Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nuits St. Georges: Burgundy, Black Currants, and Books

I was so excited to finally have a chance to visit Burgundy, one of the world’s top wine regions. I spent a couple of hours in Nuit St. Georges, one of the many wine villages near Dijon, and finally understood how intermingled fields and dwellings are. You walk across the bridge and you're in the fields. The warehouses are in the town itself.

I knew that the best Burgundy wine comes from the slopes, rather than the flat fields below, and the distinction was obvious.

I visited the Cassissium to find out how liqueur de cassis (black currant), another local beverage, is made. The tasting was informative. There is a cheaper version that is less alcoholic, but it tastes mostly of sugar. The higher-alcohol, higher-quality version contains more fruit, which really improves the flavour. It’s definitely worth paying a little more for the better-quality product.

If you’re a Burgundy enthusiast but unable to travel at the moment, here are some books about Burgundy that I’ve enjoyed:
Breakfast in Burgundy: A Hungry Irishman in the Belly of France, Raymond Blake
French Spirits: a House, a Village, and a Love Affair in Burgundy, Jeffrey Greene
My Grape Year, Laura Bradbury (first of four)
Reflections of a Wine Merchant, Neal Rosenthal
To Burgundy and Back Again: A Tale of Wine, France, and Brotherhood, Raymond Blake

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dijon, France - Tiled Roofs, Roosters, and Owls

I had two days in Dijon, not nearly enough time in this beautiful city.

Here are a few photos of the lovely tiled roofs, timbered houses, and architectural details.

There are some wonderful architectural details if you look up.

This image seems particularly appropriate for the wine region of Burgundy.

If you go, be sure to follow the Owl's Trail, a well-signposted route to the city's major sites.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Les Halles, Dijon

Oh, how I love markets. And Dijon's central market - Les Halles - is no exception.

There were new vegetables grown in Brittany that I'd never heard of before - cerfeuil (?) and oca.

There were so many gorgeous cheeses.

And soft, juicy dried apricots.

Just around the corner, I had my choice of patisseries with so many delectable cakes.

And, on the main street, was the Maille mustard store with flavours that are never for sale in Canada.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Dijon's Christmas Markets

Dijon at Christmas is even more magical than it is 365 days a year.

There are two major sites for their Christmas markets plus a variety of children's rides and carousels sprinkled throughout the town centre.

And most of the town centre is pedestrianized - what a treat!

There is food and drink.

There are handicrafts.

And, best of all, there's a ferris wheel!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cambridge Water Meadows

I had a sunny morning for my walk across the water meadows into Cambridge City Centre.

Cambridge has a wonderful network of footpaths and footbridges for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Lots of waterfowl to admire.

I'm not the only Canadian tourist in Cambridge by a long shot!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, December 19, 2016

Carcassonne, France

Herb-a-licious, Jan. 19 
Learn how to create your own herb garden at The Glen at Crossmount on Jan. 19.

A Local Hero
It’s heart-warming to read about Laurie O’Connor, Executive Director, Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. Three cheers for people like Laurie who reach out to help others and make our community a better place.

Ostentatious Orange
For a limited time only, Nvigorate (Saskatoon Farmers’ Market) is offering Seabuckthorn Gelato with a chocolate swirl.

We’re Fooling Ourselves 
There are some major psychological barriers to preventing food waste. For example, we don’t like an empty refrigerator or an empty shopping cart. And we may inspect prices carefully when shopping, but we’re nowhere near as price conscious when we’re cleaning out the refrigerator. “We so often say, ‘What do I want for dinner?’ as opposed to, ‘What do I have for dinner?’ . . . I think we need to reframe the way we think about what we have in our fridges and pantries.”

Festive European Food 
Whether it’s a foot-long speculoo cookie in Brussels or creamy rice pudding in Copenhagen, food is almost always a part of our Christmas celebrations.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas! 

Dijon, France

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Monday, December 12, 2016

Flavourful Saskatoon, December 12, 2016

Finger Foods Sampling Event, Dec. 18
Sample a wide range of easy-to-make recipes using local ingredients at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market from 11 am to 1:30 pm, Dec. 18.

Final Night Market before Christmas, Dec. 21 
Sip some wine and cocktails while you pick up your last-minute purchases at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market night market on Dec. 21

The Local Kitchen YXE
I’m looking forward to hearing more about The Local Kitchen, which is just getting off the ground in Saskatoon. The three women who have set it up say their vision is to “support food-focused entrepreneurs in developing, operating, and growing successful businesses to enhance the local food industry; while simultaneously providing a fun, fresh and welcoming environment, where members of the community can engage with their local food system through workshops, cooking classes, and retail.” They plan to rent out 3 commercial kitchens and offer classes and events.

New Brunswick Kitchen Party, May 10-14 
You’re invited to a kitchen party in New Brunswick when Slow Food Canada holds its annual meeting in southeast New Brunswick, May 10-14, 2017.

Syrian Refugees and Food 
Food can play a vital role in helping refugees preserve their culture. But it also has limitations; for example, canning and preserving aren’t part of their lives as refugees: “Making pickles is a statement of settlement, it embodies the idea of a future of planning and looking forward: in six months, we will be here, in the same place. ‘We just live day to day,’ one of the women said. “’We buy what we need and we eat it.” 

Food Trends
Millennials are favouring fresh food, minimally processed, that’s easy to prepare – and that’s changing the way industry operates. For example, retailers are selling more fresh food, making their stores smaller, and offering more meal kit options. But it’s not working: “millennials are turning to smaller companies that they feel are more in line with their values of sustainability and ‘real’ food . . . . What big brands should be doing, says Taparia, is taking the long view and launching fresh food under new brand names. ‘It would take a lot of investment and work,’ he says, ‘but they have to think big, otherwise they’ll face annihilation in 10 years.”

Flavourful Saskatoon is a weekly Monday feature. I also post articles about food that is good, clean and fair; travel; and books. You may also enjoy EcoFriendly Sask profiling Saskatchewan environmental initiatives and events. 

You can follow Wanderlust and Words on Facebook, Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Autumn is chestnut season in France, and you will find them – and eat them – everywhere – roasted chestnuts, chestnut cake, chestnut yogurt, and so much more.

And, if you’re on the Cȏte d’Azur in November, you absolutely must go to the Fête de la Châtaigne in Cagnes-sur-Mer, just outside of Nice.

The fair takes over the whole town centre, drawing crowds of people. There are: Marching bands

Petting zoos and pony rides

An old-fashioned, possibly handmade, merry go round

Demonstrations by lacemakers and ironmongers

Wool-making dioramas

And, of course, there is food! Lots and lots of it!

Roast chestnuts

Medieval wine and beer made from chestnuts

The local specialty – socca (pancake made with chickpea flour) – was highly popular drawing huge lineups.

A seriously fun event in a lovely little town by the sea.