The first time I heard the word, “ratatouille,” I was 14 years old and sitting on a cushioned movie theater seat, snug between my mom and my sister, watching the rat Remy come to life as an ambitious Parisian chef. I chose gummy bears and my sister, popcorn, and we sat next to each other to pass the snacks back and forth, enjoying the salty crunchiness of the popcorn and sweet chewiness of the candy.
Other than the hour or so of Pixar-animated entertainment, the movie didn’t make much of an impression on my young-teen mind. In fact, I barely thought about the story or the food again until six years had passed and I was sitting on a wobbly, white plastic stool in a tiny kitchen in Paris. Continue reading “when words failed, ratatouille didn’t”
Mention Puglia to any Italian, and you’ll likely be greeted with an expression of sheer bewilderment — until, that is, they realize that what you’re actually trying to say (but butchering in exceptional fashion) is poo-lee-a.
But once it’s clear that you’re referencing the sun-drenched heel of Italy, you’ll be hard-pressed to get anyone to stop praising this relatively undiscovered region in the south. Continue reading “a taste of Puglia”
As a little girl, France meant 1 thing: Paris. Outside of glowing images of the Eiffel Tower, bustling bistros, and baguette, I’ll admit I knew very little. My horizons were broadened once I began studying French in school and even more so when I spent a semester at the Sorbonne. But only since packing my bags and moving back here after graduation have I truly been able to look beyond the city of lights to the other regions of metropolitan France, each of which boasts a unique character — a “claim to fame,” so to speak.
Continue reading “a taste of Saint-Malo”
They say the Provence region of France is blessed by the gods. I’m inclined to agree.
With sun-soaked hillside villages overlooking sweeping lavender fields, olive groves and vineyards, “charming” is certainly an understatement. In fact, I think “enchanting” is more appropriate.
Continue reading “a taste of Provence”
When it comes to coastal cities in France, La Rochelle is a must-see. Commonly referred to as “La Ville Blanche” due to its characteristic limestone facades, this port city sits in the Poitou Charentes region of southwest France, a short 2-hour drive from Bordeaux.
Continue reading “a taste of La Rochelle and Ile de Ré”
Remember when I traveled to Annecy and Lyon and, doing as the French do, gorged myself on regional specialities that were often meat-heavy and always cheesy?
Well, London was a very different experience.
Continue reading “a taste of London”
When I think of Paris, I imagine cast-iron balustrades bordering the Métropolitan signs of the subways stations, wrought iron balconies, elegant cream-colored stonework, and wide boulevards lined with independent bookshops, cafés, and boulangeries.
Continue reading “a taste of Paris, featuring sustainable urban farming”
Picture this: someone blows up a pig intestine like a balloon until it takes the shape of a sausage casing. Then he/she stuffs said casing with more chopped up (and very well rinsed) intestines before tying up both ends with string, cooking it, slathering on some mustard sauce, and calling it andouillette.
Now picture this: Jacqueline (me) doesn’t know what andouillette is but thinks — what the hec I’m gonna be adventurous YOLO, am I right? — and decides to order it. And eat it. And subsequently google it because, you know, it didn’t taste exactly like normal sausage. In fact, it was oddly pink and chewy.
SURPRISE! Never thought you would have intestines in your intestines, did you? Well, there’s a first time for everything.
Continue reading “a taste of Lyon”
I’ll get to the oh-so-delicious food I ate in Annecy in a sec (and if you’re here just for that, feel free to scroll down). But first, allow me a moment of non-food commentary. Because I just traveled solo for the first time, and it’s worth a paragraph or two, don’t you think?
Continue reading “a taste of Annecy (and traveling alone)”