Saturday, November 11, 2017

Learning What is Really Behind the French Menu. A guest post by Nadège Lepoittevin.

 Guest Post by Nadège Lepoittevin. 
www.nadegecuisinetours.com
  
It is only rarely that I mention a company or product by name. but Nadège Cuisine Tours offer travel plans close to my heart. This tour company offers such a planned and balanced introduction to French cuisine that I asked them to write an article about themselves. 
 
The authenticity and originality of these tours are due to their creator, Nadège Lepoittevin.  Nadège spent the first twenty years of her life in a small village not far from Cherbourg, Normandy.  There she developed a passion for cooking that has never left her.
 
Nadège reminds us.

The “Repas Gastronomique” is the unique French gastronomic meal listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  This festive meal  brings people together “to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking.”  The authentic "repas" includes an aperitif, a starter, a main course, a cheese course, a dessert and a digestif.  The best ingredients are used, they are fresh and often seasonal. The recipes are selected with care, paired with wines and served on a decorated table.

Nadege Cuisine Tours are all about heritage and authenticity. The authenticity of the traditional French recipes you will discover come with the authenticity of the places you visit, and the authenticity of the people you meet.

The destinations

You are offered four French destinations: Normandy, Burgundy, Champagne[i] and the Bordeaux  [ii]region. Whichever Nadege Cuisine Tour you choose, you will learn what is behind traditional French recipes and the preparation of the meals. In Normandy, you visit a French pastry workshop and get to taste its delightful pastries. In Burgundy, you will visit a sweet factory, within the walls of an ancient abbey dating from 719, to discover how their delicious “anis[iii]” sweets (candies) managed to keep the same recipe over many centuries. You will visit chocolateries[iv], cidreries,[v] vineyards, and fruit farms where they make their own jam. After the tour, you will never eat French products the way you did before; you will know more than just how the products are made.

 
  
Behind the French Menu
  
With Nadege Cuisine Tours you will understand what really is behind a French menu. You will discover and select the ingredients for different menus at markets, farms, and artisanal shops. You may choose to cook the dishes yourselves, and that allows you to understand the true meaning of French cuisine.  In the Bordeaux region, you may visit an Espelette [vi]chili farm.  There you will learn how to cook this traditional chili and other products on a plancha[vii] and enjoy the lunch made with the ingredients we have chosen. In Normandy, you may pick wild stinging nettles in the countryside and cook a delicious, vibrant green, nettle soup. In Nuit Saint Georges, the home of one of France’s most famous Burgundy wines, you will discover everything there is to know about truffles[viii]. You may choose to accompany a truffle dog to understand how they find this golden fungus!

Visiting the markets to buy the most appealing fresh ingredients for a cooking class or a picnic is what, your host, Nadège, calls the authenticity of the menu. Besides the cooking classes, you will learn more about French cooking by meeting the artisans who create the cooking utensils. As an example, you will learn the advantages of copper kitchen utensils from visiting a village where nearly all the copper pots and pans in France are made.

  
Celebrating French cuisine.
  
Authenticity isn’t just about cooking classes, workshops or French markets. By eating in restaurants from bistros [ix]to Michelin[x] starred restaurants, Nadège Cuisine Tours bring you into the relationship the French people have with food. Dining in France means so much more than just sharing a meal. The French people love to celebrate.  A meal begins with an aperitif followed by wines in the wine regions, and ciders in the apple growing regions and is concluded with a digestif. During these tours, you will visit wine estates, cidreries, Champagne, and Armagnac [xi]cellars with opportunities for tastings. You will enjoy learning about the French passion for these drinks.


In France, eating in silence is impossible as sharing a meal is also getting to know the company. During the visits, restaurants owners come to your table to talk to you and chefs come out of their kitchens to check customer satisfaction. That emphasizes the connection between the chefs and the customers.  Then in Normandy Nadege’s family joins you to eat, drink and even speak and sing in French.
  
