September 16, 2021

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Little things save Call of Duty: WW2 when the big things fail to make an impact

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This piece contains major spoilers for Call of Duty: WW2’s campaign.

Mitterrand’s last meal sounds like a riot – an ugly, vengeful riot conducted, if riots are a class of thing that can be conducted, against life itself. There were oysters, then there was foie gras, and then there was capon. Michael Paterniti, restaging this grim feast several years after the president’s death, while writing a gloriously dark and searching piece titled The Last Meal, reveals that it was the work of four hours just to get through all that – through the oysters, the foie gras, the capon, the wine.

But the best was still to come – and the worst. The final course of Mitterrand’s final dinner was ortolan, a tiny songbird that it is intermittently illegal to eat in France where, according to Paterniti, it “supposedly represent[s] the French soul.” In preparation for dinner, the ortolans are “drowned in Armagnac and then plucked of their feathers.” They are peppered and roasted in their own fat. You eat them whole.

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