Le glaneur

colander plums

There is a French term, un glaneur, which describes a person who who glanes. If you don’t have any idea what that means, you’re not alone. I had to look it up in my French dictionary and there it was, just above the word glander, which they translated as, “to fart around.”

There’s a heckuva lot of French verbs out there, and I’ve been trying to learn them as fast as my little brain can absorb them, but that was a new one on me. Would one say, “Je vous glande”, or “I fart around you?” I hope not. (At least not around me.)

2 buckets of wild plums

A glaneur (or glaneuse), is someone who picks or forages for fruits and vegetables. And in fact, there was a well-known film called Les glaneurs et la glaneuse about French people who hunt for food.

When we were recently driving around the Seine-et-Marne, a bucolic region just an hour or so outside of Paris, where we were spending the waning days of summer, we rang the bell of a friend of ours, who unfortunately wasn’t in. Yet being the eagle-eyed forager that I am, I fortunately noticed a whole bank of trees across the street, each heavy with branches bearing a multicolored line-up of itty-bitty wild plums that were ripe ‘n ready.

So I stopped glanding around, and decided to start picking.

As I’ve learned living in France, there are plenty of rules, but the rules apply to everyone else—not you. And when I asked Romain if it was okay that we were taking fruit off of someone’s tree, he said; “Nous sommes glaneurs. We have le droit”, the right.

summer plums

And that was enough for me. (If busted, I could claim ignorance, which wouldn’t be the first time; the other night I talked myself out of a ticket for biking the wrong way down a one-way street, which required four heavily-armed policemen to interrogate me at length about.) We hopped up on the roof of the Citroën to gather what we could, with the pleasant smell of the odiferous fermenting plums that had already fallen on the ground and begun their descent into decomposition, perfuming the background. We plucked as many plums off the trees as we could manage, and fled back home.

plums in car

After a slightly-sleepless night for me, the next day we were excitedly back with our bags and buckets. And this time with a ladder. In less than an hour, we’d gathered three gallon-sized bags of wild plums, many already juicing away in theirs sacks and buckets. I couldn’t wait to get home to put them to use.

Since they were so small, I quickly abandoned the knife I was using , in favor of my fingers. After a few hours of pitting, as more colorful juices flew, the more clothes I ended up shucking. And after cooking them up, I ended up with around 5 quarts (liters) of the most beautiful plum puree imaginable.

(Note: It’s fine to pit plums in the altogether, but I don’t recommended boiling anything that’s hot, sticky, that has a tendency to splatter, and requires frequent stirring, in the same state of undress.)

wild plum puree

Enfin, I ended up with twelve jars of the most delicious wild plum jam imaginable. I brought a jar to my friend Jacques, who sells olives at my local market, who’s always telling me that we Americans make everything too sweet.

He pulled out his horn pocket knife, dug in and took a bite, and thought it rather acidic. But since I like my jam extra-tangy, I offered to take the precious jar back home. He wisely refused, and I think tomorrow morning, he’ll be eating his words.

wild plum jam jars

As you can see, the plums came in all sorts of wacky colors, and I sorted out what I thought was a reasonable amount of the brilliant yellow ones to make a bit of sorbet, and ended up with two tubs of the stuff. I don’t think anyone will mind having it around for a while.

wild plum sorbet

Which means I need to make some Vanilla Ice Cream to serve along with it. (Wouldn’t that be great if there was somewhere to forage for free, wild vanilla beans?)

I’d hoped to get back out before all the plums were gone, but now that it’s September, and it’s the end of les vacances, I’m going to have to be content to parsimoniously parson out my wild plum jam over the next twelve months.

wild plums

But when next summer rolls around, if you happen to be driving around the countryside outside of Paris and see les glaneurs swiping a few plums off a tree, don’t blow the whistle on me, or je vous glande.

(For the Wild Plum Jam, I used the same proportions that I used in my Apricot Jam Recipe. The plum sorbet recipe is from The Perfect Scoop, measuring by weight.)

