Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's All About The Food

My love affair with France is also a love affair with food.  When I think of France, I think about flakey buttery croissants, lightly salted butter made in Normandy or Brittany, crusty baguettes of bread eaten at every meal but especially for breakfast with butter and jam,  strong coffee - served in a bowl for breakfast and in small espresso cups the rest of the day, plump sweet mussels, sweet and meaty artichokes from Brittany, muscadet wine with the mussels, wines with a smooth finish and an alcohol level lower than at home so I can drink more...  you get the idea. 

We ordered La Crepe Supercaramel

It did not disappoint us.  Camille said the crêpes in France were "lame."  Sylvie proved her wrong.

On the Champs d'Elysees in Paris: Three bowls of ice cream, three cafés - $75 USD.  Ouch!

After lunch café in the Latin Quarter of Paris.  ...looked for Hemmingway, didn't see him...

Dinner at a bistro close to our hotel: duck, frites, beans and a dab of house made mustard. 

But the best eating was in Paimpol where my friend Sylvie has a little stone farm house.   Camille ate mussels and fries (moules et frites) for lunch three days in a row.  For dinner, we ate simply in the farm house: pasta with arugula, artichokes, fruit, and the piece de resistance: crab that we chose down at the port. 

We always started dinner with pain, saucisson and a glass of wine.
Pools of crab and lobster at the port to choose from.
Camille said it would be too sad to eat this one.  I had to agree
We took this one instead.

Sylvie boiled him in her big crab pot and then put him outside to cool.

She started cracking the claws with a mallet... but the mallet broke... she switched to a rock.  We ate the crab with home made mayonnaise.  Sylvie and I were proud of our accomplishment - mayonnaise is tricky to make from scratch.  Her husband usually makes it but this was a girl's only vacation so we had to do it ourselves. 

We had veggies finished off in a bit of cream after the crab.   
And then I had to have my fromage fix.  Camembert, REAL camembert, made with raw milk in Normandy.  Stinky, smooth... the best!  And impossible to get at home.
Me and French food -- we met when I was 19 and we're going on more than 30 years now.  Fortunately, Brett loves it as much as I do since it is what I cook the most.  I can find many French ingredients here now -- butter, for instance -- but no camembert or Bretan artichokes or mussels as plump and sweet.  I thought about trying to bring some cheese back with me but I figured I'd stink up the plane and the airport dogs would be all over me.  ...seriously tempted, though.


  1. Oh my, sounds fabulous... especially all the mussels!

    Glad you're home we missed you.

  2. My husband just informed me that we will also be visiting France in August! How great is that? First visit overseas for me,ever!!

  3. I don't think I have ever seen a better looking food post - ever. Fantastic!!


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