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Category Archive for 'French'

It must go down among the biggest porkies a man ever told a woman – right after Christopher Columbus telling his mother he wouldn’t be long; he and a few friends were just taking their boats out for a spin. And, never has the term “farm”* been used more euphemistically than when Felipe V of […]

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Since we defected to the suburbs, started going to bed at 9.30 and became generally boring and matronly, one aspect of the luxury of space afforded by our new location that we have enjoyed particularly is having two fridge-freezers. The second appliance has not only allowed us to give free-reign to our kleptomaniacal tendencies — […]

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The cuisines, if you call them that, of Northern Europe have been maligned, and fairly, in many cases, for years. The food having been considered by some commentators to be so bad that it was posited as a contributing factor to the higher rates of suicide in those areas. Indeed, anyone who grew up on […]

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“Je me souviens” I shall not forget / I remember – Quebecois motto You never forget your first poutine the saying doesn’t go. But it should. After all, what gastronomic experience could be more profound than the comforts of crispy fries, luscious gravy, and melty cheese curds, followed immediately by sleepiness, the fat sweats, and […]

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As Montreal braces for its annual mid-winter festival, a lot of which takes place au plein air as they might say, much of the US East Coast braces itself for the kind of frigid, snowy conditions that Montrealers witness 6 months of the year, illustrating just one of the ways they and their city distinguish […]

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Rarely on time, and never on trend, we are perennially late to the party. Yes, we may have been blogging about offal since way before David Chang made it cool, but we have yet to purchase our first ironic message tee featuring butchery terminology or get our forearms inked with a selection of cutlery. This […]

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The largely unknown city of Compiegne, France, has the distinction of being the site of one of Louis XV’s most extravagant homes away from home. Under him, the Chateau de Compiegne became one of three distinctly opulent seats of government alongside Versailles and Fontainbleau. The latter French monarchs were hardly known for their desire to […]

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Classic French cooking doesn’t get much more classic than chicken in tarragon cream sauce. This bistro menu stalwart has all the unctious elements you instinctively associate with Gallic gastronomy: butter, cream, wine and mild herbs. Likely originating in that blessed triangle just north of Lyon where the famous blue-footed chickens of Bresse neighbor the Cotes […]

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According to British and Irish tradition, black pudding has an esteemed place next to the bacon rashers, sausage links, fried eggs, mushrooms, fried tomato and fried slice in an old-fashioned greasy spoon breakfast, but its almost complete absence from the American breakfast table is confusing, especially given our known preference towards an injection of cholesterol […]

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The culinary memoir has to be one of my favorite genres of both cookbooks and books in general. Combining anecdotes, family history and delicious recipes, and spanning literature and cuisine, there’s really nothing better than a cookbook that you can actually read, that’s not just a selection of quick and easy recipes by some personality-laden […]

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Every now and then I’ll sit through one of those “secrets of the ancient world” shows on the History Channel. You know, the ones in which they have modern experts try to “decode” how the pyramids or the hanging gardens of Babylon were constructed using graphics that make you feel like you’re watching B-roll from […]

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The destiny of nations depends upon the manner in which they are fed.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin The basic premise of William Alexander’s recent book, 52 Loaves, like his first title The $64 Tomato, is that the author becomes so obsessed with a particular project, in this case creating (and growing wheat for) the perfect loaf […]

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A lot has been made of the glory and diversity of America’s road-foods by such hit US TV shows as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which, if you haven’t seen it, features a bleach-blond moron traveling the highways and byways of this great nation gorging himself on deep-fried hamburgers, the world’s spiciest chicken wings, and platters of […]

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Amy and I spent the week between Christmas and New Year in the French departments of Picardie and Nord-Pas-de-Calais which are, historically, along with large swathes of Belgium and Zeeland in Holland, part of the larger area of Northern Europe known as Flanders. These mostly flat and seemingly bucolic rural regions of north-eastern France were […]

