Five Know-how rules about wine

Remove the capsule under the ring of the bottle .If the lead has been replaced by less hazardous synthetic materials for health and the environment, it is always considered to maintain this tradition.

Open the wine bottle

When you take your cap from the bottle, make sure it stays straight and does not break. This will prevent the cork of the old wines to fall into the bottle. To do this, pull your corkscrew, and made ​the quarter-turns from right to left.

Would you love to make noise by opening your bottle? This subtle noise “pop” fun! No, discretion is required under the rules of etiquette!

Wine service

Small details; serve the wine on retaining the label of the bottle on top, the little string that may leak when pouring will mess the back of your bottle!

Which serve first

Serve a few drops of wine into the glass in order to test it. With this delicate gesture, your guest will see how you make sure that the wine is of good quality. If this is the case continue to serve your guests.

The host should always take care that no one lacks wine during the meal. Women should never serve wine herself so, Madam, if you want to drink wine, ask for water! If your host is polite, he will offer vin 6bb33588c6379c61b49436aa7550875cyou wine!

Bonne dégustation!

Assumption feast in France

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary celebrates the Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary’s spirit and body was assumed to heaven. It is an important occasion for village and church festivals and is a public holiday in France.

The long weekend of the Assumption, in the middle of the month of August and the summer, has a flavour of summer vacation for working people who go to join their families or vacationing friends. In many villages in France, the month of August coincides with village festivals. They are often organised for the occasion of this long weekend.

Assumption is one of the greatest feast days of Christian life. It celebrates the glory of Mary with God at the end of her earthly life. Mary, after her death, was taken from earthly life to “enter into the life of God”. Assumption Comes from a Latin word which means “to lift” – and should be distinguished from the weekend of Ascension, in the spring.

The feast of the Assumption is celebrated throughout the world by Catholics who gather in many places around 15 August. In France, there are a great many churches dedicated to Mary where you can enjoy the celebration.

In Paris, Catholics organise a river procession on the Seine around the Islands of Saint-Louis and the Cité. The Festival in honour of Mary in Puy-en-Velay and the international procession in Notre-Dame du Puy are also famous. The sanctuary of Lourdes also welcomes thousands of pilgrims for this occasion.

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Traditional Baguette

Traditional Baguette

Crispy on the outside and soft inside, while in France, all foreigners fall in love with it. For the French it is still the bakery’s diva that no one resists.

We know of two different versions about the baguette ́s origin. The first one says that the bread appeared under the Napoleonic regime; the bread was round for better preservation; it is said that the recent form had been invented by Napoleon’s bakers as the easiest way to transport it by the soldiers who carried them in their pants. We still have doubts about the baguette ́s condition after a day of walking!

Another theory suggests that the baguette’s form knows its origin in Vienna. The Viennese bread was imported into France in the nineteenth century and then developed in the 1920s in Paris. A law prohibiting the bakers work before 4am encouraged the development of the baguette because its preparation required less time kneading and baking than the round bread.

The bread is a symbol of France and, perhaps more than ever, bakers are looking for excellent quality in the bread they make and for the greatest delight of the French.

Easy recipe:

For 2 Baguettes

300 g of water

2tbsp of salt

1 tea spoon of sugar

490 g of flour

1 packet of yeast of “Boulanger Briochin”

A bread machine to make the dough and knead

Place all ingredients in the bread machine; once the dough is kneaded, shape the dough on the table; take the form of a baguette, and then put a damp cloth on it.

Bake at 200°c for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden Brown.

Bonne dégustation!

baguette

baguette, photos from Pinterest

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Perfumes in France

The history of perfume has been throughout the history of mankind. From the times of the Neolithic pottery to the today travel spray. Recipes have been found on papyrus of ancient Egypt and have been now used as international industrial patterns in the industry today. And let’s not forget the perfume lovers, Catherine de Medici, Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon: the history of perfume is a story of civilizations.

The first perfume was born in the temples of ancient times, accompanied by the rituals, myths and cultural beliefs. In the Middle Ages it was used for protection against epidemics and a short time after it become a factor of social distinction. In the seventeenth century, the court of France allowed the perfume corporations to officially establish themselves in the country; now the trade developed and the cities of Montpellier and Grasse experienced a considerable growth until the nineteenth century.

With industrialization, the scent became more democratic, benefitting from discoveries in chemistry and allowing big houses to create incomparable products such  as “No. 5”, which mark the now  modern times. For hundreds of years, the perfume experts of Grasse have been innovating and exploring new ways to extract the fragrances from various plants and substances, and visitors in town today can enjoy a multi-sensory experience at its  perfume museum.

Over the centuries, fragrances and their uses have changed significantly and perfumers are more detailed to capture the richness and complexity of fragrances. Nowadays the perfume explores attitudes, science and industry. Perfumes are part of mythology, customs, trade and emotions and they also give voice to the great “nose” of Chanel, Guerlain, Dior, Hermes or Cartier

 

perfumes

Grasse. Image from Pinterest

perfume in France

Office de Tourisme Grasse, Musée du parfum.

Roquefort, the cheese of Kings

Roquefort is a popular French cheese, reported to be a favorite of the  Emperor of Charlemagne. In France, it is called the ‘cheese of kings’. Roquefort is made exclusively from the milk of the red Lacaune ewes that graze on the huge plateau of Rouergue, Causses in the Aveyron. Genuine Roquefort is rich, creamy and has a sharp, tangy, salty flavor.

