Restaurants in Lyon have responded to the 9pm coronavirus curfew in force in much of France by reviving a traditional but long-abandoned morning meal called the ‘mâchon’, reports David Chazan.
French diners are reluctant to eat early enough to return home before the curfew, so a dozen ‘bouchons’ — traditional Lyonnais restaurants — are trying to tempt them by serving the local version of brunch from 10am to noon on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The ‘mâchon’ features the famed specialities of Lyon, which prides itself on its distinguished gastronomic heritage.
It would typically consist of ‘jambon persillé’, cooked ham in jelly seasoned with parsley, ‘cervelle de canut’, a dish of soft fromage blanc seasoned with chopped, herbs, shallots and salt, poached sausage in red wine sauce, and ‘andouillette’ chitterling sausage with apple purée, and a praline tart to finish.
Traditionally, several dishes would be placed on the table for people to serve themselves, but the virus that has brought the “mâchon” back to life has also forced it to adapt, so it is now served as a succession of small individual dishes, washed down with a glass or two of wine.
Yann Lalle, owner of the Poêlon d’Or restaurant, told BFM TV: “We’re trying to adapt to the new timings and the curfew and we hope the mâchon will help all of us keep our spirits up.”
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