Monaco & The French Riviera

I started this blog in hopes of sharing my love for french cooking as well as tidbits Monaco-yacht-showand tips on how to successfully prepare French cuisine from home. I think in writing my posts I have discovered more and more how much I love french cooking, food and ingredients.  I also have realized that the French culture in its entirety is something that I really am interested in and appreciate.  Recently I began taking a French cooking class two nights a week to further my knowledge and to also be able to share a little more with you fellow readers.  What a great experience it has been! Not only have I expanded my knowledge of French Cuisine, I have also met some really interesting people that share my same passion for the French Culture. In fact a group of 5 of us will be going abroad to visit the French Riviera and explore Monaco! One of my fellow travel companions, Brian, is a vinyl boat wrap technician and has traveled to Monaco many of times to vinyl wrap yachts and eat at some of the best French restaurants & cafes that you can find.  Brian, began sharing his traveling stories with me during our cooking classes and I have found that I am even more intrigued with the French culture than I once was!

French-Riviera-MonacoAlthough this post may be a little off kilter because it doesn’t focus entirely on french cuisine, I thought my fellow readers may be excited to hear some of Brian’s tales about the famous Monaco Yacht Show that is in fact going on as I write this!  It is considered the biggest yachting event and kicked off September 26th!  People from all over the world travel to this event to see the beautiful yachts that boast state of the art kitchens to cook cuisine from all over France and the rest of the world, as well as spas, beauty salons, swimming pools, and gyms! You will find this yacht show in Monaco located in Port Hercules prisistine and sparkling waters. With 121 super yachts on display and some even for sale one can definitely dream!  My dream would to be to sail on one of these magnificent ships through the French Riviera enjoying delicious food, champagne, the ocean breeze and all of the sunshine.

Super Yachts Of “The” Monaco Yacht Show

  • Axioma- This beautiful yacht is owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky and boasts an infinity swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym, massage room, and steam room. Measuring 236ft there is plenty of room to sail the French waters in style & class
  • Motor Yacht Solo- This yacht is 236ft as well and has a 20ft swimming pool, Turkish bath, and a Winter garden
  • Elandess- At 244 ft this ocean giant is complete with a super yacht swimming pool, observation lounge and another lounge below the waterline.
  • Illusion Plus- One of the bigger yachts at the yacht show it comes in at 290 ft. It has 4 interior lounges, 2 jacuzzi pools, a helicopter pad, and a beauty salon! Am I in heaven yet.
  • Barbara- Another of the bigger yachts at 290 ft this beautiful ocean masterpiece has a gymnasium on the sun deck and a wellness areaFrench-Italian-cuisine
  • Dar- Perhaps the biggest yacht at the show this yacht is 295 ft and offers panoramic views from the interior, a state of the art kitchen, helipad, swimming pool, beach club yes a beach club! And a bathing platform!

While these are only a handful of the amazing yachts at the show there are still so many more to see and take it. Another thing that I am excited to take in and have a first hand experience at when we travel to Monaco is the cuisine.  Being that it is located on the Mediterranean a lot of the dishes are prominent with seafood and fish.  Another fact is that the cuisine found there is actually a combination of Italian and French fare!  I am beyond excited to try out some of the Italian infused French dishes and share recipes with all of you readers when I return.  Part of me feels as if I monaco-cuisinemay never want to leave the French Riviera and instead relocate to a small little town along the Mediterranean Sea.  Brian has shared that in all of the trips he has taken to vinyl wrap luxury yachts and smaller boats he always leaves a part of him in the French Riviera when he returns to the states.  He said that being he isn’t the world’s most creative or greatest chef he started taking our French cooking class in hopes of bringing some of the amazing dishes he has eaten while abroad to his on kitchen. All I can say is Bon Voyage my fellow readers, I promise to return with wonderful dishes to share and many stories of the French Riviera and all of it’s splendor!

 

 

 

How To Make French Macarons!

French Macarones are all the rage these days and great to bring to parties, family get togethers, or to simply enjoy at home.  We thought we’d share this video on how to make your own French macarons.  It’s a lot easier than you may think!

All About French Wines

French-winesThe entire dining experience is taken very seriously in France.  Not only do the French believe you should sit and enjoy your food, they also believe in having wine with lunch & dinner. In fact wine is one of the leading staples alongside bread and cheese when it comes to French cuisine.  Perhaps that is why France is the leading wine producer throughout the world!

