Gareth Jones: Memories of Old Belgium & Malmedy’s Gooey Kisses

By Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Permalink 0


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ID photo of Gareth Jones, food writer and consultantMemories of Old Belgium and Malmedy’s Gooey Kisses, including Recipe

by Gareth Jones

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When two chewy, gooey meringues come stuck together either side of a slather of butter cream or crême chantilly, the pâtissiers of Malmédy call this a ‘kiss’. Their description is obvious – it’s a fond embrace. Such is its fame, the Baiser had a place in the original Larousse Gastronomique compiled by Prosper Montagné in 1938.

The story goes that the Baiser de Malmédy started life in the late 19th century in this region of the Eastern Ardennes that many still prefer to call ‘Old Belgium’. The name appreciates that here, in the small towns like Malmédy, Stavelot, Bastogne, Spa and Francorchamps, the old ways continue and courtesy comes before all else – much as continues in Norfolk and Suffolk, Dorset and Somerset, where people living here still have time for each other.

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Switzerland: A Documentary Slide Show of the 1st Salon du Chocolat in Zurich

By Sunday, April 1, 2012 Permalink 0

Switzerland: A Documentary Slide Show of the 1st Salon du Chocolat in Zurich

by Jonell Galloway

Here’s a quick, unfiltered overview of the photos I took at the first Salon du Chocolat Zurich.

These are here to help you get an idea of what was on offer at the show. They are not professional photos, yet they are mine. If you want to use them commercially or copy them, please be so kind as to contact me beforehand by clicking on the blue Contact Us button at the top right of our home page.

I’ll be adding more tonight or tomorrow morning, so stay in touch!

 

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Looking for a restaurant for this weekend? Here’s your restaurant finder

By Friday, April 8, 2011 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

Click here to go to iTaste in English.

http://www.itaste.com/?partner=138

The restaurant social network iTaste is the perfect place to look for a restaurant that suits your budget, taste, mood, etc. It allows you to choose your criteria and then generates a list that meets them. Over time, you can form a network of friends who have the same taste in food as you.

The network started by covering Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany and Italy, but is swiftly spreading around the world.

According to founder Paul de la Rochefoucauld, it functions more or less like Wikipedia, allowing users to correct or add to existing information, or even add restaurants that are not yet listed. For the moment, it includes about 70,000 restaurants and has 40,000 network members.

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Food News: The Rambling Epicure and iTaste are teaming up

By Friday, March 11, 2011 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

The new Michelin guide for France came out last week and has caused much stir in the restaurant world. Many think the old-fashioned European restaurant guides such as GaultMillau and Michelin — once had-to-haves for any restaurant lover — are antiquated and stagnant and can’t keep up with our changing times, that they are ancien régime, dinosaurs of times past.

This may well be. While restaurants come and go, some restaurant goers continue to yearn for the traditional cooking of the past, insisting that today’s young chefs don’t even know all the basic techniques of Cuisine, with a capital “C.” In 2010, UNESCO declared that the French gastronomic meal is part of French cultural heritage, defining specific rules and social occasions for partaking of it, as if it were a species in danger of extinction.

Others, such as food critic David Downie, in his article “Surveying the Paris food scene: a mecca again — but is it French?” on Gadling, and Jean-Philippe de Tonnac in his review of Au Revoir to All that: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine by Michael Steinberger, dare to question whether the French restaurant scene is still French, yet conclude that it doesn’t matter. Paris and France will always be the Elysian Fields of the food gods, no matter what their nationality, and innovation has never stopped.

What has changed is the way we eat — lighter — and the way we choose restaurants. In France and Switzerland, as in most places, the traditional restaurant guides are often outdated before they even go to print. Restaurants come and go, as do chefs. Establishments are no longer bastions of a certain type of cuisine by a certain chef. Because of this, on-line guides are more flexible and can change with the times. They can be updated daily or even hourly, unlike printed guides.

It is for this reason that The Rambling Epicure is partnering with iTaste, a Swiss-based restaurant social network, which is quickly spreading its antennae all over Europe. iTaste refers to itself as “the food critics’ social network” and “the web’s gourmet word of mouth network.”

The beauty of iTaste is that you can define your tastes in restaurants, read reviews of user-critics with similar taste, and follow their reviews on a regular basis, just as you do with any social network.

Their argument is that Google is convenient, but a human search engine is even better. In the iTaste communitiy, each iTaster becomes a food critic and shares his or her reviews with their contacts and followers.

iTaste was founded by Paul de la Rochefauld in Geneva, Switzerland, and has slowly been spreading its wings to the rest of Europe, including France, Germany, Italy and Belgium. It is in French, English and German. Since it gives you the possibility of entering a location and a restaurant, its possibilities are endless. You can even be the first one to start by entering your favorite restaurant in your home country. See you there!

Click here to go to iTaste.




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Belgium: Cha Hû-Thé Teahouse, Brussels

By Wednesday, March 2, 2011 Permalink 0

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by Jonell Galloway

I am not just a tea connoisseur. I am an outright snob and have spent many days of my life in search of good tea, in both chic and shabby places.

I have never been to the Cha Hû-Thé teahouse in the suburbs of Brussels, but for one of the few times in my tea-snob life, I don’t have to sniff the tins of tea in order to recommend it. I’ve only tasted (and sniffed) one tea from there, the Thé du Loup, or literally “wolf’s tea,” and it was made neither with designer bottled water nor in a fancy teapot, but its nose and taste were wax heaven. It was in fact made with the overly mineral city water of Chartres, but it was a Cadillac of a tea, a Rolls Royce of fine-tuning, so it stood up to the test of not being treated with the TLC it deserves.

The main address doesn’t sound chic, although the amateur slide show flaunts oak shelving and cabinets adorned with serious-looking tins of tea and an array of brightly colored teapots for true aficionados. It even hints at shabbiness. The website is full of typos — which might normally put me off — but the names, blends and categories clearly demonstrate mastery of the trade. If you live anywhere near there, I recommend you hop on a train or bus or into your car first thing in the morning and delight in this almost certain kingdom of tea blends.

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