October 18, 2014

Monthly Musings with Marc - October


Moving to France was a life-changing decision on many levels. One thing that might have changed the most is the quality of food, and that is a good thing for someone like myself. I love God, my wife, basketball, and food. Meat, veggies, carbs, sweets, etc., etc., etc. I like things steamed, fried, marinated, or raw, whatever. France has met all of my food needs - and then some - because of the amazing quality and incredible variety.

Market shopping on Rue Cler.
Macarons in Laon.
The French are extremely proud of their pastry rep. The macaron, croissant, eclair, and then thousands of other yummy treats. But instead of being over-priced or over-sized like most sweets I have experienced in my life, they are reasonable in every way imaginable and thus more enjoyable.

NYE 2013 Wine & Cheese Party.
If pride describes pastries, elite is where I would put the cheese in France. Entire rows in markets, whole shops, and complete fairs are devoted to cheese. Roquefort, chèvre, mimolette, and countless others I can't say or spell. It goes on crackers or sandwiches, it's served as a snack or dessert, and should always be properly matched with wine. (Speaking of wine, can it be included in a food blog? Most certainly, but it deserves it's own post, coming later.)

Turkish kebab.
Egg on pizza: brilliant!
For a quick meal, forget "fast food," in France it's much more acceptable to enjoy a baguette, pizza, or Turkish kebab. Acceptable, and much less greasy than anything I used to eat. 

Les Escargots.
Alex enjoying the duck.
Snacking on pastries, cheese with saucisse (sausage) and bread, or a simple plat du jour have become a part of life for Christy and me, but enjoying an authentic French meal can never be passed up. Start with escargot: garlic and pesto stuffed...snails. :) Awesome. For a main course, have the duck, duh. Or if you are more into veggies, salads never disappoint because they are always huge and filled with a great variety of food. When in certain parts of France, mainly the southwest, stews are more common, cassolet being the most famous. Meat & beans...yep. At the end, get one of those famous French pastries, or my favorite...a café gourmand, which is an assortment of mini desserts with an espresso. 

Cassolet in Toulouse.
Food is so awesome, especially when it's done well. The French take pride in their food and I love that about them. Eating out is great but the best part of enjoying food in France is going to the store or market and finding great, clean food that is well priced. You don't have to go to organic stores to find clean food! 

My Go-To Meal: Croque Madame.
France has changed my life in many ways, but one of the most significant ways is the role it's played in my weight loss. Dropping 40+ pounds is directly correlated to when we moved to France. 

I would like to conclude by saying to the French food obsession: merci beaucoup!