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Posts tagged ‘Provence’

No. 327: Grapes

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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

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

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No. 321: Lavender Fields Forever

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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!

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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…

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Vocabulaire

savon de Marseille: soap from Marseille

miel et citron: honey and lemon

 

No. 29: Autumn Colors in Provence

No. 28: Les petites villes provençales: Cassis

This sweet, low-key town in coastal Provence with soft-hued houses built at funky angles along the seashore is the perfect place to spend an uncrowded and uncharacteristically warm October day.  After a trip to the lively Friday market (filled with the French sweets made best in southern France: calissons, navettes, nougats, candied fruit and sugared almonds), we picnicked on a small-coved beach surrounded by dramatic walls of white limestone. The warm sun, gentle breeze and cooling sea mist were the perfect remedy for our grey-weathered Parisians souls.

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les petites villes provençales: small Provençale towns

une navette: shuttle service, commute; also a Provençale cookie shaped like a rowboat and flavored with orange blossom, lemon, anise, almonds, chocolate chips and even lavender. For the recipe for these “sugar shuttles”, please click here.