Saturday, June 21, 2008

Guest Blogging: R in France

I arrived in France yesterday. R has been here for about three weeks now and....HE HAS BEEN TAKING PICTURES OF FOOD! It hasn't taken long at all for him to go from making fun of me for taking pictures of food to taking pictures himself, by his own volition. So...I have convinced him to write a guest post, talking about some of his culinary-oriented experience in France, so far. Without further ado... In the words of Neen and Do, I pass the baton.

This was the main course that I had a cocktail reception in the champagne region. It was very flavourful, but it had a bit too much olive oil. I also had some nice champagne that night.

This was the dessert from the cocktail reception. The lady that I was sitting by didn't want her dessert, so I dominated it for her. She's a big coffee fan, so I gave her my coffee as a thank you.

I visited two champagne houses and the first one was Pommery. This is a picture of a cheesy decoration in one of the tunnels. Champagne is kept in tunnels underneath the ground where the temperature is always around 12 degrees Celsius. Making champagne is a very complicated process. The bottles are slowly rotated and tilted upside. Eventually, a sediment forms in the bottom of the bottle (the neck when it is upside down) and then the neck is dipped into a solution that is about 25 degrees below Celsius so that the sediment freezes. Then, the bottle is opened and the pressure pops the frozen sediment out of the bottle. Because the sediment is removed, champagne does not improve with age like wine.

The second champagne house I visited was Moet & Chandon. The tour was very similar to the tour at Pommery, but I found it a bit pretentious. This is a statue of Dom Perignon, the monk that invented champagne.

This is a view of one of the buildings at Moet & Chandon. Obviously, the company isn't hurting for cash.

This is a macaron. My friend in Paris told me I had to have a macaron. Apparently, people line up outside some of the nice pastry shops in Paris, especially around Christmas time to buy macarons. It was good, but it wasn't cheap.

Psychgrad's note: You can check out a recent round up of macarons here.

In the Montmartre region of Paris, we stopped at a cafe for lunch. I was a feeling a bit deprived of fruits and vegetables, so I ordered a salad. It was dynamite. I really enjoyed the "lardons", which are sort of like little pieces of salty bacon.

Here's another view of the salad. The cheese is parmesan.

I spent one night in Paris and went to a restaurant called "L'ardoise", which was recommended by the concierge. For 33 euros, I had a wonderful three-course meal.

This is the appetizer. There was a lot of dill, which I loved.

This is the main course: lamb and peas. The sauce was amazing.

Voici le dessert. Il y avait beaucoup de canelle. I loved the cinnamon!

Psychgrad grabs the baton back...

Wow...I'm surprised at how factual R's guest post was. He's usually a big joker. I think organizing the pictures stressed him out.

Stay tuned...We'll definitely have more posts about our next couple of weeks in France. StumbleUpon


giz said...

R - I have to tell you - I'm totally impressed. The picture quality is excellent and there's no hockey, golf, soccer or football in any of the pictures. There's hope for you yet :) Everything looks delicious. What was in that appetizer besides dill?

OhioMom said...

Yummy looking food, great pics! Thanks for sharing your trip with us:)

PG said...

Giz - here is the answer R is giving me:

- it was a shrimp spring roll-type thing. The red parts are tomato. They were sweet. Underneath was potato. He said it was gooood.

Silverstar said...

That food looks great and so creative! I wish we had the money to go to France. Ah well, maybe in the future. (If we ever go, I will try to remember what R said about macarons:))

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous culinary adventure!

Lore said...

I want to leave for France right this instant and I blame these pictures for it. Wait...aren't they on strike or something?
Bravo R!

Lori Lynn said...

That was a fun read! Looking forward to hearing more!

That Girl said...

Be safe!!!! Have fun!!! Write often!!!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Have a wonderful time in France you two:D

Elle said...

I love the photos--how great that you were taking them! The food looks wonderful. Enjoy your trip!

Michelle said...

Oh...what fun! I'll be keeping tabs on your adventures.

glamah16 said...

Ah, tjis takes me back. I love France. What a great time your having.

Ruth Strong said...

Great pics R.... loved reading the stories about them all too

grace said...

psychgrad, either you've trained him really well or he's a natural food blogger. r, nicely done. i'm crazy jealous.

NĂºria said...

Hey! How come you go to France and don't make a small visit to Spain? If you are thinking of crossing the border, please let me know!!!

Have a great time and enjoy the meals... yummmy :D

Laura Paterson said...

And don't think you can pop to spain without making a wee trip to the UK ;) I'm only about 30 miles from France right now!!

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