Category Archives: # A-Z of Food#

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 25…France…

 

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…

Today I am looking at the cuisine of  France…

How to describe the cuisine of France…its traditional, imaginative embedded in the culture, flavoursome and steeped in history, admired around the world for the sophistication of some of the chef’s techniques that have been handed down through the ages..known for producing top quality chefs, families of chefs like the Roux family…words don’t do some of the dishes justice…French chefs are famous for their dedication to their craft and willingness to teach but are hard taskmaster…

France, the largest country in Western Europe, has long been a gateway between the continent’s northern and southern regions…Wide fertile plains dominate most of the north and west, making France the agricultural epicentre of Europe.

That the French love food is undisputed their food is among the best in the world.. but I do think that there are many chefs around the world who can match a French chef for their commitment to food and cooking and indeed many of those chefs have trained under some of the best French chefs Raymond Blanc,  Jean-Christophe Novelli, Alain Passard, Paul Bocuse, Anne-Sophie Pic one of the few female chefs she is the fourth woman to attain three Michelin stars and has received the World’s Best Female Chef award…but this post is not about the brilliant chefs France has produced but the food…world cooking owes much to French food culture.

What are some of the most famous dishes that originated in France and are now eaten and loved around the world?

  • The croissant.
  • The baguette.
  • The coq au vin.
  • The ratatouille.
  • The boeuf bourguignon.
  • The quiche Lorraine.
  • The escargots de Bourgogne.
  • The onion soup.

That the French love their butter and cheese is an understatement…they believe that food should be eaten and enjoyed with family and friends…there are over 400 types of cheese in France made from all types of milk, including goat…

You would think with all this butter and huge amounts of wonderful food, French people might be obese, but they aren’t. This is called the French paradox redux. Many studies have been done on why the general population of France generally is not obese. No one is quite sure, but these longer-than-average meals made with fresher and unprocessed foods that are common in French food culture may have something to do with it.

One of our family favourites and the first dish I cooked for my husband is Boeuf bourguignon it started out as a peasant dish from the Eastern region of France, in Bourgogne…what started as basically a stew made from the tougher cuts of a cow is now on the menus of the poshest of restaurants…

Many of the most loved dishes of France have humble origins…like the cassoulet that originated from the southern city of Toulouse and its surrounding areas, cassoulet is made of pork, duck, different types of sausages, and a lot of white beans. The dish has been enjoyed for years and years and still continues to be a favourite in France.

This dish is a rich, hearty meal that is best known for eating in those colder months. The name of the dish comes from the pot, “cassole”, that the dish is traditionally baked in.

Ofcourse if you haven’t been to France then watching these 3 cook will give you an experience of French cooking…

What is the most famous food in France? It’s the humble, staple, French food—the Baguette! It’s also one of the most famous French foods in America. The French take their Baguettes very seriously…even here if we pop over to Vietienne is the capital of Laos… we are very close to the border you can get some of the best French baguettes…Vientiane was a French protectorate in Southeast Asia of what is today Laos between 1893 and 1953 hence why we can get authentic French baguettes…

A typical French meal at home or in a restaurant…starts with a light appetiser in summer it is something like melon au Porto or escargo in the winter it is a delicious French Onion Soup.

or it could beCoquilles Saint Jacques aka Scallops, Foie gras on toast or baked Camembert…

Main Course…could be meat or fish or both…the French take their dinner very seriously…in summer served with vegetables or salad in winter..it could roast lamb or beef, coq au vin or our favourite Beef Bourguignon…A bouillabaisse…

For a lighter lunch, it could be a quiche or savoury crepes..is there no end to all this delicious food.

Jeez, no wonder my sister wants to retire there…just writing about the food is making me salivate and we haven’t got to desserts yet…or the wine of which as France is a wine producing country…no beer, sodas or fizzy pop with their meals…it could be a different wine with each course white for fish and red for meat…a famous French saying is “repas sans vin, repas chagrin…Dinner without wine is a sad dinner…

But of course, before we get to dessert there is the cheese course,,, we are in France after all…generally, if there are 3-5 persons then at least 3 cheeses will be served…with a baguette so if you are still hungry or not keen on the main course served you can fill your boots on cheese and baguette…

Desserts are generally light as you still have the coffee to go…fresh fruit, macaroons, delicious french pastries, creme brulee…