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Do you ever wish you had a secret power? I don’t mean like some stupid superhero who can fly, make it rain, or look great in a unitard. I mean like a gerbil’s ability to store tasty bits in its cheeks for later, or a tiger’s ability to eat 30lbs of wild boar at a […]

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Before we head off to England (and a five day side-trip to Northern France) to visit the across-the-pond family, we wanted to leave you with a different option for your Christmas Day meal.  Some families love making hard-core meals for Christmas Day dinner – meals that take hours to cook and include many courses or […]

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As with a few other fellow bloggers, we were lucky to receive one of my favorite “blog freebies” to try recently – truffle products by La Boutique de la Truffe.  Cha-ching!  As some know, for most of us, blogging will barely help us buy a cup of coffee at a year’s end – that is […]

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Turning rustic country fare into a slick restaurant best-seller has become so hackneyed these days that finding a post-modern reconstructed pot-au-feu for $45 in a hot new city dining spot can’t be far away. However, (and while we may be wrong) it might be a while before this garlic and wine soup hits high-end eateries […]

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In the tiny Cheshire hamlet of Lower Peover (pronounced “peever”) is the delightfully rustic country pub “The Bells”, so-called because one has to literally walk around it to get to the parish church. In fact, so aligned are church and boozer that the two are separated by only fifty feet of graveyard, a low gate […]

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In several of his well-known paeans to Provence, Peter Mayle describes, both lyrically and at great length, his love affair with the black truffles of that region. Sometimes couched as a cloak-and-dagger chase involving bizarre and nervy rendez-vous’ along dimly-lit back roads, or illicit dealings with “men with dirt under their fingernails and yesterday’s garlic […]

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Perhaps the day that both our teams (Manchester United & Philadelphia Eagles) won unlikely decisive victories in the realm of competitive sports, is the best day to dwell on the recent personal glory of our seafood soufflés staying up. However – even if (quite sensibly) you don’t give a rat’s ass about sports – anyone […]

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It’s been a nice, long and relaxing break.  We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!  It’s good to be back, but it’s difficult to write about food when all you can think about is avoiding it for a bit to detox from the holidays.  This holiday season we ate like kings, we drank a lot […]

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Gentle readers, please sympathize with me, for I, like a man who’s been dining exclusively on centipedes, have the bitter taste of defeat in my mouth. That this humiliation and defeat arrived, to twist a metaphor, at the hands of nothing more sinister than a pig’s foot, has only served to exacerbate these feelings of embarrassment and self-loathing. Those of […]

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We’ve been in Montreal all weekend and just recorded a podcast from our hotel. Luckily for you this isn’t a video or else you’d see us in all our morning-breath, non-brushed hair glory! Check out this fun podcast touching on a few of the great things we’ve been up to during our few days north […]

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A few months ago I was contacted by a representative of a site called cajungrocer.com. He offered to send us some Cajun treats if we would do a bit of a write-up on their products. Well, what else could I say but “Hell YEAH!”. We had our choice to sample crayfish, turducken or boudin. It […]

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It’s always fun to be with my British husband and celebrate the 4th of July. Some of his favorite questions he been asked many times since moving to America to be with moi is, “So, Jonny, what’s Thanksgiving like in England!?” or “How do you guys celebrate the 4th of July in England!?”. Such silly […]

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For this month’s drink, I considered writing about several summer classics, and was nearly persuaded that a paean to my proletarian love — cold beer — might suffice in both the “pure sunshine in a glass” sense, and because it’s typically my leading beverage in terms of volume consumed between June and September. The problem […]

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Download WNF Podcast #2: Sandwich de Merguez A few summers ago we were very fortunate to spend a long vacation traveling through northern Spain and southwestern France. It was our first real vacation alone since Amy and I had met, and was especially well-deserved because we had spent the previous 12 months going through the […]

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In the British calendar the final Tuesday before Lent is known as “Shrove Tuesday”, though it’s more often referred to as “pancake day” in modern times. The derivation of the word “shrove” is unclear but it is thought to be derived from “shriving” or asking forgiveness for sins, a typical Christian activity on this day. […]

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