Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Atlas de la France Gourmande

 Atlas de la France Gourmande became my bible last trip thanks to the recommendation of PB reader TK. I bought it at Amazon.fr and it was waiting for me on arrival.
 An illustrated book for young adults, it's the perfect guide if you're traveling around France. Ten specialties for each of France's 23 regions with explanations of each item.
 Plus regional recipes by chefs of Relais et Chateaux. When I went off to Nancy for the day I knew what was on the menu.
 As much Mirabelles in as many forms as possible. And Bergamote too.
 Eating this tarte mirabelle was a must-do.
 I don't usually eat red meat but when in Nancy one must try le pate Lorrain, tourte Lorrain, plus quiche lardon.
 Les dragee de Verdun is another local specialty of Lorrain, first created by pharmacists by accident. i.e. the apothacary glass jars they're displayed in. Dragee means pill by the way.
 Back in Paris one forgets to be a locavore yet there are many regional specialties not to be missed. Well we all know about macaron Parisian...
 But radis are native of the Ile-de-France. Who knew?
 Going off to visit Tout Soul author Karen Wheeler in the Poitou-Charante, the atlas made clear what I must eat.
 I tried as many local specialties as possible.
 Karen swears her local butter/beurre Echire is the best in all France.
 Like Brittany, another tres riche butter-salt region, the Poitou has loads of buttery shortbread galettes in all sizes. You even get mini bisquits automatically when you order coffee. There's no avoiding it and it's delicious.
 The coastline L'ile de Re is famous for it's fleur de sel/salt.
 Goat cheeses/chabichou du Poitou abound.
 Dairy products are certainly important but I loved this milk carton with an illustrated map similar to the Atlas. Pride of place and tradition is key in France. Just follow the cues in the Atlas' maps and you can't go wrong traveling in France. 260 products to taste. Plus cheese routes, salt routes. Do your homework!
Any leftovers scraps Biff will happily gobble up no matter what region they are from.

24 comments:

  1. I love the mirabelle tart. Lucky you, you were in one of the best pastry city :)

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    1. I'll have to go back again!
      What did I miss out on?

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  2. What a fun way to experience France through your stomach! and it's all mapped out for you. Love the concept and the book!

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    1. The Atlas made me a more adventurous eater than usual..it roused the curiosity to try new flavors.
      Fun!

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  3. Looks like a very handy book to have, and it looks like Biff thinks so too..of course it matters to him. :))

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  4. Tarte mirabelle! Oh, how I wished I could have a slice.

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  5. Looks like a fabulous book!

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  6. I like the illustrations...it's all in French too...

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  7. Note to self: next time i'm in Paris, skip the Louvre, go to bookshop. What a gem -- you find the BESt livres!

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    1. I always skip the Louvre...though I like their bookshops...
      Books are pretty wonderful in France

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  8. You..are my Paris Atlas:-)
    X

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  9. Visiting the different regions & tasting their specialitys makes it all the more pleasurable & having found your book, now it will help you which ever region you visit.

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  10. Great idea for a book!
    I love the pastries :)

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  11. You bad influence you! I spent and hour and mucho dinero at Dean and Deluca buying all things French!!! But you are forgiven, because I now have a book idea: a guide to great USA local specialty foods for young people. Why does France feel the need to educate their young and we do not? WE are beginning to have such wonderful local specialties...

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  12. I enjoy your blog, keep up the great work! :)

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  13. Tu dois arrêter de me rendre affamée!! Particulièrement au milieu du matin! ;] The book is going on my must-buy list. Merci, je pense...

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  14. Was that your slice out of the tarte mirabelle?? :-)

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  15. Great post!
    I learnt a few things myself.

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  16. LOVE the book. What a great guide.

    Oh, and Karen is absolutely right. In fact I'll go a step further to say it might be amongst the top 5 in the world, that's the butter/beurre Echire. I love the salty version and buy it loose by weight!

    Happy weekend. x

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  17. The book sounds wonderful. And a great post. I've always wondered why they sold those dragees in the glass jars. I never know what I'll learn by reading one of your posts!

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  18. Je ne parle pas français. Ma femme parle français. Somehow, Amazon.fr allowed me to order this book from the US and ship to Florida. It arrived today and my wife will love it as a Christmas present. Thank You for the recommendation.

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    1. Excellent Michael!
      I order books all the time from Amazon.fr
      The shipping is up there but not as bad as in the US sending overseas IMHO

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  19. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Bonjour Carol, I just discovered you and this book which I have ordered! OMG...can't wait. Jealous of YOUR creative life in PARIS. Dying to get back...hope to meet you one day! Merci de tout coeur! Les amities d'un ancien prof de francais, devenu decoratrice. mmballard@att.net

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