And finally…French food culture not only gave the world French food and cooking, but also the critique gastronomique (food critic) and a way to classify and rank food, the Michelin Guides, the same people who make Michelin tires. When they wanted to sell more tires, Michelin thought a guide to travel places might help. Beginning in 1900, Michelin accidentally created a whole new industry. The Michelin Guides and the stars they give can make or break a restaurant around the world…we have so much to thank the French food culture for…

Thank you for joining me today for this virtual tour of French cuisine as always I look forward to your comments xx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…23rd- 29th October 2022-Monday Musings, #Ricotta, Walnut and Blackberry Toast , Health, Morbid Obesity, #Edible Roots…and Saturday Snippets where “Lost” is my one word prompt.

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts you may have missed during the week…weather wise it has been a mixed week but the temps are dropping a little as we get into our “winter”…its nice weather to walk in though and I am increasing my daily steps gradually and feel better for it…It is enjoyable walking in the early morning nice and quiet plus you get the best of the market I am enjoying some huge passionfruit at the moment instead of being golf ball size they are like bigger versions of a cricket ball and full of lovely sweet and sour flesh…

Monday Musings… this is where normally I share some things that have thrilled me, made me think or smile or even have a mini-rant but generally it is my happy place and I hope yours …

Last week’s Monday Musings focused on “housekeeping” our blogs with one of the aims being to combat scammers and bots…not wanting to give these stupid girls a platform I also highlighted the vandalism of work of art plus a great video on how waste is being utilised in India it makes good viewing and made me feel hopeful as I do think the use i=of plastic crept up during the covid quarantines…

Monday Musings…24th October 2022…

Tuesday it was another breakfast/brunch with meat…this is one of my favourites as it has fruit, walnuts and ricotta on some lovely sourdough or wholemeal bread it is delicious…

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…A breakfast/brunch treat…Ricotta, Blackberry and Walnut Toast.

Healthy - Vegetables- Fruit- Lady

Healthy Eating

Some of my regular readers may have noticed that I have rescheduled some of my older posts the reason is twofold one to combat those pesky scammers and two because my newer readers may not have read them and of course, with healthy eating posts there can also be new research or thought changes so an update keeps it current,,,

Healthy foods which may help reduce your blood pressure…

Thank you, Sally, again for resharing my first A-Z…it is serving as a good reminder for me…Please click the highlighted link below to read the original post.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

Boulangere is one of my favourite ways to eat the potato as I can’t get jersey Royals..

CarolCooks2…In my kitchen…Boulangere Potatoes…

I am pleased to promote Jacqui Murray’s new book release I am looking forward to reading this trilogy as I have thoroughly enjoyed the books I have read previously written by Jacquie…in this book tour we focus on “food” it is interesting that much of the food eaten is still eaten today although it may be cooked and not eaten raw a great insight into diet back then…Please click the highlighted link to be taken to Lucy’s world…

CarolCooks2 – Natural Selection, Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series by Jacqui Murray book blog tour

Time for the next instalment of  Size Matters where Sally is looking at the benefit of a good night’s sleep …a good night’s sleep works wonders for your health.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – The power of sleep when losing weight and to be healthy by Sally Cronin

Edible Roots is the theme of this week’s posts and it is important as discussed the previous week that anything we forage or try that we haven’t tried before must, of course, be edible but also palatable…

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…#Edible Roots…Part 3…

Saturday Snippets…

One of my favourite posts of the week to write…My initial thought when my muse dropped this in my lap was that it was payback for ignoring her last week and that she had thrown me a curve ball but my research unearthed some great snippets…it just shows that initial impressions are not always right…

It also seems that “lost” prompted memories from many of you…thank you for the links Pete and Pete plus Joy had written about “Otzi the Iceman” a fascinating find by climbers please head over and have a read…Thank you for sharing this with us Joy it was a wonderful find…

Saturday Snippets…29th October 2022…my one word prompt is “Lost”

That’s what I love most about blogging is the interaction in the comments…I just love it..Thank you xx

Final post of the week…

Healthy Eating…No to Diets…Walking…is the new gym and it’s FREE!…plus walking is not only healthy but it’s social…

Healthy Eating…No to Diets…Walking…is the new gym and it’s FREE!

