May 16, 2016

Provence’s Olives Start to Finish

Provence’s Olives Start to Finish

Ginger has long loved olives, for their salty taste.  Nutmeg’s appreciation for olives has been acquired in recent years and certainly more so after spending time in Provence.  The olive tree is probably as old as the earth and may have even been one of the plants in the “Garden of Eden”. The Olive Story will give you more details on olives, if you are interested. Nutmeg is fascinated by the olive, for it’s history, the tiny spring buds, the wide-spread use in Mediterranean cooking and of course because they taste fabulous. The following post is a photo expose and a new favourite recipe in honour of the olive. (more…)

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May 2, 2016

The Perfume and Candles of Provence

The Perfume and Candles of Provence

Does that sound romantic?  Actually… Ginger was away in Canada, and Nutmeg was certain that he had zero interest in visiting the Provence perfume distillery le Musée des Arômes or candle maker at the Ciergerie de l’abbaye des Prémontrés. (more…)

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May 25, 2015

Couscous takes over French Favourites

Couscous takes over French Favourites

Forget magret de canard and moules frites – couscous served with its savoury slow-cooked stews is popular in French cuisine. It was voted France’s 3rd favourite meal in a study conducted for Vie Pratique Gourmand (2011). There are references to couscous consumption in France that date as far back as 1630 (Toulon) and 1699 (Brittany). (more…)

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December 3, 2012

Languedoc Food and Wines

Languedoc Food and Wines

It would be impossible to describe in any significant detail, the unique culinary treasures of the Languedoc region in a single blog post. Nutmeg has decided to take you on a little driving tour to share a few Languedoc food and wine highlights. The Étang de Thau is a natural seawater lagoon. The lake is about 20 km long and relatively narrow at 8 km wide, it separated by a sand bar from the Mediterranean Sea. The Étang de Thau joins the Canal du Rhone at Sète and the Canal du Midi at Agde. The lagoon is a valuable water body for the production of shellfish in France, including oysters and mussels. The oysters and mussels grow in farms, in the waters of the Étang, once harvested; they are marketed as Bouzigues Oysters. The mistake that Ginger and Nutmeg made was to go to the village of Bouzigues on a Sunday at lunch time, with no reservation. There was not a parking space to be had, and the restaurants were full. The group had to return to Meze to find a roadside restaurant, the shellfish was delicious and the white wine a perfect match. (more…)

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November 5, 2012

The School of Epicurus in Provence

The School of Epicurus in Provence

There have been volumes written on the teachings of Epicurus, which will not be repeated here.  He and his followers would meet in his garden, around 307 BC. The philosophy of Epicureanism evolved from those encounters. In the Epicurean view, the highest pleasure (tranquility and freedom from fear) was obtained by knowledge, friendship, and living a virtuous and temperate life. Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism) Lead a simple life. (more…)

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October 24, 2011

A Day in Brittany Without Leaving Aix en Provence

A Day in Brittany Without Leaving Aix en Provence

Ginger and Nutmeg have a dear friend in Aix en Provence who is a proud Breton by origin. Although, Delphine has lived in the south of France for a number of years, she stays close to her roots by running a delightful crêperie in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, called Crêpes Cidre & Compagnie. One hot day in August, Ginger and Nutmeg had a crêpe-making lesson from the expert, and a brief introduction to another culture. Here, are a few ABCs in order to better appreciate the natives of northwestern France. (more…)

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March 28, 2011

France for Foodies in Provence

France for Foodies in Provence

There is no question, France is a must visit place for foodies and market lovers.  Nutmeg, as you already know is market crazy.  She finds that there is something completely engaging about the sights and sounds of a market.  In particular, Nutmeg loves the literal buzz of the commercial activity resulting from the connection of buyers to vendors, who are in many cases the actual producers.  Southern France is a critical food production area for the country, with a slightly milder climate, the growing season is long and literally “fruitful”. (more…)

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October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween in France a Pumpkin Salad Recipe

Happy Halloween in France a Pumpkin Salad Recipe

Halloween (“Old Hallows Even”) has been typically associated with the Celtic festival of Samhain.  The name means summer’s end.  The celebration is to denote the end of the lighter half of the year and the start of the darker part of the year.  Ginger loves Halloween, a big kid at heart he loves to buy the candy and hand it out to the many visitors who come by on that evening.  Ginger loves the interaction with all the ghosts, goblins, princesses, cats, action figures, pirates and anything else that shows up looking for a sweet hand-out.  Nutmeg is not as interested in this process of moving into the darker part of the year.  She does however, love to see how her brother (Papa Q) and sister-in-law (Sugar) celebrate the event with much joy and festivity (and crazy outfits). (more…)

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October 18, 2010

Saturday Market in Chamonix France

Saturday Market in Chamonix France

A beautiful Saturday morning in Chamonix with Saffron as tour guide, Nutmeg, Ginger and Jade (the dog) all head to the Chamonix Centre farmers market.  The market runs Saturday mornings from 8am-12pm all year round.  This market is about 50/50 food vendors and other merchants (clothes, traditional crafts, household goods).  The food vendors run the full spectrum; of fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread, honey, fish, cured meats and flowers. There is lots of choice, and almost all of the food is “local” within a few hours drive.  However, the market does cater to tourists as well so buyer beware!  Our story below should serve to reconfirm that statement…. (more…)

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