If you were to tell me in high school that, after graduating college, I would pack up and move abroad, I would more than likely have laughed in your face. My image of post-graduate life involved hole-in-the-wall NYC apartments and cubicles, not working abroad.
But I suppose life can surprise you when you’d least expect it because, as I write these very words, I’m sitting in an empty apartment in France surrounded by two gigantic suitcases, a boarding pass, and 8 months of pinch-me-this-can’t-be-real kind of experiences.
Continue reading “10 things France has taught me about food”
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”
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”
Although it wasn’t exactly a white Christmas this year, it sure was a bubbly one.
Reims, a city located around 80 miles outside of Paris in the heart of the champagne region, was the perfect holiday getaway. Combining the history and culture of a large metropolitan city with the charm of a smaller village, Reims was a welcome surprise amongst the more well-known tourist destinations in France.
Continue reading “a taste of Reims”
The first time I noticed persimmons I was navigating through an over-crowded outdoor market in Sète on the last day of my late-October vacation. Signs of the off-season were everywhere: windows with navy blue shutters intact, boats docked, and sails wrapped securely around the boom with thick white rope. It was a time when the breeze off the sea held the promise of a slight chill and the south of France should, in theory, have been slowing down. But the market was as alive as ever.
Continue reading “a taste of persimmons”
It seems like every market I visit around this time of the year is bursting with crates and crates of squash. Butternut, acorn, spaghetti… you name it, and France has it. I’ve boiled it, roasted it, mashed it, and seasoned it with various herbs and spices to bring out the fullest flavor of this iconic autumnal ingredient. Now, I was ready to stuff it.
Continue reading “beating to a different rhythm”
For the first school vacation, I decided to visit Toulouse in the hopes of exploring the regional culinary specialities of the midi-Pyrénées region of southwest France.
Continue reading “a taste of Toulouse”
About three weeks into my eight-month stint here in France, I began craving almond butter. I missed slathering it on apple and banana slices, drizzling it on top of hearty smoothie bowls and, I’ll admit, eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon. At first, I tried to suppress these cravings because I had heard time and time again that any form of nut butter is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find in France. I was just going to have to get used to it, or eventually convince my mom to send me some from New York.
Continue reading “why I’ll never buy almond butter in France again”