Genetic Memory, Huguenots and the Richard LeNoir Market

Have you ever heard of genetic memory? According to Wikipedia, it’s:

…memory present at birth that exists in the absence of sensory experience, and is incorporated into the genome over long spans of time.It is based on the idea that common experiences of a species become incorporated into its genetic code.

I’m sure there’s only a tiny little speck of DNA in me that’s left over from my French ancestors, but I do believe it completely dominates over all the English, Scottish and whatever else is traveling through my veins.

The French part of the family were Huguenots–protestants who rebelled against the Catholic Church during the Reformation. They were persecuted and even massacred in the 16th and 17th centuries. Many fled, including my ancestors who ended up in Manakin Town, Virginia, in 1699.

Like I said, that’s just one vague ancestor centuries ago, but I’m convinced that genetic memory is why I love France so much–especially the markets.

In April, we spent a morning at the huge Richard LeNoir Market just off the Place de la Bastille. I had collected a few Euro from each of my companions and was buying picnic provisions.

Like bread…Cheese, of course…Some fruit…

Maybe just a little more cheese…

We also had pate, charcuterie and some sweets…

Not the most elegant table I’ve ever set, but when you consider that this was just a few feet away, you really can’t complain.

8 Comments

Filed under Food/Cooking, Travel

8 responses to “Genetic Memory, Huguenots and the Richard LeNoir Market

  1. mother

    funny you should mention Huguenots. The NATIONAL meeting of Huguenots is being held in Franklin as i write this comment- Huguenots from all over the U.S are here – probably because the National president lives in Franklin. The weather has been perfect and I think a good time was had by all, I met some nice new Huguenots.

  2. I would love to see the table set; I am sure it was beautiful.

  3. I’m sorry that your ancestors were massacred all those years ago. But remember, it was done in Christ’s name and in some circles that makes it a regrettable, but understandable, bit of over-enthusiasm.

  4. This makes sense to me, because I also speculate that’s the reason I’m so drawn to everything about Ireland. And now I’m hungry.

  5. Julie

    My genes have no memory of France at all, but that spread looks fabulous to me. Could I maybe be adopted by you all?

  6. Mother–I hope they enjoyed Franklin.
    Ellie–That WAS the table! Plastic aside, it was delicious.
    UB–Just boggles the mind what we do because we’re sure WE’RE right and everyone else is wrong.
    Rass–See? It’s true. Which part of Ireland?
    Julie–That’s because your genes are Swiss. It explains why you’re such an excellent yodeler.

  7. Karen

    And a most delightful selection of cheeses, fruits and pates it was!

  8. I really don’t know anything other than “not far from Dublin.” They came to Chicago in the 1840s.

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