73 comments

  • Aww such beautiful plums!

  • Oh the Colors! David, between this post and your previous on apricot preserves… I feel I am in some kind of technicolor heaven when visiting your blog. And thankfully the farm stand down the road is brining baskets of plums in daily. I do believe you have inspired me to ‘put some things up’.
    Sweet delights of late summer…
    Thank you David.
    -Michaela

  • David, your photos are always so beautiful and vivid. what kind of camera do you use. I use a nikon d90. perhaps it’s the operator, but my photos rarely look this delicous!

  • Always entertaining, David! I’ve been the glandeuse many times, especially around fig trees in Provence, blackberries in Oregon and hazelnuts in Piedmonte. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll never be caught!

  • kimberley: Thanks! I did a post, My Food Photography Gear, which shows what I use. It’s a pretty basic set-up.

    Dragana: I saw a whole bunch of hazelnuts but they weren’t quite ripe yet. Will have to go back…if they’re still there!

  • I’ve said it several times before (and I’ve got a very strong feeling that I’m going to say it again and again in the future): godammit, you’re good!

  • Not too long ago I read an article about how there are many more elderly French people gleaning for food these days, especially after the open-air market vendors pack up and leave. I haven’t seen it myself, but I haven’t really been sticking around the markets that late.
    Anyway, those plums are lovely. I’ve been eating lots of reine claude plums lately :-))

  • I am on a total plum jag, they are so gorgeous right now. Though I need to show a little restraint and keep them around long enough to make something!

  • Hi David.

    “Glander” means to sit around doing nothing, to bum around etc. It’s an intansitive verb, so you wouldn’t say “je vous glande”, but you could say: “qu’est-ce que tu glandes ?” (what are you up to?) or “putain, il glande rien ce mec” (Holy f***, that guy does f*** all), or, shorter, “quel glandeur” (what a bum!).

    As for “glaner”, there is indeed a law that authorizes you to glean grains, potatoes, fruits etc after the recolt, although I don’t know if it really applies to fruits still on the tree.

  • We have those exact same plums right here in our Oakland backyard (more yellow than red and purple).

    I couldn’t bear to let any of the fruit go to waste and ended up with over 40 jars of sour plum and lavender jam, some sour plum chutney, plums in vodka and pickled plums (not so good, actually pretty awful tasting). I agree, tangy jam is waaaaay better than oh-so-sweet.

    Oh, and after 2 seasons of pitting those tiny buggers with my bare hands, I finally figure out that a cherry pitter works magic….highly recommend it for the next go ’round.

  • The colors are amazing. I think I’ve eaten more plums in the past 3 weeks than in the past 3 years.

    Also, I am going to try and use “glander” and “in the altogether” as much as possible in conversation.

  • Je suis une glaneuse aussi! I found a tree laden with mirabelle plums last week whilst on a walk. It was growing in someone’s garden, but much of it was hanging over a public footpath so… I managed to make 3 jars of yellow plum and almond jam with what I foraged into my hurriedly-emptied lunchbox!

  • Oooh, nice, I do speak French but didn’t know the term glaneur either!
    I did some foraging for blackberries recently and loved the jam and crumble I made so much I went back a couple of weeks later to repeat both the picking and the recipes!
    :)

  • Yes! That word–is it possible that I read once before in Michael Pollan’s ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma?’ I think it is the final section of that book he forages for food and maybe he used that term?

  • The word “glaneurs” has to be translated as “gleaners,” n’est-ce pas?

  • You must go to the Musee d’Orsay if you haven’t already to see that famous painting by Millet, “des Glaneuses.” Quite beautiful.

    The plums look beautiful; I take it they were not as sweet as mirabelles? (The previous poster brought back some wonderful memories of eating what is probably the most delicious dessert I ever tasted…a tarte aux mirabelles. If you can get to Lorraine when they are harvesting them…right about now…or for the fete des mirabelles in September, I think….go!)

