Oh my Gordes

Some French villages are real. They have prospered and struggled with the ages and the ebb and flow of humans – the traits of the inhabitants varying as much as the quantity. One century, a byroad brings trade and wealth. The next war and desolation. Children leave for the big smoke. Families return for the…

The Purple Haze of Provence

It’s like solidified ultra-violet rays. Lavender coats the hills of Provence in shades of blue, indigo and violet. Corduroy streaks the hills, pausing at cypress windbreaks, timeworn abbeys and native forest. The plants form a playground for impossibly cute animals – bumblebees as fluffy as persian cats, plump field bunnies and chittering, swooping swallows. But…

Fatty Liver

This morning, the collection included a Muscadet, a Picpoul and a Chablis from our oyster wine-match experiment. Then, of course there was the Tavel – a palate cleanser before the main, then the rest of the whites with it. I think the “Vallon” from Mas de la Dame probably got popped about 10pm. God knows…

Cherry Frangipane

A trip to a provincial market is always inspiring, but the recent one I took to Tarascon, in the Bouche du Rhone departement was an eyeful of the grandest degree. I came home with a bundle of goodies, not the least, but the cheapest, being a half kilo of deep purple ripe cherries for the…

On taste, or goût.

“So French.” It’s a compliment. For just about any other nation, it would probably be accompanied by a roll of the eyes and a groan – “So Australian.”, “So British”, “So American.” But the French have somehow put a stamp on their style, bonding it to the country’s name with a cordon bleu and wrapping…