Lemonade Tour de France

Lemonade Tour de France
Lydia "Cat" Curran, lemonade connoisseur / Photo by Rob Curran

By Rob Curran

"The connoisseur doesn’t drink wine but tastes its secrets", Salvador Dali supposedly said.

What Dali and other wine thinkers such as Jay McInerney are to the grape, Lydia “Cat” Curran is to the lemon.  Ms Curran knows more of the lemon’s secrets than a Brazilian farmer. This intrepid girl has ingested so much fizz into her svelte stomach over the course of 13 years that she wears a little balloon string around her waist in case she starts to float off.

Hottest Plate tracked Lydia Curran down on vacation in France, where she has been sampling the regional lemonades in between archery target practice with her stuffed animals and watching “Bob’s Burgers” on her tablet.

 Q. Thousands of people devote their lives to the study of wine, attuning their palates to the most infinitesimal details of the beverage’s flavor. Are you aware of any lemonade tasters, and do they do that funny thing where they swish the drink around in their glass and then in their cheeks and then do that kissy thing with their lips?

A: I don’t do the kissy thing but I do the other things.

Q:  What was the best lemonade you’ve tasted in France and what region did it come from, and why was it the best?

It was at an Italian restaurant [in Costellet, Provence]. It was the best because it had the perfect ratio of fizz and lemmonny. Not too bitter, not too sweet. 

Q. What else do you look for in a lemonade?

A lot of the local lemonades here have a lot of fizz in them and they just taste like a soda but I look for more of a fresh lemonade taste. I’m OK with some fizz but, I mean, I’m ordering a lemonade, not a Sprite.

Q. You had one in Carcassonne that I remember you liking.

At the gas station?

Q. No, at the restaurant.

The one that Momma got?

Q. [off microphone] Yes, the one I got.

A. That one was good. For me, it had a ginger ale taste a little bit and it didn’t have enough lemon and the lemon that it did have was sweeter than I would have liked. Also, it had too much fizz.

Q. [off microphone] Sounds like you didn’t like it at all.

A. No, I didn’t

Q. What was your second favorite lemonade?

A. My second favorite was probably one that I got at a gas station that was called Badoit.

Q. What’s the distinction between lemonade and flavored water?

A.  Lemonade is better than usual flavored water because flavored water is really watered down.

Q. Which Lemonade produces the biggest burp?

A. The one that I had today  (at Les Caprices Du March restaurant in Ruffec, Aquitaine.)