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Culinary Tour Around the World: Late Arrival(s) for France Round-Up

My friend, Nuria of Spanish Recipes in Barcelona, arrived late for the round-up. Was her flight cancelled? Or could it be the mañana syndrome? Anyway, she’s such a dear and this is her birthday week, so I’m making an exception (just this once). Besides, she brought a lovely Sole Meuniére.

Also a little late for the party was Liliana of Cookbook Addiction. She made a classic French Onion Soup and Madelines for dessert. I’m such a softie…she went through the trouble of making two things and they were too good to leave out.

But, please, folks, no more late arrivals. I’m exhausted from running back and forth to the virtual airport and I’m afraid we’ll have to leave you behind next time. 

Please be sure to see the full round-up.
Next stop: Portugal February 9 (no late arrivals)

A Culinary Tour Around the World: France Round-Up

This tour is getting better and better, thanks to all you adventurous and enthusiastic food bloggers. Of course, it didn’t hurt that this stop was in one of the culinary capitals of the world…the grand-daddy of gastronomy.

Ning of Heart and Hearth comes from “the pearl of the Orient”, more commonly known as the Philippines. She joins the tour for the first time with this beautiful dish of clams in wine sauce called Palourdes Marinieres.

Ivy of Kopiaste in Athens, Greece studied at L’Ecole de St Marie (in Cyprus) and has a degree to teach French in Greece. For this leg of the trip, she made a savory coq au vin (with a lighter, healthier touch). She also showed her graphic ability with a fun postcard she made for the tour.

New to the tour but not to the kitchen, Chef Holly of Holly Hadsel-El Hajji in Honolulu made a choucroute garni. Don’t even think of touching that ham hock…it’s got my name on it. Interesting tidbit for readers: Holly is the caterer for the TV program “Lost”. Cool, ne c’est pas?

Amanda of Joie de Vivre of the State of Washington was imagining Avignon as she made Sardines Grillees Croutes. She was also imagining new friends, a game of petanque, lunch in a castle…and a dessert of freshly made yogurt, Saint-André cheese and dried plums.
Rachel of The Crispy Cook in Schuylerville, NY served up  Moules de L’Amour along with an amusing recount of one of the first dinners she cooked for her husband and a fast-forward over 2 decades to his new appreciation for these delicate bivalves.

Cindy of
Cindystar in Lake Garda, Italy reminisced about her first trip to France with schoolmates when she was 13 years old and then provided the history and step-by-step directions (in English and Italian) for this lovely Tarte Tatin.

More dessert but no problem…who doesn’t love Mousse au Chocolat? This one comes from Brii, also from the Lake Garda region in Italy, who seems to have created a new blog called Brii’s Blog in English which is delightful.

NEXT STOP: Portugal
I arrive on or about Feb 9; round-up will be 2 days later so get your posts and photos to me by Feb 11am (EST-USA) — or let me know you’ll be late and I’ll try to wait for you.

Romania Feb 16, Ethiopia Feb 23, Russia Mar 2, India Mar 9, Mongolia Mar 16, Philippines Mar 23, Peru 3/30…and the tour ends Apr 6 in the U.S.A. (south).

Happy trails and Bon Appétit to all!

A Culinary Tour Around the World: France

Bonjour…welcome to France! It’s no secret that the U.S. and France have long had a love-hate relationship, but I would like to tell you a personal story about my first trip to France.

September 11, 2001. Halfway through a 10-day tour, we got the awful news about what happened in America. We were in Nimes, the second of 3 cities on our itinerary. Those of us who were American banded together in one hotel room to watch the events unfold on CNN. It was very difficult to be so far from home and our loved ones. The airports were closed and we had no choice but to continue with the tour. Over the remainder of the week, the French we encountered were warm, sympathetic and stood in total solidarity with us. It was a real moment of unity. End of story. On to the current tour.

Food and Culture 
• France was the epicenter of gastronomy for centuries.
• Meals range from very rustic (provencal) to very elaborate (haute cuisine).
• August Escoffier (1846-1935) was considered “the chef of emperors and emperor of chefs”.
• Around the millennium (2000), France started to lose it’s long held stature — not because of any failing on its part but merely because of globalization and the powerful rise of interest in all things ‘food’. While still excellent, they no longer dominate.
• We should always remain grateful to them, however, for what they brought to the universal table: foie gras, truffles, escargot, dijon mustard, champagne, wine, culinary techniques…and style!
Back to my first trip. It seemed everywhere we went in France, we ate moules (mussels). Many times they were served with fries, but just give me a hunk of bread and I’m a very happy woman. So it was a no-brainer what I’d make for this leg of the trip. I did research other recipes but, in the end, I was still craving bistro food. Ooh, la, la! And speaking of ooh, la, la…my friend Mme Marie Levay, a French woman I met on that trip and with whom I’ve remained friends, has her own slant on that expression which makes me giggle every time… “ooh, la, la; 13 kids and no papa”. 

This was my best meal on A Culinary Tour Around the World…so far…and by far! 

Moules au Roquefort
cooked, served…gone!

Pissaladiere (French Onion & Anchovy Pizza)

Et les restants…? (And the leftovers?
Even better the next day with a fried egg.

Since 2001, I’ve  been back to France once (Nice & Cannes). I’d love some day to have the opportunity to explore the whole country from north to south and east to west. The food is too good not to sit at that table again and again!

I’m looking forward to seeing which of my food blogger friends is waiting for me at the cáfe in Montmarte where we will sup on what they prepared while being entertained by street musicians. And perhaps we’ll have one of the street artists do a caricature of our group. They are charmingly persuasive!

Then, dear arm-chair-travelers, we’re off to Portugal…arriving on or before February 9. From Portugal we go to Romania Feb 16; Ethiopia Feb 23; Russia March 2; India March 9; Mongolia March 16; Philippines March 23; Peru March 30; returning to the USA (the South) on April 6. (Itinerary subject to change). If you would like to join the tour and showcase your blog and a recipe, event details are in the post dated January 2. (Red indicates change of destination.)

And, as we leave France, remember “La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin” (life’s too short to drink bad wine).

Please, don’t forget to send in an unpublished recipe to BloggerAid. We are going to be publishing a great cookbook toward the end of the year with all proceeds going to charity.
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