Tasty Autumn treats

On one hand it’s a bit sad that we marching on into cold, dark winter; boots, scarves and gloves out of the storage cupboard and worn out of necessity for a turn around the park.

On the other hand Autumn is the season to tantalise the tastebuds.  There is such a lot of culinary excitement going on.  You remember I mentioned the Cèpes?  Well I bought some last weekend, prepared and cooked them as instructed; wiping not washing so they don’t soak up water, not too much oil in the pan, and plenty of fresh parsley.  We ate them as an accompaniment to an omelette.  The verdict: delicious.  This seasonal treat is not cheap; the market stalls I saw priced them anywhere between €20 and €35 per kilo, one sign pronounced €19.95 per 500g, clearly a promotional trick.  I guess there is a Paris premium at play too.   Buying cèpes is a very particular process; you don’t help yourself, no, no, no. Monsieur le Fruiterer will advise and carefully place the specimens you decide to buy into a bag and make sure you have amongst your purchases a bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley. It’s a serious business, cooking and eating.

The next seasonal story is cheese.  Our local master cheesemonger told me that Autumn is a good time to eat Reblochon just as the cows have just been brought down from the high mountain pastures (les alpages) where they have been grazing over summer.  This cheese is soft with a lovely nutty flavour and is special enough to be registered by an Appellation contrôle (AoC), it originates from the Savoie region (up in the French Alps) and is made from the milk of only three breeds of cows.  The origin of the Reblochon name is a great history story.

Of course it’s also the season for harvest grapes, le vendange.  This is super special, with Fetes des Vendanges in many wine growing areas including Montmartre here in Paris.  Last weekend, being the second weekend in October, the hilltop at Montmartre village was set up for the celebration of the Montmartre vine harvest with concerts, parades and a mass of food and wine stalls.  Not only were there local products, but food and wine from all over the country to be tasted and bought.  Oh my, what temptation there was!  I happened to chat with a wine-maker from Les Caves Richemer in the Agde-Marseillan area (not far from Montpellier) who had been in New Zealand for 3 months earlier this year.  I’ve now got a bottle of her lovely Rose wine waiting for some good company to share it with.

Autumn has a lot going for it after all.

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8 thoughts on “Tasty Autumn treats

  1. Cepes are mushrooms, no? Your photos are terrific. I especially like the slide show at the end.

    • keiryberry says:

      Yes they are big forest mushrooms. They look like they ought to be poisonous, but are a real treat, lots of hype when they come into season. I’m told I need to try Girolles and Morelles next.

  2. kiwiyarns says:

    I’m drooling… you’ve got three of my most favourite foods in the world right there… super jealous again!!!

  3. Annette Thomson says:

    Hi Keiry,
    My name is Annette Thomson and my Dad is Evan. He often sends me links to your wonderful blog. Love the food! – and I am into knitting too as time allows. We are heading into spring here and I am enjoying the asparagus. Apparently Dad has made your Mum sit down and he is in her kitchen cooking her tea for a change tonight! Regards Annette

    • keiryberry says:

      Hi Annette
      Oh your Dad is lovely. Mum will be fidgeting then, she is always in control in the kitchen. I love asparagus season…..thinking about that gives me a pang of yearning for NZ.
      thanks for looking up my blog, it’s great to hear from you. Keiry

      • Annette Thomson says:

        Yes I think he was having trouble making her sit at the dining table!
        Your Mum is an amazing cook and baker.

  4. Hi Keiry, glad to read what you’ve been getting up to! Just to make you (and all your blog-friends) jealous … We did a here-and-back to Auvergne at the beginning of the week: Georges wanted to return to the place where he went on holiday with his Mum soooo long ago. Well it was so misty it was almost drizzling, the place was half shut down, the hotel (omelette aux cèpes among other things) was BAD (I even put it on TripAdvisor …), everything very strangely tasteless … I know you are not jealous yet! Here it comes: we found a local mushroom-gatherer who sold us 2.5kg of cèpes for 10€/kg. (Black, of course, at that price!) And we had an omelette yesterday: good cèpes, good eggs from our three ladies … wish you had been here! but in Paris you have got it all, far more than here. It’s just that you do indeed have to pay for it.
    So glad you are continuing to make the best of Paris!
    All our love …
    Lois

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