Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vacation Food P*rn

So, it's been a while since my last post... largely because of my vacation in the Langedoc-Roussillon region of France.  Though the vacation itself was only about 10 days, the pre-departure month-long cramming on, like, ALL of my paying jobs really cut into my personal blogging time and enthusiasm.  And it seems that the same is true on the return side of the trip. Sigh.

To lament this sad state of affairs, but also celebrate the delectable reason they occurred, I give you some of the tastier scenes from Languedoc.

The coquillage platter from a Béziers fishmonger stand.
The teeny tiny clams are called "tellines."
Perfectly ripe Camembert. Vive la France!

Picpoul de Pinet, the local wine of choice with seafood of any kind.
Astonishingly cheap and delicious. (Note the plastic ice bag, also ubiquitous in the region.)

Another delicious local specialty, the "tielle"-- essentially a pasty stuffed
with finely chopped, tomatoey octopus.

Perfection in egg form, served with fresh marinated anchovies,
and the delectable bread below...

L'aperitif at the Pourcel brothers' casual spot, insensé (they also own and operate Michelin-starred Jardin des Sens).  In Montpellier you get some kind of little snack like this anytime you order a drink. Very civilized.
Spring roll stuffed with local crab and julienned local veggies (zucchini, carrot, celery root), served with minted "guacamole," local honey, and a balsamic reduction.  The Pourcels rock.
This is train food in France: buttered Poilâne bread, ham, gruyère.
The Languedoc-Rousillon is also the homeland of cassoulet... and it's the best cassoulet you have ever had.

The texture on that duck confit was INSANE.  Drooling again at the memory...

Petit pâté de Nîmes... a delicious pastry-encrusted meat pate. There is also one filled with salt cod brandade.

Hands down, THE best sardines of my life. Salted, grilled, drizzled with persillade. It doesn't get better than this.

A whimsical chocolate and salted caramel "Rocher" and an adorable poppy flavored macaroon.

Check that luscious thing out. The salted caramel (salted with local sel de Camargue)
was swirled around the middle of the mousse.

Ile Flottante: poached soft meringue in crème anglaise, topped with roasted almond bits, caramel, and crack.


  1. no wonder you have been "out"! what a tasty trip! would love to hear more about the adventure...!

  2. You poor, poor baby! I hate that you have to suffer so much. Wait! That's the rest of us. LOL

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