We are Supporting the Locals

Posted: July 14, 2017 in Honeymooners
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14 July 2017

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Check out those Prices

Another day, another wine. Another wine always means another cheese

Rather than be seen to be taking advantage of the well-priced wine and goodies, we like to think we are trying hard, exceedingly so actually, to support the local growers and producers…le vente directe or du Producteur au Consommateur.

We have visited a lot of markets and supermarches and been buying up a storm….. to keep the locals in business of course.  At an average €3 a bottle (NZ$4.75), we are having to up our fluid uptake to help the local economy.  But even at those prices, the red wine is still more than drinkable….so we do.  Vanessa picked up a litre of Rose the other day for less than NZ$3 and pronounced it to be better than wines at home costing 5 times that.  Then there are the comestibles from the local boulangerie, fromagerie and markets where a baguette will cost you less than a Euro.

Of course buying all these delights forces us into having gourmet sessions to reduce our growing stockpile and to also discuss the merit of a particular $4 wine versus another of similar value.

So determined are we to understand the back story and history of our food, we chose to drive for 2 hours the other day (admittedly, 40 mins of it was when we got lost) to learn about the art of gavage or force feeding ducks and geese so you can produce the king of pates, foie gras.  The brochure said ‘degustation gratuite’ and we have learned quickly that whenever you see that it means free tasting!  So we lined up with 20 or so others to be enlightened when this charming young man I recognised from the brochure turned up and commenced the lesson … in French. Completely in French. La petite histoire was a waste of time except for the degustation gratuite.  My finely tuned French language skill could pick out words such as duck, goose, foie gras, wine, walnuts and acorns (duck food).  The wine was terrible, like some 70’s Lincoln rd Dally plonk dad used to drink.  Vive la France.

Vanessa has taken to the Confit Duck, even having the confidence to order it at restaurants (using her newly found French speaking skills).  When done poorly it is like KFC for duck, when done well it is a crispy leg and thigh of soft ducky greatness and mostly served with salad (lettuce) and frites (chips).  An epicurean delight. We are still over ordering on the baguette needs of the group, feeding the local chooks most days with our superfluous daily bread.

On a Tuesday and a Friday, a little French woman beeps and toots her way up the hill in her van, stopping to tempt us with her freshly baked goodies.  You can buy any number of varieties of bread but we have a liking for her croissants and pain au chocolat.  This morning V and I had one of each because we could, because we hadn’t had breakfast and because they are about €1 each!  Washed down with a coffee and a glass of Pamplemousse (grapefruit juice). Not sure if the juice was local.

Today is Bastille Day, a day our family has celebrated since my sister was born (July 14).  So this evening, we are off to the local village hall for a soiree to celebrate both.  It includes free wine to go with the €12 BBQ.  There is a trend.  They butcher animals from this rural town and the town pitches in to feed everybody. The horse from the paddock next door has gone this week….just wondering.  V has an extra zing in her step today as the posters promoting the event make a big point that Rose will be available and free. Let’s support the locals!

 

Next time we speak, V and I will probably be in Amsterdam as our English and now French sections are coming to an end.

V and Me (Jean Pierre)

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