The Art of Eating an Oyster

White wine picpoul de pinet, oysters and lemon

Some Pearls of Wisdom Oyster farming is a thriving part of the culture and economy of the Étang de Thau (the Thau Lagoon between Sète and Bouzigues) in the Languedoc Roussillon and the picturesque town of Bouzigues produces the most sought-after oysters in Europe. That is because, due to the higher density of salt in […]

Cheese Etiquette – Roquefort

cheese at a farmer's market in the south of France

Shortly after I arrived in France, I was invited as guest of honor at a dinner party for eight. I was flattered but also somewhat apprehensive as to the correct protocol. And so I dusted off my French etiquette book, which suggested simply following what the host does. It made perfect sense and worked well – […]

How mold found its way into the first Roquefort cheese

In response to our recent article on cheese etiquette, many readers have wondered just how mold from rye bread found its way into the first Roquefort cheese. Well let’s just say that the French are great lovers who also love their cheese. As one might suspect, therein lies a tale of great romance. Napoleon and […]

Sea Urchins: Facts, Fiction and How To Eat Them!

A sea urchin opened with orange flesh on a wooden pole by a lagoon

SEA URCHINS: A REVELATION What is it that makes one fall in love with the south of France? Is it the lifestyle, climate, food, wine…? For me it was all of the above – plus my future husband, a young medical student. Thirty years ago, rather than return home to Canada after a one-year work […]

Bizarre Holiday Gift Ideas from France

Bars of artisinal soap made with Donkey's milk.

Donkey Milk Skin Creme Donkey milk has been a favorite for women of distinction since the time of Cleopatra. It is said that Cleopatra traveled with a team of 100 donkeys so that she could indulge in a bath of donkey milk. Personally, I love the soap, bath lotion and the cream shown above. It’s […]

A Tale of Two Cities – and the best Fish soup

Bouillabaisse fish soup with a crouton, aioli and colorful dish with olives

Bustling, edgy Marseille, France’s second and oldest city, and largest commercial port. Designated as Top Ten Oceanfront Cities by National Geographic in 2014 and one the New York Times’ favourite destinations, Marseille is becoming increasingly trendy. Sète, its younger, understated cousin and the most important fishing port on the Mediterranean, is ‘the most fascinating small town on the French […]