Friday, April 19, 2013

Food Obsession

       Lunchtime crowd for take-away baguettes

"In France, cooking is a serious

art form and a national sport."
~ Julia Child

The French are obsessed with food. At least I think they are. Go by any cafe at any time on any day, and you'll see people eating. It pretty much amazes me because I wonder when they work I went over the cafe-thing while we were in Paris, so I won't repeat it.

Let me add, though, that i've also never seen so many people walking around eating. Baguettes are the big choice, but I've also seen chocolate croissants, almond thingies, gelato, fruit, and bread. Know that cliched picture of French walking around with baguettes in their hand? It's true, and often they are taking a bite out of it while they walk.

Unfortunately, I've become obsessed with food since we arrived her. I can sort of do without some of the food-food, but the boulangeries and patisseries are danger, danger, danger. Thankfully, we walk a lot.

As I mentioned earlier, Avignon was chilly and cloudy today, and we spent most of the day inside since I'm still fighting this crap. We did go out for hot chocolate today (Photo below), and we hit the market for something to cook for dinner, but that was about it.

So, pleases forgive me for not writing too much today (No big cheers, please) and allow me to share more photos... this time of food.

(Side note:  Let me point out that I never post my best photos online.)

The French love cheese.  There are shops dedicated to cheese on every block, and every market has a couple of cheese vendors.  The interesting thing is that they will let you taste before you buy, and they will sell as little or as much as you want.  I did try one cheese that I now know was "stinky" cheese.  Ugh.  The rest has been great.

The bakers who set up at the markets will sell bread by weight, so instead of an entire loaf, you can buy 1/4 loaf or 1/2 loaf.

The best-looking strawberries we've ever seen are at almost every market in France.  They've been three-inches long.

Mike had this crab cake one night, and to make it interesting, the chef formed a little crab.  Presentation is almost everything.

Mike loves salmon, and he says that some of the best-looking salmon he's ever seen has been at the fresh fish markets.

Like cupcakes in the US, macrons are the rage in France.  I did a post about them a few weeks ago.

Snails.  Ugh.  But, people love them.  They're also all over the fish markets.

French hot chocolate is great. What else can I tell you?  As I mentioned, we did little today, but we did manage to go out and get a hot chocolate for lunch.  That was it.... just the hot chocolates.

The pastries look amazing, and sometimes they are.  At other times, they're not that great, and I wonder how long some of the stuff has been in the case.  With all of the patisseries in these towns, I'm sure they don't sell everything every day.

Regardless, they look great.  :-)

Spices and salts are big in Provence, and the market in Avignon has a great little spice shop.  Have you ever heard of lavender salt?  Rose salt?  Herbs de Provence?  I'll be buying some.

Tomorrow is our last day in Avignon . . . and France.

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