Food

MAPPING THE MARKETS OF PETER MAYLE’S PROVENCE

Twenty years ago, my husband, daughter, and I rolled into Marseille on the high-speed train from Paris.  If I recall correctly, the Aix-en-Provence TGV station had not yet been built. We rented a car and drove to Aix-en-Provence, where we would spend several nights before moving to Lourmarin, the small village at the base of the Luberon Mountains.  Peter Mayle country... [...]

MY OAK TREE GROWS IN THE LUBERON

Thanks to a very generous friend, my family and I own an oak tree in Provence. Nestled in the thickly wooded hills of the Luberon between Lourmarin and Cadenet, is a large organic farm called Les Pastras (which means “the pastures,” in Langue d’Oc, the old Provençal language). There, grows our little tree.

Les Pastras is now under the diligent care of Lisa and Johann Pepin, having... [...]

MEET MARCO, LE PROPRIÉTAIRE DE CAFÉ GABY

If you have been to Lourmarin, you know Café Gaby. Located in the center of the village on Place de l'Ormeau, where main street Rue Henri de Savornin meets Rue du Temple, Café Gaby is the hub of this charming Luberon village.

Men meet at the bar when the sun first rises [...]

NEWS FROM AUBERGE LA FENIÈRE: REINE SAMMUT PASSES THE REINS TO DAUGHTER NADIA

After 40 years at the helm of one of Provence’s most renowned restaurants, La Fenière, Chef Reine Sammut and sommelier husband Guy are handing over the reins of the cuisine to Nadia Sammut in October. Nadia, who is the third generation of Sammuts at La Fenière, credits her grandmother and her parents for her culinary knowledge and passion for food but brings her own personal experience and education to the table, too: growing up with celiac disease and learning to cook creatively sans gluten... [...]

SUMMER IN PROVENCE…AND A SURFEIT OF TRUFFLES?

In all the summers we’ve spent in Provence, I have never seen any mention of summer truffles. Maybe I was drinking too much rosé to notice something I thought only surfaced in the winter—silly me—but, this summer, Tubera aestiva were on my radar…and on my... [...]

PROVENCE’S LES TREIZE DESSERTS: NOT JUST ANOTHER ARTICLE ABOUT THOSE 13 DESSERTS

Regular readers of The Modern Trobadors know that thirteen desserts—Les Treize Desserts de Noël—are traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Provence, after the big supper—Le Gros Souper—which, actually, is more lean than “big” with its emphasis on herb-laced broths, seafood, and vegetables rather than meat. Ah, dear TMT reader, you can probably recite to your clueless friends what the thirteen desserts consist of and why there are... [...]

IN PROVENCE, OYSTERS AT CHRISTMAS ARE LIKE TURKEYS AT THANKSGIVING

It’s Christmastime in Provence and there is an unmistakable flurry of activité de Noël throughout the region.

In homes, the wheat grains has been planted in shallow bowls in hopes that it will grow straight and tall, foretelling an abundant harvest and prosperous year; the Santons have been arranged in the crèche; three white table cloths have been ironed in anticipation of le Gros Souper; and preparations are in process for... [...]

FOR OUR FIRST THANKSGIVING IN PROVENCE, WE TURNED TO LA RÔTISSERIE DU LUBERON AT THE WEEKLY MARKET

As the days move closer to Thanksgiving, I am thinking of the year we were in Provence—in the charming village of Lourmarin—on that quintessential American holiday. Like most people who are drawn to travel abroad, we love to learn about the traditions of other cultures and are eager to embrace them when we are in those countries. Some, we may even take home with us and celebrate as our own. I’m thinking of the Santon village that will soon grace a corner of our living room and the wheat that, with a little luck, will grow tall in the sunny kitchen window (and bring us a prosperous... [...]
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