  • Next time you’re in the bucolic 77, I know an address where the bell would be answered, aperos in hand.

  • I won’t tell if you give me a jar of that jam.

  • yes that would be fun to frolic for vanilla beans somewhere and then frolic for truffles.

  • My mother used to make wild plum jam – and she never pitted the plums. Just cooked them up – the pits float to the top as the plums cook, and can be skimmed off.

  • absolutely gorgeous photos. thanks.

  • by the way, if you’d like a maybe more accurate meaning, “glaner” would be more accuratly translated by “picking up” as it does not only apply to harvesting fruits and other such edible things

    the jam looks oh so wonderful ! please, send one my way in Quebec :)

  • It’s been forever since I’ve eaten a yellow plum. I be so jealous!
    Enjoy the fruits of your labor. ;)

  • I’m heading up to Orcas Island to harvest greengage plums from my tree which is laden with fruit! The jam from these plums tastes like honey!! Thank you for the added inspiration!!

  • Agnes Varda had made a whole fantastic film about gleaners & gleaning
    LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE in english it was called The Gleaners and I
    http://www.cine-tamaris.com/film.php?id=47
    It is about the gleaners of the harvest and the markets and the streets. You would love it.

  • Wild plums are all over my neighborhood in the Oakland, CA hills, but they’re about the size of a fingernail, and the pits are glued to the meat. I’ve always figured they were too much trouble to pit. You put in a few HOURS of pitting, you say? Jeez.

    Also, the skins are bitter on the ones around here. Were yours bitter as well, and they still made fabulous jam and sorbet?

    Don’t mean to sound suspicious. Just trying to justify my own lack of resolve in gathering them.

  • Those plums look like jewels. I let the pits cook out, but the plums I get are large, so maybe that method works better with larger fruit.
    About bare-chested cooking–My brother, a fireman, and all the guys at his station cook bacon while wearing no shirts–spattering hot grease being a substitute for a fire. It was one of their least ridiculous jokes.

  • A volunteer plum tree that has come up in my back yard. I am training it to grow straight. I wasn’t sure what kind of tree it was until this year when it finally put out some green plums that look like the green ones you found.

    I cooked mine in some water and a few tablespoons of sugar, then put them in my muehli (food mill). After going around for a while, all the meat went through the screen and the pits stayed behind. I now have a thick syrup. You have inspired me, so maybe next year I’ll get ambitious and make jam.

    I have made jam from the purple plums that fall into my yard from the neighbor’s tree, but this year there were so few on the ground that I ate them all fresh. I wish he would take better care of his tree!

  • Hi David,

    You make me miss France so much !!! At my little house there, the “pruniers” are heavy with fruit….and I’m not there.

  • JB, Kirsa: Literally, I think, it means “to glean”, which somewhats translates that way into English. But it’s not really a term we use much anymore. So harvest or forage are perhaps more accurate, albeit less technically-correct. (Like when people ask me to translates types of fish or French cuts of meat; often they are similar, but don’t translate exactly.)

    Bertrand: Yes, although I do think it’s funny (and kind of odd) that my Robert Collins dictionary said “to fart around.”

    Linda H: Do you have pictures? ; )

    joe: They resemble mirabelles, but I’m not sure if they’re actually true ‘mirabelles’, or just plums that resemble them. I like mirabelles for snacking, but as you mentioned, to me, they’re a bit too sweet for baking.

    Dianne: I would imagine some are quite bitter. I’d eaten quite a few (ok..a lot) during the picking, so I was pretty sure they’d all be sweet and tangy, and delicious. (And yes, it was HOURS.)

    Joe, Heron: When I was in the restaurant business, we had an industrial-size food mill that would easily handle the little wild plum pits, but my home-sized one I don’t think is capable. It made me feel like I was really working for that jam, which made it taste all that much better!

