TABLE TALK #84There’s something uniquely satisfying about discovering a fact or a quirk that has been staring you in the face for most of your life.
Combine that sensation with Table Talk’s raison d’être - to celebrate the wonderfully meandering conversations we all have around a dinner table - and you’ve got the ingredients for today’s serving…
🍡 AMUSE-BOUCHES 🍡
Read: Raven Smith on Soho institution, Bar Italia
🍝 MAIN COURSE 🍝
Last week came with the discovery of something brilliant, something simple that had been hiding in plain sight all along. We’re not talking about anything sinister, no, quite the opposite, in fact. We’re talking about the fact that Peugeot - producer of the Noughties boy-racer staple, the 206 - not only makes cars, but also pepper grinders..!
Pepper grinders?! I hear you cry. That exclamation will either be followed by “yeah, obviously” or “whaaaaaat?!” depending on your familiarity with this fact. I very much fall into the second camp and upon discovering as much, set about finding out what’s what for you, the readers of Table Talk.
Recollections may vary, as they say, but it seems that brothers, Jean-Pierre and Jean-Frederic Peugeot converted their family flour mill into a steel foundry in the early 1800s, shifting their focus onto a variety of household goods - clock mechanisms, irons, sewing machines.
At the scene of the discovery
A few decades later, they churned out their first coffee mill, meeting demand from the growing number of coffee houses that wanted their wares. Fast forward once again, and in the coming decades, they channelled this expertise into producing their first, and one of the world’s first, pepper grinders.
If you’ve ever sat in a restaurant and picked up a bulbous-topped, fairly weighty pepper grinder, chances are it’s a Peugoet. Their genius was to break the contraption down into two distinct parts - first the peppercorns move into a chamber which cracks them in half, before they are ground into a size determined by you. The adjustable dial on the top of the contraption allows you to alter the style of what comes out the bottom, “from crushed corns for steak to finely ground ones for delicate sauces.”
That the company still makes and that you can still find them in some of the world’s best restaurants speaks to their enduring quality. The discovery that this is the case also speaks to enduring joy that a little grind of trivia can engender. So today, I ask you one final question - what else am I missing?!
Some of the ATFA's re-releases
🍮 SWEET ENDINGS 🍮
Awesome Tapes From Africa have long-championed and reissued back catalogues of artists from across the continent. You can now find a chunk of those tunes on Spotify, and you’ll be all the richer for it when you do.
🍷 WHAT'S NEW
WEDNESDAY'S DOMAINE? 🍷
June marks a month on the road for us as we tour the South West visiting Arkells next week and then East Anglia, popping up in various Adnams sites the week after. If you’re in those parts of the world, keep your eyes peeled for our wines in the coming weeks.
Until next Wednesday,