Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eating on the West Coast of France

On our first night in Pornic my father-in-law presented us with dinner: homemade quiche, salad from his garden, cheese, bread, and the most amazing strawberries known to man. This is not the last time you will hear me rave about French fruit. It's simply the best. Aside from the lack of wine, this was the quintessential simple summer meal that the French do so well. And I can't think of a better welcome.

Cheese. The short of it is that you can find the most spectacular cheeses in France. After months of very limited and mostly industrial cheese options in Denmark, Alan and I ate as though we were two starving mice. The cheese we buy in Denmark consists of cheddar from Ireland, Parmesan, a hard cheese from Spain, feta, and kid -friendly cheeses from Laughing Cow, namely Baby Bel and Vache Qui Rit spreadable cheese. Denmark has its own cheese that we haven't exactly developed a taste for, but perhaps we need to give it another chance. I repeat, the cheese in France is unimaginably good. Especially when local and accompanied by a tasty glass of wine. Even in our U.S. town of Bend, Oregon, we can find exquisite local artisanal goat cheese. Get with it, Denmark!
We were treated to lunch at Alan's grandmother's apartment in Saint Brevain, a nearby coastal town. It was a simple meal of fish, fresh green beans, and roasted potatoes. But it began with wedges of the sweetest, brightest orange cantaloupe--a favorite summer starter for the French--was followed by cheese and ended with dessert. Oh, and at separate times during the meal we sipped Champagne and drank white wine. This is not breaking news, but the French know how to eat. The fish was freshly caught, cooked with a delicate hand, and deboned with perfect precision. The desserts were typically French, and I had half of a raspberry tart with groseille berries on top and half of a peach tart. Thankfully this was just the beginning of my vacation with patisserie. At the end of the four weeks though, I said "We have to stop meeting like this." Ergo the surplus of soup and salad this week.


  1. Hi Staci,

    the local wine shop here in Nykøbing has loads of different cheeses to choose between (and you can taste before buying). Local wine stores near you might just have that as well. Otherwise you could go to GRAND Fromage in Århus (Guldsmedgade 27). They also deliver boxes with cheese to your house.For instance they have a European box with the following cheeses in:Prince Charles Cheddar (UK), Phitiviers (Normandy), Trappe de Noix (Perigord), Pecorino Sardo (Italy), Gorgonzola Dolce (Italy), Carrotza (Spain) and roasted salted Spanish almonds.Here´s a link to thei website: www.grand-fromage.dk
    With all this talk about cheese I hope you brought some back for us to taste:-) I bought a big cheese on the Azores, but I´ve eaten it already:-(

  2. Just found another link for you: www.net-ost.dk
    They also have loads of cheese (French, Swiss, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, English, you can have delivered at your door. I get soo hungry looking at all those different cheeses. I see some that I´ve tried and liked: for instance the gouda with walnuts,the gouda with chili, the gouda with olives, tomatoes and garlic, the gouda with stingy nettles, smoked cheddar...and now I so want to try the white stilton with blueberries or the white stilton with strawberries and champagne..or the one with mango and ginger. I could just go on and on. I wish I could bring all these cheese with for dessert on Saturday, but it would totally ruin my new lifestyle of saving up for travelling and only spending a wee bit of money on food and none on clothes...

  3. Thanks for all the great ideas, Kira! I can't wait to check it out!