A Travellerspoint blog

December 2014

Food Food Glorious Food! - Southern France

Our time in southern France started in Nice. The Italian influence was evident everywhere. It was clear the few days we were there we were going to expand our Italian cuisine experiences.

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We started with socca, a chickpea pancake made with olive oil and chickpeas and cooked in a massive pan. It was crunchier than farinata and just as delicious. We had buffalo mozzarella pizza and a trio of mozzarella (soft, smoked and balls) . Both were exquisite. Desert was chocolate soufflé. and that was amazing!

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Next was Marseille. Marseille definitely had a Moroccan influence in its cuisine. The couscous from La Goulette was outstanding. Fresh couscous with kofte, vegetables and a broth to flavour and moisten the couscous. Simple but heavenly. It was served with sweet hot mint tea.
We had heavenly blue cheese sauce with steak. The sauce wasn't to strong. Perfect. If was followed by citrus tart that was tart yet sweet in every mouthful. A tangy delight.

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Our last experience was amazing! We watched the chefs prepare our dishes while drinking amazing wine. Ravioli with jus, greens, mushroom paste and hazelnuts was our first shared dish. We followed this with a marinated pork steak with faro risotto and hazelnuts.
Dessert was biscuit, citrus filling, almond milk ice cream, Minute meringue and honey cream. Mouthwatering!!

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Lyon was a food Mecca. We started by visiting a Bouton. I opted for chicken with cream sauce and Lewis had beef tongue with a rich, spiced tomato sauce. and potato gratin. Entrees- Trotter, pork luncheon, ear. lentils, potato, bean and beetroot salad.
They had a creamy yet spicy mustard dressing.
Desert was meringue with vanilla custard; prunes, poached pears in red wine, creamed rice and creme caramel. It was a massive meal and an interesting experience .

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The market on the river was full of a wide variety of produce. Fruit, vegetables, bread, salami, hot chicken. It was mouthwatering. Fresh baguette, salad, tomato and smoked pork was a delicious lunch.
Raspberry creme tart and the strawberry almond tart were outstanding at Les Halles de Paul Bocuse. Creamy, sweet yet fruit flavour potent. This market was more upmarket restaurant stalls than a traditional market where you meet the grower and/or producer of the food being sold. I discovered I am definitely a fan of the traditional riverside market compared to the up-market versions that most cities now have.

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Bordeaux was our final stop on our three month whirl wind. To be completely honest Bordeaux was much more about wine then any other sort of food group (wine is a food group right??). We explored the St Emillion region of Bordeaux which is famous for its strong red wines. Our wine tasting was amazing. The wines are majority red from Bordeaux and are rich and intense in flavour. The vineyards create a blend and the percentage of each grape changes every year depending on flavour, availability and the winemakers particular taste. Some years are more renowned for wine than others. I have never considered this before.
Bordeaux is also renowned for Canelé puddings that are made from egg yolks. They are dense and remind me of a slightly undercooked pancake. Sweet and slightly squishy. The puddings were made as the egg white was used to clarify the wine. They are also known as where macaroons were originally made.
The markets were yet again amazing. Full of fresh produce and a huge variety. I have got better at not buying as much but rather just enjoying exploring the sights with all of the colours, sizes and shapes of produce and the smells.

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In most French cities we almost always ended up having crepes. I have become a massive fan of the buckwheat pancakes called a galette in France. They are fulling have a delicious taste and texture. No matter which galette or crepe we chose they were always delicious! It was a easy and simple restaurant choice especially when we were tired.

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Our time in Southern France had some similarities to Paris but it had a huge variety. You can see influences from others like in Nice with Italian and Marseille with North African cuisines. But you can also see the standard french of baguettes, fresh produce and cheese. Each area as there own speciality. I guess Lyon with its Buochons was a key example of this..though I don't think it would be a favourite for me to repeatedly go and eat at.
The time and passion spent on food and wine here was seen. There was a real passion seen in the producers which is from the demands that the consumers put on them for quality fresh products.
It was a great thing and I can't wait to see more fresh food like it.

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Posted by chellebelle 07:09 Archived in France Tagged food market wine porn cheese steak cous Comments (0)

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