Antoine is easily distracted by potatoes on Chapter 10, Page 15. Vivienne probably should be more interested in potatoes. If the French had adopted that tuber, the nobility (of which Vivienne is a part) may have prevented the French Revolution, as the failed wheat harvests played a large role in formenting discontent. Yes, it’s related to nightshade, and yes its fruit, leaves, and stems are toxic. But really, isn’t a little poison worth the French fries?
On a side note, Germany adopted the potato during the 18th century because of marauding foragers for the armies of all the wars in the 1700s. They could empty barns and burn crops, but digging up all the potatoes was too much work and you can’t really set fire to a potato field like you can with a wheat field. So that’s why Germany and eastern Europe became famous for their potato dishes while France did not. Potatoes fried in the French manner did not happen until near the end of the century.
When we were thumbnailing out this page, Julie, Diane, and I had a long conversation about whether Antoine would be waxing poetic over potatoes or corn. We eventually settled on potatoes because (1) potatoes are funnier than corn, and (2) people in Québéc at this time would be aware of maize while potatoes are much more exotic. Julie captured the struggle of potato versus corn in today’s vote incentive on Top Web Comics.