durrell's primary source used for the crafting of his menu—a work on Provence by an earlier and now largely forgotten American writer. In the course of exploring this menu, we gain new insights regarding the little-known culinary side of Durrell as well as his interpretation of Provence's spirit of place through its cuisine.

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