French kissing with the French

Every year Vernon celebrates the gathering in and pressing of his olive harvest by inviting friends to a ceremony at his house. This year there were seven of us. He poured about a third of a pint of the freshly pressed, very green oil on to a central white china plate. We each took a small piece of toast, rubbed it with a garlic clove and soaked it in the oil. Then we removed it from the oil and rubbed it against the pulp of a quartered tomato. Apparently it’s a Provençal peasant tradition. The new green oil catches the back of the throat and isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.