Monday, October 24, 2005

France: 9e Jour


As our trip drew to a close, we moved further south-west, deeper into Provence. For lunch, we dined at a little deli place in Uzes, the premier duchy of France. It actually started as a shop selling olive oils and tapenades, but as business improved they started selling easy to prepare food that went well with their products. Rather like our own Cellar Door along Bukit Timah, but slightly more sophisticated.


I had a tartine with olive tapenade, ham, goat's cheese and salad. I found the tapenade and the cheese too strongly salty a combination, and the ham wasn't as fine as some of the others we'd had on the trip.

After lunch, we walked around for a bit, taking in the sights and sounds, and we came across something so completely old-fashioned and charming, that it could only be a tourist trap, but one in which we willingly ensnared ourselves.

La Cure Gourmande

A traditional biscuitier, shop stacked high with biscuit tins and cookies of all assortments, where you could pick and choose your own sweet treats (with a pair of gloves, of course - we're all about hygiene these days).


Dinner was at the Bistrot du Paradou, and it occurs to me that I forgot to bring my camera along to dinner that night, and I have yet to scan in the photos that were taken on someone else's camera, so you'll just have to use your imagination for the time being.

The Bistrot du Paradou is a small, family-run establishment, almost like a tavern of yore, with plenty of hearty, rustic fare and where customers feel free to make as much noise as they wish to. This was another place with no menu, you just eat whatever the proprietors choose to serve you for the night.

The first course was a soupe au pistou, rather like an Italian minestrone soup, but without tomatoes. Plenty of beans and legumes gave the soup some bite, and with some crusty bread could have been a filling meal in itself. While the soup was very tasty, I did think it was rather salty.

Everybody of course had the roasted herbed lamb cutlets, which my father took pleasure in pointing out were much less pink than mine usually are. To be fair, the cutlets were extremely tender, having come from little spring lambs probably not more than a few days old. Everybody inhaled the little lamb chops in a matter of minutes, and had nothing but praise for them.

I was surprised by the number of non-traditional desserts they offered, and although I should have known better, I decided to try the panna cotta. I was not, therefore, completely surprised to find that I didn't like it at all. Instead of the traditional vanilla, the restaurant used almond to flavour the panna cotta, which made it taste like the almond milk my mother is so fond of drinking in the mornings, which I cannot stand. Almonds simply disagree with me.

Short post for the time being, more substantive material for the last two days of our trip.

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