Julia went to France in 1948, accompanying Paul to his State Department appointment. Enroute to Paris, a dinner in Rouen was a transforming experience. She ate oysters portugaise (on the half shell), and drank a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé (white wine) with sole meuniére (filet of sole in butter and lemon), green salad, crème fraiche (French cream), and café filtre (strong coffee).
“The whole experience was an opening up of the soul and spirit for me…I was hooked, and for life, as it has turned out...I was a late bloomer who was still growing up. I didn’t get started on life until I was about thirty-two, which was good because I was old enough to appreciate it. I had it all ahead of me.”