Oh la la! Zee French soldiers are treated like gourmandes even on the battlefield…
PARIS—When 200 paratroopers jumped over Timbuktu to reclaim Mali’s fabled caravan city from Islamist militants, they carried a load that French top brass say gives their soldiers an edge on the battlefield: cans of duck-fat laden cassoulet.
The traditional southwestern French dish, a rich slow-cooked casserole, was part of the four-course combat meals, which by French army standards must be robust enough to sustain troops involved in overseas operations, but also tasteful to satisfy demanding palates.
On the day of the Timbuktu jump, the cassoulet came after a starter of deer terrine, and was followed by Camembert cheese and a chocolate cake. To perfect the homeland feel in that remote corner of the Sahara, the brick-shaped parcels came with matchboxes decorated with images of French monuments such as the Eiffel Tower.