Sunday, June 5, 2011

Arriving in Aix-en-Provence: Quality Foods Mean Eating Less

Camille Fabre selling bread at the Marché
Saturday morning we reached Aix and made our way to our cozy apartment  in the center of the bustling town.  Christina, our proprietor, happily introduced us to our new lodging and all of its amenities. 

We’re a 5 minute walk from the Cours Mirabeau, the main boulevard in Aix that was originally created in 1649 for horse-drawn coaches.  How I love its beautiful fountains!  Notre quartier (our neighborhood) is teaming with restaurants and épiceries (small groceries). 

We ate our first meal of lamb chops and grilled tomatoes dusted with les herbes de Provence for lunch at a tiny restaurant, Le Piston, one that Christina recommended.  In the evening, we nibbled on whole grain bread with sunflower seeds dipped in olive oil, fresh strawberries, and cherry tomatoes for “le diner.”  All were full flavored and delectable.  I’ve missed the authentic tastes and sights of France.  

We got soaked during a heavy downpour as we returned from our first food shopping at the Monoprix supermarket.  The thunder and rains continued and rolled on sporadically through Sunday. I’m glad Christina cautioned us about the Saturday night revelries in the streets below that go on until the wee hours of the weekend mornings.  Thankfully we brought earplugs from our Air France flight.

A first exploration in Aix on a cloudy Sunday morning brought me to the Place Richelme, the site of the daily produce market.  I live for the French marchés (markets)!  As you can see from the photo above, Camille sold me whole grain breads, cheese, and some ham.  There is nothing like the flavor of these whole grain breads of pain complet and pain de seigle (rye with nuts). 

The experience at the Marché reminds me that when we buy quality foods with real taste, it means eating less and with gusto.  I made salad last night with the largest fresh figs I’ve ever seen (from the marché of course).  I added fresh greens, strawberries, and tomatoes along with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil for a salad that was so good that I ate a second helping as dessert.  Really!

A plus tard (until later),

Yours in joy and health!



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