  
You may choose a guided tour where Nadège is your dedicated host, guide, cooking instructor, translator, friend, and chef!  Or you may select a self-drive tour where you follow Nadège’s footsteps at your own rhythm.

Nadège Lepoittevin
Nadege Cuisine Tours
www.nadegecuisinetours.com
nadege@nadegecuisine.com

Connected posts:



 
Behind the French Menu’s links include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 400 articles that include over 2,500 French dishes with English translations and explanations.  Just add the word, words or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" and search with Google or Bing.

Guest Post by Nadège Lepoittevin.  2017

www.nadegecuisinetours.com

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2017.
 
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bernique or Patelle - Limpets. The Limpet in French Cuisine.

from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
    
  
Limpets at high tide.
www.flickr.com/photos/8647344@N04/5726693617/

Bernique, Brennig,  Patelle or  Patelle de l'Atlantique  –  The Common European limpet. Limpets may not be on too many UK or North American menus, but they will be on many French seafood restaurant menus.  Especially seafood restaurants along France’s Atlantic coast.

The limpet  comes from the same family as the coque, cocklesbulots, whelks; and bigorneau, winkles or periwinkles.  Whelks and winkles were a traditional British seaside dish but have been low in the popularity stakes for a long time.  In their place have come their higher priced more distant cousins including mussels and oysters. Despite that, whelks, winkles, and limpets are still very popular with the French seafood cognoscenti and are also popular in Japanese cuisine.
   
Adriatic Limpets
On your menu in Italy?
www.flickr.com/photos/rubber_slippers_in_italy/240330903/

A limpet’s shell is a light grey to white color, and the flesh inside is usually a light orange. The limpets on your seafood platter are not farmed; they will have been collected daily from the rocks along the shore. Those who collect limpets for the seafood markets are professionals.  If a limpet's shell or the rock close to it is tapped, the limpet will clutch the rock with its foot and teeth and practically cannot be removed. The professionals, who use special tools, can feel this and go on to the next limpet who will be removed in a single movement. N.B. When taking limpets off the rocks give no advance warning!

Limpet teeth are the strongest natural material known to man. Limpet teeth have displaced spider silk as the strongest natural material in the world, according to new research from the University of Portsmouth: www.independent.co.uk/news/science/limpet-teeth-just-how-strong-is-it-10054520.html).

Limpets on French menus:

Bernique en Escabèche – A limpet escabeche.  An escabèche is a marinated fish and shellfish dish of South American, probably Peruvian origin and served cold.  Here the limpets will have been marinated in wine vinegar with herbs and spices used for added flavor.  Raw limpets are slightly chewy, but the marinating will have reduced that.
      

Limpets and spinach

Fricassée de Berniques – A limpet stew.  The original fricassées were only made with chicken; however, that was originally.  Cooked limpets can be very chewy unless they have been very well cooked and so this is the time to ask the waiter how they are prepared.

Patelles au Beurre Aillé – Limpets served with a garlic butter sauce. Limpets may be fried or grilled for under one minute and then served.  Any longer and they will need to be cooked for over an hour.
     

Limpets with garlic butter sauce.

Patelles Grillées – Very lightly grilled limpets.  They will be flavored with herbs.

Terrine de Berniques – A limpet pate.  Here the limpets will be flavored with wine and herbs will have been “nuked” in a blender. This dish is usually served with a sliced baguette or country bread and salted butter on the side.
    


Canned limpets

The limpet does move around underwater when it looks for its food, algae, but it always returns to the same place.  Limpets can live for up to 20 years, and after their death, their shell becomes part of the rock.

Limpets in the languages of France’s neighbors:

(Catalan - pegellida), (Dutch - puntkokkel or napslak  ),  (German - gemeine napfschnecke), (Italian - patella), (Spanish –  lapa).
  
Connected Posts:

  
  




  
Behind the French Menu’s links include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 400 articles that include over 2,500 French dishes with English translations and explanations.  Just add the word, words or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" and search with Google or Bing.
   
Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2017.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com