  • Hi David,

    re the definition “to fart around”. Is the Robert Collins dictionary English by any chance? Here in Australia, and probably in England too, we might say that someone was “farting around” or more commonly (and my personal favourite) “fart arsing around” if they are doing nothing or “bumming around”. You could also say someone was “fart arsing around” with something if they were mucking around with it to no real avail.

  • the exact verb for what you did is marauder :) .

    Actually someone said it in your comments,glâner is the action of coming AFTER the harvest in a field and to take the bribes of grain left on the floor. It can be use also for the fruits in a tree, but only after the moment when the owner has harvested all he wanted.

    On the contrary, marauder means passing by and take some fruits or veregatables (or a chicken, some eggs, flowers, anything) in a garden that isn’t yours, especially when the products are ready to be harvested. If those trees were already harvested, you were effectively glâning those prunes. If the trees were about to be harvested, it was the nasty maraudage. (le juteux maraudage, en fait, as juicy/juteux means “that brings value” and “that gives juices”, in french).

    all that leads to another important french saying related to your story : Pas vu, pas pris ! (not seen, not caught) :D

    about glander, the fart related translation is really funny and odd. At least we know what the guy who wrote the dictionnary does for his free times… :D

  • The first thing I ever baked (outside of my Easybake Oven) was a plum tart from the tree in our back garden. It wasn’t wild but the plums were little ones like this, and I felt like I was baking a fairy tart because I was a very small 10 year old and the plums were very small. It’s like they were made for me, that year! Good memories. The jam sounds delicious!

  • Rhonda: The dictionary is French (Robert-Collins Pratique), and I bought it here.

    Incidentially, my first dictionary was a Harrap’s, which my first French teach picked up and threw it in the garbage (humoristically), because it was English, and told me to buy a “real” French dictionary!

  • Beautiful colors, David, and oh so yummy looking. My French husband and I just spent an afternoon in Savoie picking blackberries near the vineyards and country roads not far from our home. The farmer who watched us picking the fruits from his trees which were overhanging onto the street, told us to go onto his land and ‘get the good ones.’ Very kind although he was a bit gruff in his communications. We made 8 cans of jam from those and they tasted SO good. This would never have happened in Los Angeles!

  • Funny thing about plum trees as you pointed out, they surprise you in unexpected places. I recall that when I was growing up in West Hartford, I found hidden among other overgrown trees in our backyard, a plum tree and wanted to go out and pick. However, getting a ladder was going to happen and neither did the plum picking ( sorry I’m not even going to attempt to conjugate glander.) And those few plums I was able to reach, were the sweetest purple gems possible.

  • Since I have no wild plum trees in my vicinity, you’ve made me determined to hunt for plums at the nearest farm market. At least I now know the term for my gathering black walnuts that have fallen from the trees (or perhaps been nudged off by the squirrels). I keep wondering what the neighbor thinks when I stray into her yard on my quest.

  • oh I have been loving all the plums lately. Around Berlin you find the Zwetschge (prune plums) – I had a similar experience plucking them off trees and being told it was ok. I have also been making preserves. I found that when they have really ripened on the tree you really don’t even need to add sugar at all. Next I need to make pflaumenkuchen (plum cake)!

    Also, I always see plum-pitters in the store here – like a larger version of the little tools you use on cherries.

  • Julie: I’ve seen those plum pitters, which resemble cherry pitters. I don’t have one, but I should probably pick one up for next year. (I have two cherry pitters, since it’s nice to get help.)

    Sandra: I seem to remember wild asparagus growing back there as well. Wonder if it’s worth glaning around to see if either are still there?

    cynthia: I was picking black raspberries too, out in the country, and the trash men drove by while I was ensnared in all the thorns, and wished me luck!

  • Hello David,

    I’m French from Quebec and here we use the verb “glander” when we are just doing nothing or looking around just like that with no purpose or when someone is loosing his time doing nothing. Depends of the context. Different from France because there is no “fart” in our ways of using “glander”.

