Thursday, June 24, 2010

Transitioning to my American life

 To cope with travel withdrawal and to share my travel experiences with John, we had a day of extreme Francophilia:

For breakfast, French Toast from French Baguette with French vanilla yogurt and French roast coffee in a French press!!!!

It doesn't get much more French than this.

While driving around Provence I liked to play this game where you try to think of all the foods and things in American English that rely on European country names to describe them:

English muffins (known in England simply as muffins)
French fries (just frites in France)
French toast (known as pain perdu, or lost bread, in French)
Belgian waffles
Dutch oven
Swedish meatballs
Russian salad dressing
German potato salad
Polish sausage
Italian sausage
Italian soda
Spanish tortilla

Can you think of any?
I think France wins for having the most.

Here is John enjoying an aperitif: duty-free Pastis 51 with petit fromages that I smuggled past food-sniffing beagles in customs, plus Gruyere and butter crackers, olives, petit saucissons, and almonds. The only thing that was missing was cornichons...

Close-up on the aperitif

Small cheeses, slightly worse for wear after riding in my backpack, but delicious nonetheless.

The magic of Pastis 51: just add water and it changes color!

For dinner, boudin blanc sausages (also smuggled through customs) with salad and vin rouge from Cote du Rhone (smuggled by Trader Joe's)!!!

Mamie Gateau for dessert!

Here are the special drinks we brought back to share (from left): Cidre from Brittany, La Bastide Saint Dominique, the aforementioned duty-free Pastis 51 and Saint Cosme from our Provencal wine tasting adventures, and finally, chestnut liquor from near Lyon. Quatchi, as always, is such a lush.

I simply cannot resist hauling a backpack full of liquids when I travel.

I never expected to be so taken by French cuisine, but it is super fun to share what I learned and ate. Now back to life as usual, or not so usual because I have never before had a graduate school summer vacation. Next on tap: fieldwork in the Napa River watershed and a road trip to Oregon, Washington, and beyond!


  1. What is on top of those cheeses? Everything looks delicious! May I link your blog to Quatch Watch?

  2. Those cheeses are topped with 'saveurs provençales' or flavors from Provence: black pepper (poivre noir), chives (ciboulette), red pepper flakes (poivron rouge), and mix of five 'berries' (melange 5 baies).

    Feel free to link to our blog!

  3. What a fun game...
    There's also French and Italian dressing. Scotch eggs. Swedish meatballs. Brazil nuts. Cuban sammich. Bologna. And what about Turkey or Chili?

  4. Good ones!!! Russian dressing, too. What are Scotch eggs, though? Bologna is a region in Italy, right? I am sure we could come up with a million foods named for regions. I have never wondered why Turkey, the country, and turkey, the food, share the same name... but I would guess Chili does not have much to do with Chile.