Thank you for joining me today for my weekly roundup a very mixed bag this last week…but also lots of fun in the comments and as always I look forward to your comments x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

Welcome to a repeat of my A-Z  series …Sally who writes Smorgasbord Magazine is repeating the series for which I thank her it is not only a reminder for me, of the amazing variety of food we have available to us today from around the world, but delicious recipes to showcase them. I am enjoying the recap…I hope you are too…and for any new readers…Welcome 🙂

Today it’s the letter J…

Starting with one of my favourite little sweeties the Jelly Bean…

Jelly Beans are primarily made of sugar with jelly inside a candy shell…There are some awesome flavours…Tabasco Flavour, Chilli Mango, Marguerita and some beautiful fruity flavours…Cringe-worthy flavours like Earthworm, Earwax and vomit are for me a No No! But I suppose for Halloween revellers they will be on someone’s list…

Jelly:

Depending on where in the world you live Jelly can be a wibbly wobbly fruit jelly made with gelatin which in England is served with fruit and cream or used to make a trifle. In the US jelly is put on bread or toast or made into a tart and is what we Brits call jam…Are you confused yet?

Jellies are also sweets…fruit jellies of all shapes and sizes…They may be plain or covered in sugar but are what we call jellies in England

To read the original post please head over to Smorgasbord Magazine by clicking the highlighted link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/10/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-culinary-a-z-rewind-j-for-jelly-beans-jalapenos-jack-fruit-and-jerky-all-with-a-little-jus/

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…9th- 15th October 2022-Monday Musings, #British Egg Week , Health, Morbid Obesity, #Edible Roots…and Saturday Snippets where “Empty” is my one word prompt.

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts you may have missed during the week…weather wise it has been a mixed week but the temps are dropping a little as we get into our “winter”…its nice weather to walk in though and I am increasing my daily steps gradually and feel better for it…

Monday Musings… is where normally I share some things that have thrilled me, made me think or smile or even have a mini-rant but generally it is my happy place and I hope yours…

This week in Monday Musings I promoted Clive’s post where “Mental Health” was on the agenda…a topic which is probably close to many people’s hearts and none of us are immune to mental health problems plus “Fire Eating Goats” yep and no they aren’t a new pop group but goats are really used to help stop fires…

Monday Musings…10th October 2022 is “World Mental Health Day” plus did you know there are “Fire Stopping Goats”

Monday 10th October was also “World Porridge Day…

There is nothing like a bowl of porridge oats…a healthy start to the day…World Porridge Day was first held in 2009 it was started in Argyl, Scotland to raise funds for “Mary’s Meals” a charity that aids starving children in developing countries…The World Porridge Making Championship has taken place alongside the day since 2009…

World Porridge Day 10th October 2022…

Eggs…I still remember the old advert “go to work on an egg”…last week was ” British Egg Week” so no better time than to share a few ideas for eating eggs…they come ready to cook in their own package and can be cooked in various ways and adapt to both sweet and savoury recipes.

For some traditional ways to eat eggs and some new ways please click the highlighted link below.

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…Eggs…versatile and healthy…

I love writing A-Z’s and this A-Z is my first of many …Many thanks to Sally for repeating this A-Z I am very much enjoying reading it again I hope you are too and if you are new to my A-Z then thank you for dropping by I hope you enjoyed it…To read the full original post please click the highlighted link below…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘I’ is for Icing, Ink Fish, Indian Black Salt, Infusing Immortalittea and Irish Stew…

Thursday it was time for my newest A-Z where I am exploring world cuisine…

While writing these posts I am careful not to include countries which are at war and where children are starving I was however not aware that the dark side of food existed on the Faroe Islands and that the barbaric tradition of the slaughter of Pilot Whales and Dolphins is still practised. Small boats herd the schools of both types of intelligent mammals into shallow waters, where people are waiting to kill them with knives…its time this slaughter was stopped…

It was Pete who drew my attention to this and I will in future be looking into whether these traditions still exist in any other country where I promote the cuisine…Pete also copied this link https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58555694…Thank you Pete for making me aware x

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 24…The Faroe Islands…

Getting Moving and shifting the pounds

When you are embarking on a programme to regain good health, the last thing you need is to be laid up with a knee or other injury. The temptation is to complement your new healthy eating commitment with an annual gym membership and an attempt to run a marathon…

It is much better to learn to walk before you run…. and if you are a certain age… it is better to ease into the weight lifting by starting with a couple of tins of beans.

