Wednesday, March 07, 2007

memories of French food

I never had any budget big enough to eat in restaurants with Michelin stars. Most of my food experiences are in simple restaurants, cafes and street corners. They are, nonetheless pleasant memories of very tasty food. I remember clearly this slice of quiche with an incredible smell and taste to match. The smell of that bacon used in that quiche was so fragrant. It is forever etched in my mind. I will never forget. I remember the young frisee lettuce in Spring found in salads all over France. I took my two young nieces, they couldn't appreciate it, so I ate all their salads and craved for more. "Mesclun" is the name they use. We get them here in our supermarkets but it is nothing compares with their French counterparts. When in France, I make sure, I never pass up the chance of buying some calixsons for personal consumption. They are little cookies made of almond paste with a layer of royal icing. I love them. While in the Dorodgne area of France I tried the delicious 'aligot', a dish unique to that area- it is a mixture of cheese and mash potatoes. It was served with duck confit- the platt du jour that night. In the same town, over lunch, we had already devoured a few servings of 'escargot'- snails, cooked in a delicious butter sauce which we sopped up with lots of French bread. MMMMM good! I remember my first trip to Avignon; there is this patisserie that makes the world's best Florentine cookies, so rich and chocolaty! I've had really incredible rustic food bought at farmer's markets- the homemade sausage, fat and juicy eaten with a rustic farmer's bread roll. In Bayonne, one year, I went to a Moroccan restaurant and had lamb tagine with couscous. That was an fascinating experience. I remember another favorite, french yoghurt. It taste so different from any we get here. It is so much more delicious. It was in Nice that I ate my muesli with yoghurt. I tried to recreate the experience at home but it failed the taste test miserably. I could go to France to just eat muesli with French yoghurt. If you've been in a French supermarket, you can find a vast array of yoghurt in cute little glass jars. C'est bon! Of course, mai oui, there are other memories but these are the standouts! The Caussolet and all the cheeses and tarts and macaroons...........

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