It’s raining outside right now. After a week in Jura, I realise this region is quite wet and foggy. Yes, the fog! The thick layer of fog often covers and floats over the mountains, giving a mystical feel. Sometimes the fog covers the whole village and I can’t see anything ahead. I will share more photos of the foggy beauty in another post.
It’s been a week here and the colours of the trees are taking on flaming hues of yellow, red and orange. The change is so fast that each morning I notice the difference. My eyes are very pleased, soaking up the saturated and contrasted colours, which I’d missed for many years. Seeing mountains rush with trees and being in complete tranquility, I feel a peculiar comfort and peace. It is very soothing inhaling the crisp, moist air concentrated in the smell of grass and greens, staring into a wide open space.
It is so nice just to watch the mountains and fog moving listening to birds from the terrace that I don’t really feel like leaving the house. But I can’t just sit around and eat continuously, well, I could if I wanted to, but it’s not healthy. So we dragged ourselves out despite the rain, when sitting by the fireplace and listening to music or reading was the most ideal.
My aim was to make a pilgrimage to a Comté cave and find an answer to why I got so smitten by Comté cheese 5 years ago and ever since the very first bite of Comté, I’ve been on the road and making wrong choices. And of course, I wanted to buy some Comte, too. Instead of making a reservation for a visit, we thought we’d drive around taking in the sights while looking for a Comté factory.
Well, what can I say to this beautiful view? The dam at Génissiat is the first post-WWII dam with hydroelectric installations and the water is upper stream of the Rhone. The vivid colours…. I don’t care whether we find a Comte factory or not.
We found one factory built in a cave but it was closed and there was no sign for opening hours. So we continued on our exploration and came to this water fall, which is called Pain de Sucre because of the shape of the rock.
As the rain was getting heavier, we agreed that we it was better to head back home and eat a nice late lunch. The French choose what to eat according to the season, weather, mood and company, and the drizzling weather called for a comfort food. Raclette would overwhelm my stomach since I’d been consuming quite a lot of cheese everyday. Bœuf bourguignon would be too early.
What about the French table BBQ, Pierrade? Yep!
“It’s nice with mayonnaise. I will make some with garlic.”
Well, well, well… a traditional French man can’t eat Pierrade without mayonnaise so he whipped up aioli, a lot of it, as you can see, and ate most of it. I couldn’t believe how much mayonnaise he ate. People who consider mayonnaise as fatty and bad should see how much he eats. Most French people make mayonnaise freshly at home when needed as it doesn’t keep well because of the egg.
I don’t eat commercial mayonnaise but I do the home-made one. Tuna sandwich with mayo, hmm, yum! The reason commercial mayonnaise doesn’t taste good is because it doesn’t have egg yolk and mustard, and the type of oil is used is also important in the final taste. I like it made with sunflower oil or grapeseed oil. No canola or other types.
OMG, how much fun I had with Pierrade! The French BBQ on the stone grill reminded me of Korean BBQ. Imagine magret de carnard and Turkey meat on the grill with various leftover vegetables. Ooh la la~ grilled endives, sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic…..SO GOOD! Especially, the vegetables were cooked in the healthy duck fat, which was a way of stopping the pool of duck fat slashing all around, however, for extra protection, we wore an apron. I love the smell of duck fat cooking.
It was my second experience with a French table meal after the raclette party, and I must say that this was the most delicious and satisfying meal I’d eaten in years. Duck breast on the grill, imagine that! I love duck meat and whenever I go back to Korea, which doesn’t happen often, I go straight to a duck BBQ restaurant. That is the only thing I miss about Korean food.
Eating everything as it is would be the best thing about French food. We tried the meat with olive oil dip, soy sesame oil dip, etc, but the mayonnaise won over all other condiments. The idea is that the sauce shouldn’t kill the flavour of the main ingredient.
Meat wrapped in the endive leaf and a sweet potato slice with a dollop of mayonnaise was just decadent, delicious. I let out all my uhms and ahs, smacking my lips and sniffing the food like a hungry but sexy piglet. When you live in France and eat the way real French people do, you will be amazed, as I have been on many occasions, how they are misleadingly known as small eaters. They truly love eating; they take great pleasure in eating.
We gobbled down the food with a bottle of Gaillac wine, which is supposed to come from the oldest vineyards in France. Situated south-east of Bordeaux and just below Cahors, the viticulture here dates back to ancient Gaul. I’ve met quite a few French people who like wines from this region, for the fruity and floral taste. He has his secret ways of stocking up good valued wines as every French person does, and I’ve drunk some good quality wines at amazing price. In his cellar, I see a lot of Madiran wines as well and I quite like it, the wine of Gascony, the region of Armagnac and d’Artagnan.
Madiran wines are supposed to be the healthiest with the highest level of procyanidins, a type of flavonoids, coming from the tannins of Tannat grape. I’ve had Madiran wines previously and liked them. I hope I will find some more good Madiran wines, Jura wines and other French wines off the Bordeaux line while here. The only problem is that I don’t have much time to sit down and write all about them as I’m busy cooking and eating! Until the next post….au revoir!