Before you even begin to run, you do need to ensure that the ligaments, muscles and joints that have been on sabbatical for some time (except for the weight training involved in moving excess weight around) are in good condition for what is to come.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – Getting Moving and shifting the pounds by Sally Cronin

After the success of my Aromatic Leaves comes “Edible Roots”…in part one, I am featuring the “Horseradish Root”. the “Liquorice Root” and the “Coriander Root”…

Like I did with the aromatic leaves I will not be featuring common ones but maybe ones we throw away without realising that they are a source of flavour for our food, to eat and cook with or to make tea…my aim is to feature three roots per post one of which may be new to you…

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Edible Roots…Part 1…

Saturday Snippets…

Saturday Snippets is one of my favourite posts of the week and one where I learn so much from connections to just one word..how on earth or why my muse came up with “Empty” flummoxed me..but hey ho I’m always up for a challenge…

I do know though that an empty box is one of the toys kids love the most… how often have you wrapped a present and the kids have played with the box for longer than they played with the lovingly brought gift inside…?

Saturday Snippets…15th October 2022…Today’s one-word prompt is “Empty”

Thank you so much for joining me today I hope that wherever you are in the world that you are having a fabulous weekend…as always I look forward to and appreciate all your comments and shares.xx

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 24…The Faroe Islands…

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…

Today I am looking at the cuisine of The Faroe Islands…

The Faroe Islands or “sheep islands” are 18 islands in the North East Atlantic. The beautiful green islands are a self-governing part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

The archipelago is situated approximately 400 km (250 mi) north-northwest of the coast of Scotland (United Kingdom) and about 460 km (285 mi) east-southeast of Iceland…as you would expect from these beautiful remote islands fishing is their major industry…Tourism is second…

Because of the location and the North Atlantic winds the weather in the islands changes so quickly and frequently that a well-known Faroese saying is ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.

Faroese cuisine is based around fish and sheep…simples…Traditional foods from the Faroe Islands include skerpikjøt (a type of dried mutton), seafood, whale meat, blubber, garnatálg,..is a speciality prepared with cured sheep intestines and sheep tallow. The combination is shaped into large, oval pieces which are then air-dried. This local product is usually cut into slices, pan-fried until melted and served over ræstur fiskur—air-dried and fermented fish. potatoes, and a few fresh vegetables.

Faroese Puffins…

Faroese historical folklore statesPuffins on the Faroe Islands are most often filled with a sort of cake batter mixed with raisins, sewn shut and braised, or just braised without the cake. The batter can also be wrapped in little pouches of aluminium foil and braised together with the birds rather than inside them. Leave the plucked, gutted and cleaned puffins to soak in cold water overnight before cooking them. They have a peculiar but tasty, fresh-ocean flavour to them, which can grow very strong and a bit heady for my taste if they are not handled well.

Just reading and researching about the Faroe Islands takes me to a place that is magical and filled with folklore where food is an extension of the land and surrounding seas they are also one of the only places in the world that don’t have a Mcdonald’s…Yeah! Long may that last!

But there is a 2-star Michelin Restaurant…How cool is that what beautiful surroundings all the food is so fresh and although street food is my love I do appreciate local fresh food lovingly prepared and beautifully presented…

The past and tradition are very strong here in the Faroes…alcohol as it was in many communities was prohibited and that is when “sheebeens” were set up…

The Faroese still drink in sheebeens, known as key clubs –That were set up in secret when alcohol was banned on the islands. These dens were so popular they stayed open when prohibition ended. There is an Irish pub called, imaginatively, ‘Irish Pub’. It is said to serve the best beer on the islands…

But of course, it’s not all fine dining and sheebeens…with its wild untamed natural beauty there are no trees just wind and ocean and more sheep than people…sheep can be found even grazing on the roofs of houses that are often covered in grass so of course, there is oodles of traditional Faroese food like fermented lamb and fish, rye bread, blood sausage, and stewed rhubarb …hearty warming dishes that can be found in cafes and restaurants dotted about the islands…in the main towns and larger villages, there are many lovely eating establishments to try traditional food…or many homes open up so that tourists can dine with the family and sample traditional foods…However, if traditional food isn’t for you… there are burger vans…

