The strange thing about living in France is that food is … er, well, pretty much just French. I know it sounds daft but despite the deserved reputation of French gastronomy, there is a considerable lack of alternative cuisine. For example, this Monday, 8th February it is Chinese New Year and whilst we’re not Chinese we love to celebrate something interesting with interesting food. But can we find anything apart from frozen Nems ( a kind of Gallic apology for a Spring Roll ) and strangely tasteless dumplings with a namelessly dreadful sauce ? Nope. Not a hope.
It does seem rather heretical to criticise the French about their food – and far be it for me to criticise it but it is the lack of international culinary influence that has caused it, in my humble opinion, to become a little stagnant. Take an earlier post of mine on Cidre Chaud or Mulled Cider. We live in Normandy where millions of tonnes of apples go to produce their excellent cider but talk to locals about making mulled cider and they look at you like you have just told them that François Holland never dropped his trousers for Julie Gayet. “Ah non ! Jamais le cidre chaud – le Vin Chaud, bien sur…. ” We’re 2 hours from the nearest vineyard for goodness sake and 10 metres from a huge apple orchard. Why have you never thought of adding spices to cider ? It is bloody delicious ! I am met with a Norman shrug and a pursing of the lips.
So, despite the dire lack of international cuisine here, we at LVLG shall be turning our hand to making the Year of the Monkey rather more interesting. Our steamed barbecued pork buns, noodle soups, duck in home made black bean sauce, black rice with straw mushrooms and other beauties yet to be decided upon should, if any of our neighbours consider it wise to look in, open the great traditions of the French kitchen to just a few slightly different ideas. Their stomachs and hearts will be the better for it I’m sure. Photos to follow …..