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Posts from the ‘Provence’ Category

No. 327: Grapes


France’s Major White Grape Varieties

Grape Variety and Region(s)
Chardonnay: Burgundy; Champagne; Languedoc
Chenin Blanc: Loire Valley
Sauvignon Blanc: Bordeaux; Loire Valley; southwestern France; Languedoc
Gewürztraminer: Alsace
Pinot Gris: Alsace
Pinot Blanc: Alsace
Marsanne: Rhône Valley
Muscadet: Loire Valley
Riesling: Alsace
Roussanne: Rhône Valley
Sémillon: Bordeaux; Southwest France
Viognier: Rhône Valley; Languedoc

France’s Major Red Grape Varieties

Grape Variety and Region(s)
Cabernet Sauvignon: Bordeaux; Southwest France; Languedoc
Cabernet Franc: Loire Valley; Bordeaux; Southwest France
Carignan: Rhône Valley; Southern France
Cinsault: Rhône Valley; Southern France
Gamay: Beaujolais
Grenache: Rhône Valley; Southern France
Merlot: Bordeaux; Southwest France; Languedoc
Malbec: Southwest France; Bordeaux
Mourvèdre: Rhône Valley; Southern France
Pinot Noir: Burgundy; Champagne
Syrah: Rhône Valley; Southern France

Source: Grape Varieties Grown in France – For Dummies

No. 326: French Doors







No. 322: Let the Sun(flowers) Shine In


No. 321: Lavender Fields Forever



No. 124: Bone Marrow

Humanoids have been feasting on bone marrow for nearly two million years. I, on the other hand, only became acquainted with it about two months ago, and lately it seems to be a consistent offering on my plate.

My first go with it was at a lunch lesson that featured Daube Provençale, a hearty pork stew made with pork cheeks, pork belly and a delicious homemade beef broth prepared with beef bones.

l'apéro avant la Daube Provençale

l’apéro avant la Daube Provençale

When we finished making the broth, we kept the beef bones, and as an appetizer we spread the marrow on a sliced,  crusty baguette and sprinkled it with a wee bit of sea salt. C’est délicieux! Subtle, a bit sweet, très riche, with a velvety nuttiness, no, this treat should not be carelessly disregarded.

bone marrow

Vite! Vite! Head to your nearest boucher and pick up your bones today. 

daube provençale

Click here for the delicious Daube Provençale recipe.



boucher: butcher

C’est délicieux! It’s delicious!

très riche: very rich

Vite! Vite! Quick! Quick!

No. 88: French People Who Speak French Slowly

IMG_2804Oh, how I love when the French speak French slowly. Every time I leave Paris and travel around France my confidence gets a boost when I realize I actually know more French than the hard knock Parisians have led me to believe.

It is such a relief to be on the Island of Martinique, the French territory off the coast of Venezuela.  Obviously it’s a relief for many of the normal reasons: work stress, school stress, family dysfunction, etc. The whole tropical-island-paradise-thing certainly helps out with that. But the real relief is being removed from cranky French people, who definitely don’t count patience as a virtue, and wouldn’t dare crack a smile if their life depended on it.

It is a welcome respite to be in a part of France where French isn’t the chosen language, but the colonial language, and where the people are quite happy to have you stumble along in French, so pleased that you are trying.

The Martiniquais don’t seem to give a rat’s patootie if you make a mistake. Their patience is immense, their smiles are large and they seem to have all the time in the world to let you mangle their not so precious language.

Most importantly they speak S-L-O-W-L-Y. And slow is so very appreciated by us not so fluent speakers.



No. 31: Savon de Marseille

IMG_8425I love the world famous soap from Marseille. The authentic product is made from vegetable oils, mostly olive oil, and must contain 72 percent oil to be stamped as savon de Marseille.

Marseille and Provence have been associated with soap making since the 16th century. According to The Insiders Guide to the Most Beautiful Part of France, “in 1900, 60 percent of the population was involved in soap-making in some capacity and records from 1908 state that the city then had 81 factories producing 140,000 tons (308 million pounds) of soap a year.” That’s a tremendous amount of soap!


Being crazy for color, I love to look at the colorful displays of soap found at every market in Marseille and Provence, but as far as washing up, I go for the natural miel et citron. With no artificial colors or dye. It smooths and nourishes and smells heavenly to boot…



savon de Marseille: soap from Marseille

miel et citron: honey and lemon