Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

By Friday, July 31, 2015 Permalink

The domain of Le Touquet was purchased by Alphonse Jean-Baptiste Daloz, a notary, in 1837. It consisted of large sand dunes at the mouth of the Canche River. He planted pines and other species of trees, making the site an ideal junction between sea and forest. The head of Le Figaro newspaper, Hypolite de Villemessant, was a friend of Daloz. It is he who gave the site the chic-sounding name Paris-Plage.

An English businessman, Sir John Whitley, jumped on the opportunity, and Le Touquet-Paris-Plage was soon developed as a seaside town complete with everything English tourists dreamed of. It is known for the diversity of its buildings, which sought to achieve a perfect harmony between the architecture and nature. Between the two World Wars, it became cosmopolitan and known worldwide.

 

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Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

What to Eat in France: Ficelles Picardes

By Thursday, July 30, 2015 Permalink

French Recipe: Ficelles Picardes, or Mushroom and Ham Crêpes

by Jonell Galloway

Ficelle Picarde, meaning literally “long thin baguette from Picardy,” is not an ancient dish. Marcel Lefèvre invented it for a dinner for dignitaries of the region during an exposition in Amiens in the fifties, and Picardy soon adopted it as its own. The name most likely comes from its long, thin shape, since it’s a crêpe, not a baguette. Its importance in the region is confirmed by the fact that an entire professional fraternity devoted to it was created in 1997, Les compagnons de la ficelle picarde et les compagnes de la rabotte picarde.

In Picardy, this is eaten as a starter.

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Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

What to Eat in France: Flamiche aux Poireaux

By Thursday, July 30, 2015 Permalink

French Recipe: Flamiche aux Poireaux, or Leek and Cheese Pie

by Jonell Galloway

Flamiche is a tart or pie or tourte or quiche from Picardy, depending on who you’re talking to. In Picardy, it is traditionally made with leeks or onions, and sometimes with pumpkin, which is eaten as a savory dish in much of the north of France. It is one of the main traditional starters offered in the region, along with Ficelle Picarde, a crêpe stuffed with ham and mushrooms and served with a cream sauce; Tarte Au Maroillles, a cheese tart, and Rissoles Laonnoises, meat or fish fritters.

Recipe

Ingredients

These are U.S. measurements. Click here for metric and British conversions.

2 9-inch pie crusts
1 1/2 lbs leeks, white only
2 oz. butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 c. crème fraîche
Nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Egg yolk for pie crust

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Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Quintessential France: Lunch by the River Seine

By Thursday, July 30, 2015 Permalink

The painter Gaston Balande, 1880-1971, was born in Saujon, France, and took part in numerous Beaux-Arts salons during his lifetime. This painting is in the tradition of Edouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe painted in 1862 and 1863, without the brazenness of the nude woman.

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Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

What to Eat in France: Saffron Mussel Soup

By Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Permalink

What to Eat in France: Soupe de moules safranée, or Saffron Mussel Soup

by Jonell Galloway

Saffron mussel soup is from the Loire region. The particularity of the Loire version of this soup is that it has leeks, which are not commonly used with mussels. The Loire Valley produces more than 24% of all leeks in France, more than any other region.

The proportions of the ingredients can vary, although the fumet needs a bit more precision than the mussels and soup. The general rule is to make as much fumet as you need for the amount of mussels you’ve cooked.

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Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Quintessential France: Monet in his Garden in Giverny

By Tuesday, July 28, 2015 Permalink

The painter Claude Monet in his garden in Giverny, circa 1890.

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Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

What to Eat In France: Agneau au Sel, Rack of Lamb in Salt Crust

By Tuesday, July 28, 2015 Permalink

What to Eat In France: Agneau au Sel, Rack of Lamb in Salt Crust

by Jonell Galloway

Agneau au sel, or rack of lamb cooked in a coarse salt crust, is a specialty of the Loire region.

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs rack of lamb
3 lbs. coarse salt
2 sprigs thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 464° F.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 lbs. of coarse salt into a baking dish large enough to hold the rack of lamb.
  3. Place the rack of lamb on this salt.
  4. Cover with another 1 1/2 lbs. and with thyme.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Break the salt crust and carefully lift out before cutting.

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Quintessential France: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

Quintessential France: A Village in Normandy

By Saturday, July 4, 2015 Permalink

Quintessential France: Springtime in Normandy

by Jonell Galloway

These fruit trees in blossom with the cow in the verdant fields of Lower Normandy and the church steeple in the background could almost be a Pissarro painting. The Impressionists made this sort of village scene familiar to us all. It’s almost like going home.

Photo by JF Lefèvre.

‪#‎QuintessentialFrance‬

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