    Thank you for your nice story. I too did some plum jam lately and it’s divine.

    Take care.

    Cécile

  • David- I love your Blog! You inspire me!!
    Although I haven’t seen any wild plumbs here in Minnesota I did find wild Blueberries. Talk about some delicious Jam!!!!

  • Une glaneuse? Un glaneur? A gleaner?

  • my french is so infantile that i have no business even dipping a toe in this conversation, but when I saw the word “glaneur” it make me think of another one I’ve always loved — “flaneur” which I’ve always understood to mean someone who strolls around aimlessly, a loafer. I really like that these two words – flaneur & glaneur – are alphabetically adjacent. There’s something appropriately lazy in this arrangement, as if they were dropped there by a glaneur so that he wouldn’t have to go too far to find one or the other.

    speaking of flaneurs, anyone making a Paris reading list should include Edmund White’s “The Flaneur”, his lovely memoir of his own wanderings and small discoveries during his life in Paris. David, I think anyone who enjoys your blog would also love this one. They have a lot in common.

  • The plum jam looks yummy. I make plum butter with a touch of cardamon with my end-of-the-summer plums–a simple variation on that American favorite apple butter (which is also nice, depending on what type of apples one uses).

    I love to look at all my jars of preserves lined up on the shelf like little jewels.

  • This post brings up a potpourri of comments. We had a neighbor in years past who was both a church organist and a state supreme-court judge. He had plum trees in his back yard and welcomed the neighborhood children into his yard to enjoy the plums as they ripened. The kids were happy but seldom hungry for dinner at plum-picking time. The translation for “glander” reminds me of a verb-phrase that my midwestern husband brought to our marriage, “fiddle-farting around.” I think it refers to all the little nothings I find to do in order to put off doing something important, like housework or getting the oil changed. Or most of what the people he works with spend their time on. Also, a friend and I made jellies one year from commercially-raised plums and grapes. None had much flavor and essentially we couldn’t tell the plum jelly from the grape. I’d love to try your jam and see what it is really supposed to taste like.

  • David: Lovely photos as always with a great story added. I have to wonder, though, where do you keep all of these luscious goodies if your apartment/kitchen is so small??

  • My grandfather was an antiquer and likes to gather fruit from his citrus trees in Florida and he chomps down on at least 20 Tums a day. Il es un glaneur to the max, I believe!

  • Fruit trees are odd – one year you get absolutely masses, and then hardly anything for several years (especially plums, it seems to me! Also figs.).

    Now, I should like some of your plum ice-cream with plum compote, I think. And a dollop of creme fraiche.

  • Plum Jam is my absolute favorite, and wild plum jam even more so. Eat some Reine Claudes for me and enjoy the jam (I’ve found plum jam to be especially delectable on Pain Poilane).

    I’m trying to eat as many Reine Claude plums as possible. This year wasn’t such a great year for them, I think, as the one’s I’ve gotten weren’t as amazing as those from past years. But I’ve got plenty of other plums to hold me over…. -dl

  • Hi, david!
    I’m new here, I’ve been reading along for a few weeks, and I happen to have a French as a husband. I don’t know for “glaner”, it has never come up in his vocabulary (or I don’t remember), but “glander”…oh, oui. As I understand it, it should be something in the line “Qu’est-ce que tu glandes?” = “What’s up?”; “Je glande rien” = “I do nothing”. And, yes, quite vulgar.
    I love your recipes and your writing! I tried some of them (the recipes, of course).

  • And they look like mirabelles to me.

  • There is a movie by Agnes Varda called “Les Glaneurs”, and yes, we are quite happy that you don’t sit around glanding because we wouldn’t have this wonderful blog around.
    Great reads, thank you!

