This is always a big day in the life of an author!!!
I’m spending the first part of this week in Honfleur, a gorgeous little port town on the Norman coast. I’m here as part of a culinary adventure organized by Oldways Preservation and Trust (www.oldwayspt.org). This group is dedicated to exploring the traditions and culture of food, both historic and contemporary, and to that end they asked me to be the food and cultural expert on this particular trip.
I have enjoyed more than I can say accompanying this smart and lively group to restaurants where Norman specialties like mackerel and mussels, pigeon and sea bass are prepared with skill and creativity. I always love to talk about – and taste – Norman butter and cream, lovely oozing Camembert and Pont l’Eveque, and succulent apple purées and caramelized tarts.
What I didn’t expect was the proliferation of nuts that would wind up on the menus. I shouldn’t be surprised – nuts are a part of every Norman cooks’ pantry. But it’s so wonderfully affirming to find perfectly toasted cashews strewn across the top of a melting chocolate cake, bright green pistachios and hazelnuts winking up from a pigeon ballotine, and sugared almonds adding their crunch to a bowl of fragrant Gariguette strawberries sitting in a shallow pool of spiced wine.
I will report in again soon. Until then, bon appétit!