Monday, July 14, 2014
Happy Bastille Day!
"Joanne and I intended to be back in the Massif Central on July 14, Bastille Day, to repeat one of the most memorable picnics we’d known. It was in the village of Calvinet. The day ended at the salle des fêtes, the village hall for events, when people danced the old-fashioned bourrée to an accordion, a flute, and a cornemuse, a version of a bagpipe. Old hat folklore if you like, but both young and old were doing the thing they do. Before that, there was the simplest of delicious feasts.
The aroma of grilling local sausage filled the air around the meadow where the crowd gathered, while a handful of men with long wooden pestles pounded the contents of big, charcoal-fueled cast iron portable stoves. What they were pounding, to eat with our sausage, was called aligot. It was quite delicious, and sui generis. The bellies of their stoves were full of a combination of potatoes, cream, and tome fraîche. They pounded their potatoes, butter, and cream to a purée of a consistency they knew was neither too thin nor thick; then they added the chopped cheese, and the pounding soon became a circular motion, until their pestles drew up long strands. That was the aligot they heaped on our plates of sausage. No longer potato purée, but something with the consistency of taffy. It melted nicely in your mouth. The cheese hadn’t garnished the potato purée. They’d mated and become something new like nothing else.
-Gerry Dryansky, Coquilles, Calva, and Crema: A Love Affair with French Food
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012