PARIS — A Seder in Paris should never be boring. So when Roger Yvon, an upscale butcher, proposed his signature deboned duck decorated with pitted green olives for the Passover dinner, I ordered two.
Roger knows that my husband, Andy, is Jewish and that we take seriously “the Jewish feast,” as Roger calls it. But when our first guests arrived and I proudly removed the ducks from their aluminum foil, I saw that they had been stuffed with a suspicious ground-meat filling.
For a second, I considered pretending that everything was fine. Maybe no one would mention the stuffing. Or I could say it was veal. But what if it wasn’t? I sneaked into the bedroom and called Roger.
“What’s in the stuffing?” I whispered.
“Pork,” he said.
“How could you use pork?” I hissed. “I told you it was for the Jewish feast!”
He had forgotten. My husband does not keep kosher, but I hail from one of the most superstitious strains of Roman Catholicism (the Sicilian), and I worried that knowingly serving pork to Jews on Passover might be some sort of mortal sin. “I’m on my way over,” I told Roger. By the time I got to the butcher shop, he had cut and trussed a lamb gigot...