The most popular meat is räst…fermented mutton…the meat is hung outside to dry for a few months and then eaten sliced as it is or added to soups…it is also further fermented when it becomes a dish called skerpikjøtt…it can be eaten with a spoon, its strong tasting and if its anything like the fermented meat and fish here…I give it a wide berth too strong tasting for me and muddy in taste…however like many countries old traditions are still upheld which is nice…

Because the weather is so rough only a few hardy vegetables grow here, potatoes, turnips, rhubarb and wild herbs but it’s interesting to see how creative cooks can be …less is more as most chefs say…

I hope you have enjoyed this little virtual tour of the Faroe Islands as always I look forward to your comments and if unlike me you have visited the Faroe Islands please share…x

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 25th September -1st October 2022-Monday Musings, Mushroom Lasagne with 40 cloves of garlic, Health, Morbid Obesity, Aromatic Leaves…Scent Leaves…and Saturday Snippets where “Rain” is my one word prompt.

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts you may have missed during the week…September was in its final week...the start of high season and sunshine for some although we are still getting some ferocious tropical downpours and the start of shorter nights and colder days for others…I managed to dodge the spots today on my early morning walk…

Yesterday was the 1st of October…it was World Vegetarian Day, the start of National Apple Month(1st-31st), it was National Potato Day in Ireland and I’m sure there were lots of beautiful potato dishes on offer as Ireland is known for its potatoes…3rd-9th October is National Curry Week, plus not only is Tuesday the 4th October World Taco Day but it is also Cinnamon Roll Day…anything with cinnamon and I am there…it comes into its own at this time of year…

This is the time to gather up the rest of the harvest and prepare for the winter month for those of you who are in the Southern Hemisphere…lots of lovely root veggies…

What else can we look forward to in October?…for some there is Halloween but it’s also a month loaded with national and global celebrations. In addition to spooky revelry, October’s schedule includes multiple days on the topic of bullying awareness …it makes me sad that after all the days, weeks and months we are still banging this drum…Bullying is unacceptable in my book and yet it still exists…

It’s National Apple, Chilli and Caramel, pears and Rhubarb month plus cookbook month… those are just a few of my favourites already the recipes are swirling around in my brain…

Let’s have look at last week’s posts…starting with…Monday Musings...

I was serious on Monday…there are some steps forward from B Corps…Lots of info on that and the climate crisis is on full display this week with hurricanes and typhoon-related storms causing mass destruction…Please help, if you can…and if you are in the path of any of these then please stay safe x

Monday Musings…26th September 2022…

Tuesday it was time for a veggie recipe...I love mushrooms and garlic and this recipe is both garlic approx 40 cloves..not a typo it’s definitely garlic and mushroom heavy..delicious and decadent…

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…Mushroom Lasagne…

A big thank you to Sally from Smorgabord Magazine for sharing my first A-Z…I am loving rereading this series…I hope you are too…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘H’ is for Honey, Hamburgers, Hummus, Herbs, Haggis and Hoisin Sauce

This post was meant to raise awareness of the stark reality of food loss and waste…it is a problem. a huge problem and we need to do more!

CarolCooks2…Today is the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste…

Morbid Obesity…

The good news from the UK and it’s not before time is that stores are no longer allowed to promote junk food at the tills and in certain other parts of the stores more on that in this week’s Monday Musings…The worldwide figures on Morbid Obesity are scary…In fact, obesity is considered a modern epidemic in most parts of the world.

Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, with about 13% of adults being obese and about 39% of adults being overweight…Sally’s posts are great she uses herself as an example of what can be achieved …she is brutally honest about why she was obese and the effect on her health and where she is now healthy and at a normal weight…Please head over by clicking the highlighted link below…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters: The Sequel – #Morbid Obesity – Putting your Healthy Eating Plan together Part One #Measurements #Motivation by Sally Cronin

I cannot believe I am on part 6 of aromatic leaves at best I thought I might stretch to 3 posts but I keep coming across aromatic leaves and this last week it was quite by chance as you will see if you read the post…

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Aromatic Leaves…Part 6…

Saturday Snippets…my most fun post of the week to write and yesterday my muse chose “Rain” as my one-word prompt…

I came across a stunning rain tree, a Japanese rain doll…I totally forgot to include Rainbow  Pasta…it looks so cool and all-natural…

Isn’t that cool…not sure about the voice but at least its clear…

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments..have a great Sunday and if you are in the path of any hurricanes or typhoons then please batten down and stay safe…x