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HONORÉ DE BALZAC AND MARASCHINO


"It was in that city where Maraschino is produced. Zara (Zadar). I was there. It is on the coast ... ".

 

 

Maraschino is an original Zadar´s liqueur recognized all over the world. It is famous for its distinctive sweet taste and aroma. Maraschino is prepared according to the traditional recipe of a pharmacist of Dominican monastery from the beginning of the 16th century. This liqueur is produced from the distillate of Dalmatian cherry marasca and rightfully carries the name „king of all liqueurs“.

 


Famous French writer Honoré de Balzac  described in his novel "Un début dans la vie" (A Start in Life), a conversation between Schinner and Georges, which was about the town Zadar and Dalmatia:


"It was in that city where Maraschino is produced. Zara (Zadar). I was there. It is on the coast ... ".



 

 

Honoré de Balzac: A Start in Life (Un début dans la vie)

 

 Hearing the right name given, the count, who had been sent by Napoleon on one occasion to the Illyrian provinces, turned his head and looked at Georges, so surprised was he.


"The affair happened in that town where they make maraschino," continued Schinner, seeming to search for a name.


"Zara," said Georges. "I´ve been there; it is on the coast."


"You are right," said the painter. "I had gone there to look at the country, for I adore scenery. I´ve longed a score of times to paint landscape, which no one, as I think, understands but Mistigris, who will some day reproduce Hobbema, Ruysdael, Claude Lorrain, Poussin, and others."


"But," exclaimed the count, "if he reproduces one of them won´t that be enough?"


"If you persist in interrupting, monsieur," said Oscar, "we shall never get on."


"And Monsieur Schinner was not addressing himself to you in particular," added Georges.


"´Tisn´t polite to interrupt," said Mistigris, sententiously, "but we all do it, and conversation would lose a great deal if we didn´t scatter little condiments while exchanging our reflections. Therefore, continue, agreeable old gentleman, to lecture us, if you like. It is done in the best society, and you know the proverb: ´we must ´owl with the wolves.´"


"I had heard marvellous things of Dalmatia," resumed Schinner, "so I went there, leaving Mistigris in Venice at an inn--"


"´Locanda,´" interposed Mistigris; "keep to the local color."


"Zara is what is called a country town--"


"Yes," said Georges; "but it is fortified."


"Parbleu!" said Schinner; "the fortifications count for much in my adventure. At Zara there are a great many apothecaries. I lodged with one. In foreign countries everybody makes a principal business of letting lodgings; all other trades are accessory. In the evening, linen changed, I sat in my balcony. In the opposite balcony I saw a woman; oh! such a woman! Greek,--that tells all! The most beautiful creature in the town; almond eyes, lids that dropped like curtains, lashes like a paint-brush, a face with an oval to drive Raffaelle mad, a skin of the most delicious coloring, tints well-blended, velvety! and hands, oh!--"

 

….

 

"Monsieur, are there farms in that country?" asked Père Léger. "What do they cultivate?"


"Maraschino," replied Mistigris,--"a plant that grows to the height of the lips, and produces a liqueur which goes by that name."


"Ah!" said Père Léger.


"I only stayed three days in the town and fifteen in prison," said Schinner, "so I saw nothing; not even the fields where they grow the maraschino."


"They are fooling you," said Georges to the farmer. "Maraschino comes in cases."