For those of you that are not wine connoisseurs, and are looking to understand French wine and how it is paired with the cuisine you are trying to replicate, we thought we’d break the French wine categories down for you and make it a bit simpler.  That being said, French wine is organized into 4 different regions and 4 categories depending greatly on quality of the grapes used and production itself.

french-wine-grapes

4 Categories Of Identifying Grape Quality

  • Table Wine- the lowest on the grape quality spectrum but definitely still delicious to drink. Table Wine is for everyday use.
  • Vin de Pays’- Similar to Table Wine but of a little higher quality
  • Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure- this type of wine is from a specific region and contains high quality grapes
  • Appellation d’origine Contrôlée- This is by far the crem dela creme of all wine. The AOC seal is in recognition of the highest quality of grape and French wine available

French-wine-appellation

4 Different French wine Regions

  • Bordeaux- This is mainly the region where Cabernets, Merlots, & Malbecs originate from. These wines are typically used in Bordelaise sauce which is made up of red wine, spices, and shallots.
  • Cotes Du Rhone- This region is found in the South of France and is home to red grapes that make up Syrah’s & Grenaches. As well as white grapes that make up viognier & Roussance
  • Burgundy- This particular region is best known for it’s white grapes that are found in Chardonnays and red grapes that are found in Pinot Noirs.  Wine from the Burgundy region finds its way into La Bourguignonne sauce which are also comprised of baby onions and mushrooms
  • Alsace- this region is found very close to Germany and thus has cooler temperatures than the rest of France and it’s wine regions. Because it is so close to the German border this region is influences a lot by Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer

Another fun fact and something your taste buds may thank you for is the fact that French Sauvignon Blancs are comparable to those from New Zealand.  What exactly does this mean?  If you are a Sauvignon Blanc drinker you may know that many people prefer New Zealand Sauv Blancs because of their grassy and grapefruit enhanced structure.  If you are looking to find a Sauv Blanc with notes that differ a bit, but a wine that still stands up to its New Zealand relative try a French Sauv Blanc, we don’t think you will be disappointed!

The French appreciate wine and not only drink it with the majority of meals they also use it alot in sauces and other dishes.  Get familiar with the different regions and find a couple wines from each that are within your budget and taste.  Having a bit of understanding of what wines do for your French sauces and other dishes that call for them, will help you to replicate your chosen French dish and eating it will be that much more enjoyable!

 

French Facts~

You have just been introduced to the wonder and deliciousness of French Cuisine and now you are ready to try your hand at recreating some of the fabulous French recipes available at home.  Perhaps you have always loved French dishes but never have found the time to make them yourself. Whatever it may be, one thing is sure to be said, once you master French cuisine at home your dinner parties and gatherings just got a whole though better!  Before I start on any new venture involving another culture I tend to do a bit of research to understand the culture and their idea of food, spices, pairings etc. Having somewhat of an understanding of the culture you are trying to replicate a dish from can make all the difference in how the dish turns out!  

That being said, to get everyone started on their French cuisine cooking at home, we thought we would share some fun and interesting facts about Food & the French Culture!

French Cuisine/ Culture Facts

    • Enjoying Your Food- In traditional French culture food enjoyment is a HUGE priority.  The French feel that eating is part of their culture and not just an act of putting food in your body.  They take time to savor their meals and enjoy themselves in all aspects while doing so!
    • French-CheeseCheese Galore-  the French have a different cheese for EVERY day of the year.
    • Snails, Snails, Snails- definitely a country staple, the French consume an average of 500,000,000 snails per year!
    • No Food Waste- France was the very FIRST country to prohibit supermarkets from throwing away unsold food.. Instead they must donate it to charities or other services that it may help.  Probably one of my favorite facts!!!
    • Traditional Baguette- If you want to enjoy a truly traditional French baguette, it must only be made with 3 ingredients- Flour, Yeast, & Salt. The entire loaf must way just under 9 ouncesreal-french-baugette
    • Legal Drinking Age- Not 1 but different legal drinking ages in the French culture.  16 for beer/wine, and 18 for hard liquor and other strong spirits
    • Simple Desserts-  Although many can conjure up sweet decadent desserts when thinking of French sweets the opposite is true.  Traditional French dessert consists of fresh fruit, sometimes yogurt or a small square of real dark chocolate.
    • french-wineWine- Wine one of the biggest staples and influences when it comes to French cuisine and dining
    • Celebrations- When it’s time to celebrate the French drink Champagne!
    • Traditional Christmas Menu– during the celebration of Christmas the French enjoy a menu of raw oysters, escargots, smoked salmon, foie gras, scallops, and let’s not forget the Champagne!
    • Horse & Rabbit- If you have ever dined at an authentic French restaurant, you may have noticed you saw an abundance of dishes made with horse and rabbit.  This is because the French tend to eat a lot of horse and rabbit.
    • The AOC- The French rely heavily on the AOC or Appellation D’Origine Controlee labeling system.  This system helps to regulate the quality of chicken, wine, cheeses, olive oils, potatoes & lentils.
    • Lunch Time- We said the French believe in the enjoyment of their food and because this is of such great importance it is not uncommon for the French to take a 2 hour lunch break at minimum.

Every culture has certain staples and beliefs when it comes to their cooking techniques and cuisine.  Understanding their way of seeing food and the ingredients they choose can help to make your at home French cuisine out of this world!  Not only is it fun to cook new dishes, having a great glass of wine that compliments the food and aromas coming from your kitchen makes the whole process that much more delicious and relaxing!

 

Hello, Bonjour!

french-cuisineHello, or as the French say bonjour!  Welcome to our blog on French Cuisine and the simple steps and recipes that you can cook at home.  We took our love for French cooking and decided to share it with the world through this site.  We hope to provide interesting and useful knowledge on the art of french cuisine as well as make French cuisine fun and easy to master in your own home.  Get ready for some great dinner parties and some delicious food!