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Tag Archive 'France'

When the coughing and farting of the antique truck had rumbled away, between the rustlings of birds pecking grubs among the dry plane leaves, you could just make out the pop and thwack of rubber on concrete. Ascending a double flight of unusually steep stairs, past a stained glass window featuring farming folk, the squeak […]

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Last year there was unprecedented outrage when the news broke that the meatballs being sold by more than one European grocery chain were “contaminated” with horse meat. This was big news this side of the Atlantic for two main reasons: a) the horses in question are likely to have been American horses, and b) because […]

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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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There’s a show on public television here in America called “Moment of Luxury” in which the host very generously enjoys all manner of fine things on our behalf and then shares his collected pensees about the experience. Traveling around the food blogosphere lately has felt like a surprisingly similar experience for us since our three […]

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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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“Once, at the Denver Airport, a bald girl in an orange dress told me I could be what I wanted.” – Jim Harrison, The Raw & The Cooked There’s an awful conceit abroad the interwebs these days that seems to be encouraging more people than it should to title themselves “freelance food writers”. Perhaps you’ve […]

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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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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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These days, it seems something is always the new something else. You know, Thursday’s the new Friday, brown’s the new black, Palin’s the new devil, Obama’s the new Messiah, etc. But to me, for example, comparing the pain and anguish at dragging myself from bed on a Friday morning after a few drinks the night before, […]

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So, it might be tempting fate, but an unusually warm spell of late in New York has had me craving cooler, more autumnal weather. I bought a scarf and gloves that I’ve been unable to wear unless standing in front of an open fridge, which has annoyed my wife and caused our apartment to smell […]

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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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It’s the Thursday after Easter and most people out there are still picking the candy and chocolate out of their teeth having just gorged themselves on all manner of Easter Bunny-shaped confectionery. Ever the destroyers of convention, we have been doing something altogether more real and, some may say, sinister. Yes, friends, cover your children’s […]

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You may have heard that France, like much of the rest of western Europe and the United States, has recently banned indoor smoking in public places – restaurants and the like. Clearly, for the bon sante of the French this is a good thing, but for us, the occasional tourists, seeking the most exquisite and […]

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What is it about coffee in Europe that makes it taste so good? Why do so many people love Dunkin’ Donuts coffee when it quite obviously tastes (and looks) like gnat’s piss? And why, indeed, do people feel the need to drink a pint of coffee in one go? More to the point, how can […]

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