It’s Thanksgiving in the US, one of my favorite holidays. And the star of many American dinner tables today will be turkey. So how about giving it a French twist?
Here’s a recipe for you, inspired by one of France’s greatest chefs, Georges Blanc. It’s a little late for today’s meal but you can try it another time, maybe Christmas?
Bon appétit !
Christmas is coming and you might be having a hard time coming up with gift ideas. I am here to help!
The French are famously literary, but they don’t sit around reading Proust and Molière all day. They like a good page-turner as well as anyone else. So how about gifting a book that was a top seller in France, but has recently been translated into English? It would be a great gift for a France-lover, or someone who loves good books, or both!
I’ve put together a list of 11 books that covers a lot of bases.You’ll find serious reads, thrillers, inspiring tales, and even a touch of science fiction!
Read all about it in France Today!
Wine has been made in France for a very long time, and names like Burgundy and Champagne put stars in the eyes of wine lovers everywhere. But did you know that French winemaking first began in Provence, thanks to the Greeks? Or that more rosé wine is produced there than any other kind? Or that Italian winemakers won’t let the French use the name of one of their grapes–they have to call it something else?
Learn all about the wonderful wines of Provence in The Good Life France!
Burgundy is home to some of the world’s greatest wines, where names like Montrachet and Nuits-St-Georges set wine lovers’ hearts a-flutter. The wines are produced in a region of almost otherworldly beauty, where you’ll find one charming village after another nestled among the vineyard-covered hillsides. For anyone who loves great wine and beautiful scenery, Burgundy is a must-visit part of France.
Not only is Burgundy a mecca for oenophiles, it is also wonderful place to go for a bike ride. Val and I recently rode along the Voie des Vignes (Vineyard Way), a route that runs through some of the most famous vineyards in the world, starting in Beaune. We pedalled along a 22-km portion and it wasn’t too hard because we rented electric bikes. You can do it, too!
Read all about it in France Today!
Provence’s Luberon Valley is one of the most beautiful spots in France. It is chock-full of restaurants serving excellent food, and I love the ones where Val and I can enjoy a nice view along with our meals.
Would you like a simple café, perfect for an afternoon glass of wine? How about a restaurant with views over the stunning ochre quarries of Roussillon? Or for a special occasion, maybe you’d like to enjoy a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant along a lovely riverbank.
I’ve made a list of our five favorite Luberon restaurants with a view. You can read all about them in Perfectly Provence!
One way to gain insight into a culture is to see what its people are reading. Topping the French charts lately has been The Arab of the Future 6, the final volume of a series that has been a massive best-seller in France. It’s a bande dessinée, or graphic novel, and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. Written and illustrated by Riad Sattouf, one of France’s top cartoonists, it tells the story of his childhood.
Sattouf’s heritage spans two very different cultures. His mother is from Brittany and his father from Syria, and they met when the father was pursuing a doctorate at the Sorbonne. Sattouf was raised in France, then Libya, then Syria, then back to France, experiencing culture shock every step of the way.
The Arab of the Future is funny, touching, enlightening, infuriating, and much more—it’s easy to see why the French love it. It tells the story of a child raised between two worlds, offering a unique look at both French and Arab societies, and is a great read in any language. For those who want to try their hand at reading in French, a bande dessinée is a great place to start, with lots of pictures to help you along, and not too many words.
Read all about it in Frenchly!
France is the land of haute cuisine, with dishes like escargot and foie gras and bouillabaisse. It’s a country with food so elegant and delicious that UNESCO has declared it part of the world’s cultural heritage. So, then, you might imagine that the French, with their refined palates, would turn up their noses at fast food. But the reality is more surprising.
After a rough start, McDonald’s has become a fixture of the French culinary landscape. It is so popular you could even say it’s about the only thing French people agree on! And while there are a lot of similarities with McDonald’s in the US, the French “McDo’s” are different (and better) in many ways.
Read all about how McDonald’s has captured French hearts in Frenchly!
Provence is a magical corner of France, with unique sights, surprising legends, and a rich Roman, Jewish, and Catholic heritage.
Would you like to walk through a rainbow? See magic inside a mountain? Learn about the “Babylonian captivity” of the Popes? You can do it all in Provence.
Maybe you’d like to explore France’s best Roman sites, or the country’s oldest synagogue, or visit the grotto where Mary Magdalene spent her last years. Again, you can do all that in Provence.
To learn more about this most distinctive of French regions, read my series Only in Provence in My French Life!
When people think of French mustard, they usually think of Dijon, the most popular mustard in the world. And maybe they think of Grey Poupon, remembering the funny ads that once made this brand of Dijon mustard a luxury item.
Dijon mustard originated in Burgundy, and today most of it is made by big conglomerates, in factories all over the world. But one company still makes it the old-fashioned way. Moutarderie Fallot’s mustard is made in Burgundy, using traditional methods and local ingredients. And it’s so good that top chefs seek it out for their restaurants.
Read all about Moutarderie Fallot—and how you can tour their facilities!—at My French Life.
This may be my new favorite restaurant in St-Rémy. It’s where Val and I go for delicious food in a relaxed atmosphere.
Sometimes we’ll have a big platter of steamed fish and vegetables, plus a side of that garlicky mayonnaise called aïoli. Another time it will be lamb shoulder that’s been cooked so long that it practically melts in your mouth. And if we want something lighter, we’ll have a bowl of crunchy raw vegetables to dip in flavorful anchoïade.
Chef Julien Martinet used to run a gastronomic restaurant in Burgundy, but decided he wanted a simpler place in Provence. “Everything in my restaurant is homemade and there are no shortcuts,” he says. “I’d rather spend hours shelling coco beans than I would fussing things up to impress the critics.” But impress the critics he has, making it into the prestigious Michelin Guide.
Read all about this terrific restaurant in Perfectly Provence!