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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Ma France à manger - 5 things to eat before you die

[My France to eat]

Be conscious that after having read this post you might develop severe addictions.

Two weeks ago, when I received an email from Melissa, writer of the gorgeous Traveler's lunchbox, I was –let's say- more than excited.
Firstly because she's my ultimate role-model and secondly because what she was planning was brilliant.
She wanted me and four other bloggers to come up with a list of 'five food recommendations, which can be dishes, ingredients, restaurants, recent infatuations, etc'.

PS Thank you Mae for tagging me as well, i was really honoured.

It took me a whole week to narrow my thirty-something list to just five things.
I would have never thought it would be so hard. But here is what I came up with:

le meilleur fromage de chèvre du monde [the best goat cheese in the world]
Once you'll have tried the goat cheese made by Bruno on La ferme des Courmettes, every other goat cheeses will be tasteless and rough.
Bruno probably makes the best organic goat cheese on earth. It's very fine and tasty.
I love the soft cheese covered with ground black pepper, the buche cendrée and the tapenade [black olive paste] soft goat cheese; though the tomes are also delicious.
Bruno is passionate about his work and it shows. Some of the best restaurants of the Côte d'Azur crave his cheeses.
But more than that, Bruno shared his knowledge and enthusiasm with me and now it's difficult for me to realize I won't work on la ferme again.
Thank you so much Bruno for all you've done for me. I've loved every single minute of the six weeks I spent on your farm.
PS. Merci Françoise pour tous ces bons moments.

la jonchée
Coming-up with this list I realised I might have an obsession I didn't suspect: cheese (OK I knew it but wouldn't admit the truth to myself).
Indeed three things on the list are cheese-related.
Jonchée is a local produce you can only find in Poitou-Charentes and in my case, in Fouras - the small town where my grandparents live.
Every day I would go to the marché and buy one or two jonchées.
It's definitely not easy to come up with a definition for jonchée.
I should tell you first that it is a kind of cheese flavoured with almond-oil, eaten with sugar or honey and shaped with a mat made of reed grass (a bit like a sushi mat).
Reed grass is called jonc in French, hence the name jonchée.
The jonc gives a peculiar, slightly bitter flavour so specific to the jonchée. And its texture is unique: a fairly dense exterior and a soft/very-fine interior.

le plaisir sucré
Plaisir Sucré is the easy-form of the famous Cerise sur le gateau Hermé created in 1994 (then he was only 24) pour redorer le blason de Fauchon.
I bought Pierre Hermé's Mes desserts au chocolat only for this and the least I can say is that I have not been disappointed.
The Plaisir Sucré I made might not be the better-looking one but it's the best thing I've ever eaten.
I'd love to give it another go to finally get the picture-perfect version but my memories are intact: the crunch of a quality milk chocolate sheet, the creaminess of a delicious chocolate Chantilly, the mellow of a milk chocolate ganache and the exquisite nuttiness of a hazelnut dacquoise base.

le fromage de brebis corse avec la confiture de figue de ma grand-mère [Corsican sheep's milk hard cheese with my grandmother fig's jam]
We all know that cheese and fruit (either fresh or in jam) make a great pairing. But the association of a hard sheep's milk cheese and a sweet fig's jam is pure heaven.
Each year my grandmother makes tons of jam (sad she doesn't have a blog I'm sure it would be SO popular + she could have been able participated to Nicky and Oliver's Can you can SHF) – including this great confiture de fig delicious alone, simply spread on toast but even more luscious when paired with Corsican cheese.

les artichaut au barbecue de Peter
Take baby provençal artichokes called poivrade, drench them in good quality olive oil and barbecue them and you'll end up with delicious caramelised yet crispy delights à la Peter – my boyfriend"s father.
These are a THE crowd-pleaser and my own weak spot!

OK so now i've got to tag 5 bloggers:
Marieke of Maison Dorré Trifles
Ooishi of Sooishi
Cathy of A blithe Palate
Joycelyn of Kuidaore
Keiko of Nordljus

- - -


9 sweets:
Anonymous aria said something sweet:

those cheeses, those cheses! i'd love to go on a cheese tour of france. does that even esist...

31 August, 2006 00:34 

Anonymous Mae said something sweet:

You have great taste, Fanny! Thanks for sharing us your delicious list.

Those are fine cheeses. I've only been introduced to goat's cheese in the last two years...

31 August, 2006 09:39 

Anonymous Adèle said something sweet:

Plaisir sucré, that's one of my favourite!

31 August, 2006 09:42 

Anonymous Mayacook said something sweet:

Not really fond of cheese but les artichauts au barbecue look delicious!

31 August, 2006 14:04 

Anonymous Melissa said something sweet:

Oh Fanny, what a fabulous list! Well worth the wait ;)

I am drooling with desire over everything on your list (including the Plaisir Sucré, which is the only thing I've already had), but I'm particularly tempted by the cheeses. I think la jonchée is calling my name from that lovely photograph - it looks incredible. I'm *so* tempted to get on a plane to France right now and have you take me up to your grandparents' village so I can taste it...

31 August, 2006 17:33 

Blogger daniela said something sweet:

il est magnifique quand les souvenirs des choses dont on a envie sont melangées aux gens qui font partie de notre vie…

31 August, 2006 18:04 

Blogger wheresmymind said something sweet:

I'm not sure...ruining my taste for all other goat cheeses might be a bad idea :)

31 August, 2006 19:56 

Blogger ooishigal said something sweet:

Tout ce que tu nous as présenté fais envie!
Perso je craque pour la jonchée que je ne connais pas du tout! ça a l'air délicieux...
Bravo tu as répondu avec brio à ce questionnaire et merci beaucoup pour l'invitation...
Je vais essayer de le faire dès que possible!

01 September, 2006 09:26 

Blogger christine said something sweet:

You are a girl after my own heart. So many cheeses on your list! :) You have the most gorgeous website. I found you via lobstersquad and am so glad I did. :)

07 September, 2006 13:42 

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