  • Being a keen forager myself (and an Agnes Varda fan) I feel I must add a little comment to the translation of glaneur to forager.
    As someone else have pointed out: gleaner is perhaps a more correct translation, but hardly a familiar word. However gleaning refers specifically to a very old system where crops not harvested by a certain time by the owner are free for all to gather. Both in France and Britain this was a legal right and a way fro the poor to get food – and I believe that in France this law is still in action. (Or at least it is an accepted tradition).

    I’m not sure exactly what you were doing, perhaps testing the borders between gleaning, foraging and stealing, but hey – it looks good.
    Of other things to forage at this time of year I would mention Elderberries (for Pontack sauce, jelly and cordials) Rowanberries for jelly and of course nuts and mushrooms!

  • diane: In the picture of the plums in the earthenware dish, those are likely mirabelles, which came off the tree in the yard where I was staying (so they weren’t stolen). Those have that familiar reddish blush and are quite sweet. The ones on the trees that I picked were pretty tart.

    Alex: Yes, I think very few people use the word ‘glean’ anymore. There is actually a group of people that hit the markets in Paris and ‘glean’ leftover fruits and vegetables that the vendors have left behind. There is some pretty decent stuff, although I’m going to keep my ‘gleaning’ to trees in the countryside…for now…

    Bernadette: My kitchen is crazy-small, and even though my refrigerator is fairly-large (by Paris standards), it’s currently packed. I think at some point, I’m going to have to start canning my jams so they don’t need to go in the refrigerator. The plum sorbet, however, is half-gone at this point..and I expect the rest not to be around much longer, either.

  • David,

    Thank you for clearing up the meaning of “glandeuse”….I have been “glandeusing” for years along roads in Maryland…particularly for raspberries. Does it count as “glandeusing” if you are on your own property?–Guess not…I have been picking blackberries on our land in S. Maryland…any wonderful suggestions for their use other than jam, puree….I guess sorbet would be wonderful!

    I met you in a Divina Cucina class in Florence three years ago…just reconnected to your site..(.had computer problems) and thoroughly enjoy it! thank you for all the entertainment!

  • OOOOPS…..Added a “D” to the word “glaneuse” which is a really bad mistake if you get my “drift”. I meant that I have bee “glanuesing” ( if that is a word) for years…as in foraging. Although, I suppose “glandeuse” has happened occasionally.

    Sorry if I offended anyone…and if I made you laugh, that’s good!

    (think I need to stay away from French verbs!)

  • Americans do make everything too sweet! As an Australian, I automatically cut down the amount of sugar in American recipes because they all use wayyy too much sugar for my taste. Thanks for the “je vous glande” tip. Now I have something to bring up in French class for everyone to crack up over like immature little middle schoolers. Too bad I’ll be in Paris over the Australian summer…I can’t attack all of the stonefruit for jam. And last summer I was overseas too! One of these days, I swear…I might even break my seasonal eating rule and splurge on American cherries. But that would be going a bit too far. I think.

  • oh, you should watch “les glaneurs et la glaneuse” by agnes varda!

  • I agree with Bertrand. Glaner and glander have different meanings. Glander has a pejorative connotation. I was a glandeuse back in the days, en train de bouquiner et siroter un diabolo menthe dans les cafes parisiens. You can’t say je vous glande. When I start learning English, Robert Collins was my bible but unfortunately dictionnaries don’t always convey connotation.

    Enjoyed reading your posts, as always :)

  • What a great post David! and I love how foragers have rights :) We moved into a new house this spring and discovered to our delight that there is a wild plum tree in the neighbour’s gaden that dropped a TON of those little yellow plums in our yard! Jams, muffins, clafoutis, crumbles – it was a plum jamboree :)

  • Ah! I severly burned my hand making a plum tart with a bunch of those lovely golden-green beauties.
    It was worth the pain as the tart was absolutely divine.

  • This is such a funny story! My mother in law is a skilled glaneuse and I remember being stunned the first time she happily picked off apples and berries as we went for a stroll! My neighbor has an overloaded orange tree, but I don’t suppose he would appreciate me glanding his tree…

  • Romain is right. French law protects les glaneurs. They do have le droit. Haha!

