The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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Top 8 must-try foods from Provence

Posted by on in Food & Drink

A significant part of any visitor’s time in Provence Côte d'Azur is likely to be taken up by food. Whether you’re eating in restaurants or cooking for yourself, either way you’re sure to find you spend a serious amount of time savouring and delighting in the wealth of fresh produce and local specialities.   Long lazy lunches on a shady terrace, with the sound of cicadas chirping, washed down with plenty of chilled rosé is one of the things Provence is all about.  Visiting markets and choosing your sun-ripened fruit and veg, golden olive oil, fresh goats cheese and local saucisson is another must do.  With this in mind I thought I’d put together a list of 8 Provençal dishes any visitor to Provence Côte d'Azur has just got to try.

favourite dishes from Provence

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What is a bûche de Noël?

Posted by on in French Culture & Traditions

The Christmas meal in France, eaten on the evening of the 24th of December, wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t end with a delicious dessert of bûche de Noël, but what exactly is a bûche de Noël?  Literally translated bûche de Noël means Christmas log, and nowadays it comes in the form of a cake shaped more or less like a log.  Its origins however come from a real wooden log.bûche noël esther

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Hoi An: the very best of Vietnam?

Posted by on in World Travel

Xin chào quý khách*…. unless this is the first time you’re reading my blog or you’ve had your head buried in the sand during the last few weeks I think you’ll probably be aware that I’ve recently been to Vietnam with my family on a trip that practically took on pilgrimage proportions as JF and I returned to the country where we met more than 20 years ago.   With so much anticipation and so many emotions churning through our veins the fear was it might not live up to our expectations or the country might have changed so much that we’d feel disappointed, disoriented or deceived, but I’m delighted to report that it was a total success on all levels.  I have thousands of photos to sort through and equally as many words to process before I can really do justice to such an incredible journey but I wanted to get something down on paper sooner rather than later, and had to start somewhere, so what better than the place that stole all our hearts.  Hoi An.

Japanese covered bridge Hoi An Vietnam

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Salade Niçoise, Nice Salad

Posted by on in Food & Drink

Salade niçoise is probably the most well-known dish to come from Nice; it is served in restaurants around the world and means quite literally Nice salad (note the capital N, salad from Nice rather than nice salad, but it is indeed that too).

salade niçoise in restaurant

It is a mixed salad composed of tomatoes, sweet green peppers (long thin salad peppers not the green equivalent of a red pepper), artichokes (in season), young broad beans (in season), cucumber, radish, spring onions, black olives (from Nice), hard boiled eggs, garlic (only to rub the dish with), anchovy filets or tuna, basil leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper.  What it doesn’t contain is any cooked vegetables such as potatoes and green beans.  Nor should it include salad leaves.

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