    By the way, the director of that movie made up the word “la glaneuse”. There is no female variant, according to the film. (cf your made-up-French-words discussion in another post.)

  • I hate to admit it, but I think that “stolen” wild fruit tastes better. My sister and I were visiting Versailles a few days ago and found ourselves absolutely famished, not having packed a lunch and underestimating the time it would take to see everything. My sister was just starting to get cranky when I spied great big purple bunches of wine grapes in Marie Antoinette’s little garden, and despite her nervous worries that we’ll get caught, I picked a bunch as a snack. Then we found the beautiful cherry tomato plants…and had another snack. By the time we got to the third garden, my sister (who knows nothing about cooking or plants) walked up to the nearest bush (a tall and absolutely lovely rosemary bush), put her hands on her hips and announced…”Alright, what are we eating here?”
    I would have loved to find a plum tree as well :D

  • Anna: Well, you don’t need to steal fruit at Versailles. Just head over to the Potager du Roi, Louis XIV’s fruit and vegetable garden. They sell the fruit (and I don’t think they’d look kindly to anyone swiping it off the trees!)

    Dan: I wondered about that one. When I tell my friends here that not having feminine counterparts for occupations is somewhat sexiste, they usually tell me that the word is pas jolie, so I let it go–because you can’t really argue with that logic.

    Vidya: Well, I’m American and I like things on the tart-and-tangy side. So although there are a lot of very sweet things in the states, there are a few rebels ; )

  • Even better than somewhere to forage for free, wild vanilla beans would be somewhere to forage for free, gourmet vanilla ice cream. Somewhere like your apartment, for instance. I jest, I jest! But une fille peut rêver.

    Seriously, it’s just as well I don’t have access to free ice cream, gourmet or otherwise, of any flavor. Despite the fact that la crème glacée me fait péter like you wouldn’t believe, it’s one of those delightful desserts that I just can’t turn down or turn off the tap after I’ve consumed more than my fair share. When it comes to all things lactose, I’m très tolerant of my intolerance. The après-glacée glanding is pretty gross though.

  • So, I’m probably totally wrong, but my French textbook, in one of its cultural asides, said that the French countryside has a fair amount of land in the public domain, but not in large chunks. It’s essentially around the edges of towns, in gullies, along creeks, and other sections of land that aren’t great for houses or farms. Historically, this land was a source of wild game like birds, rabbits, etc. and probably wild fruit trees, and as it was for public use I imagine whatever could be gleaned that was edible was fair game.

    Interesting article hear, about a plague of rabbits devastating French crops and leading to litigation:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article3785042.ece

  • This reminds me of a family trip to Greece when I was 10. We stumbled across a nearly-finished and uninhabited subdivision with orange trees lining the streets, all dripping with ripe fruit. My parents picked plenty, only to realise they were Seville oranges. Never ones to let something go to waste, they decided to make marmalade on the two gas burners in the tiny kitchen of our campervan!

  • http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/french/ilsetaie.htm

    The link is to the French Christmas song: The Legend of St. Nick.
    I learned that song in high school French, which is why I was familiar with glaner. It’s a totally bizarre song in which three little children get killed by some farmer and St.Nicholas brings them back to life. I always thought it was the weirdest Christmas song I had ever heard.

  • There is always “salle de Fartage” which is where you wax your skiis. But it always makes me laugh. The plums look gorgeous!

  • The plums on the island are everywhere and waiting to be picked, though ours are more Italian prune type than Mirabelle, but delicious is delicious no matter what it’s named.

  • That sorbet looks amazing. I would never have thought to serve sorbet with vanilla ice cream, but it would be like a creamsicle. How sweet.

    As for the “glander” it really has nothing to do with farting. What a funny translation! It’s what the good students call the bad ones. How is it that there are so many words in French that do not have English translations, and yet there are so many more words in the English language? How strange.