According to legend, a romantic shepherd… following in the tracks of his shepherdess… forgot some bread and ewe’s cheese in one of the Combalou caves. On his return some time later, he discovered the cheese covered in mould. He tasted it and found it delicious,thus Roquefort cheese was born. Guardian of this savoir-faire, man has kept up this tradition in the depths of the caves and the same miracle occurs time and time again.

For the table service and to enjoy its flavor it should be cut in slices ranging from edge to cheese heart; a cut in the rules of the cheese is more presentable and appetizing. This cheese is served at room temperature, about 16°C. Remember to take out the cheese before serving (1 hour before consummation) and to accompany it with a sweet wine such as Sauterne or Porto.

Taste the Roquefort cheese with other flavors; it goes very well with pear and fig jam.  It is also used a lot in salads and dressings.

Bonne dégusation!

roquefort

roquefort

roquefort

roquefort

Les caves Roquefort Ste. Aveyron

Les caves Roquefort Ste. Aveyron

Four o’clock break, an essential meal!

Set in a key moment of the day, the four o’clock break is beneficial after school and even now during the holiday.

As the afternoon tea, French people love the taste break! 55% of people aged between 15-64 years old have at least 4 times per week a light meal between usual meals. Good healthy dietary habits avoid snacking.

Snacking is to eat something low in vitamins and minerals between meals (pastries, chocolate, soda…), under many excuses like stress, anxiety or just greed and actually participates in nutritional imbalance.

While the 4 o’clock break is handle by hunger and respond to the official recommendations. The perfect four-hour break consists to consume three dairy products a day, five fruits and complex carbohydrates.

Tasted during the afternoon, it also adapts to changing our lifestyles (quick lunch, late dinner …). Thus the balanced of this break offers a time of “petits bonheurs” and allows a real moment of conviviality.

b15368b8247b9f123bdb351c10814131 4 o'clock break

 

 

 

 

Traditional Bastille Day

Fireworks are almost always on the menu in Paris Bastille Day celebrations, and usually light up the skies at around nightfall. Often launched in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower, the Saint Germain des Près district, and around Montparnasse, fireworks displays can be enjoyed from other spots around the city, providing you are high up enough to get a good vantage. Some suggested spots are the viewpoint from the roof of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Montmartre, or Belleville.
The Bal du 14 juillet is a giant dance party traditionally held on the Place de la Bastille (where the stormed prison once stood)on the evening before Bastille Day (July 13th). A different theme is chosen each year, usually providing an opportunity to don elaborate costumes and hear live music.
A traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées starts near the Arc de Triomphe on the famed Avenue on the afternoon of July 14th and spreads across Paris. A moving tribute, or pomp and circumstance? A matter of taste.
Firemen’s’ Galas: France has a unique– and quirky– tradition of firehouses opening their doors to the general public on July 13th and 14th for the occasion of Bastille day, offering live demonstrations and dancing. Kitschy fun guaranteed. Donations are generally asked for at the door.

14 Juillet

Traveling with your baby

It’s always a little stressful a first trip with baby, but you just have to be well organized and know the necessary for each mode of transport for your trip.

Baby can take the airplane in very young age. Until the age of 2 years, baby not pay its place or only 10-20% of the normal rate but beware, know that baby will travel on your legs!

For long-haul flights you can book at most companies a cot (up to 6 months) or use the seat next to you. On the plane, some seats are more comfortable and convenient for you: near to the toilet, they also offer more legroom; inquire at the time of boarding. Know that you may well bring a stroller; handy for walk the long corridors of the airport.

Regarding baby food, do not worry: you can take everything you need on board.

Be careful if your baby is sensitive to the cold because he may resent the pressure changes. Wipe his nose before takeoff and landing, before the trip, check with the pediatrician that your baby has no otitis.

The train has many advantages and baby can travel comfortably, in general, the baby travel free until 4 years old. However, if your journey is long, it is better to opt for a seat next to you: the toddler package is not expensive and you can use this place to make the trip as pleasant as possible.

Trains are equipped with changing tables and baby food can be warmed in the microwave. Keep everything you may need at hand, in a separate bag. Often, it is cold in trains; a sweater for the baby is essential.

To take the road with baby, the best, is travel by night: less traffic and heat, and as baby sleeps (in principle), the ambience will be more Zen. If you go during the day, if possible try to avoid the hottest hours, which will be unpleasant for you and more for baby. The diaper bag will have its place in the interior of your car, not in the trunk. All necessary must be available quickly and without necessarily having to stop.
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Paris bridges

Everyone knows about the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph and Notre Dame which provide stunning views of the city. Paris, its quaysides, its river, its bridges; a cliché certainly, but why is it that bridges bring out so much romance and nostalgia in us? Perhaps they offer the best viewpoints of the capital or a picture of the perfect postcard. Maybe because it is very romantic to swear our eternal love to a loved one on a bridge.

Here are Paris’s most famous bridges that we suggest you cross and stay there until the sunset:

Pont de l’Alma. This bridge is named after the Battle of Alma where the Franco-British alliance was victorious over the Russians in 1854. This bridge was completely reconstructed in the 70s to carry the weight of the daily traffic and just nearby lies the Flame of Liberty.

The Pont-Neuf is, despite its name is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris. Every tourist wants to have their photo taken on this elegant span, with the Seine making an impressive backdrop.

Pont des Arts. The Bridge spanning the Seine from the “Institute de France” to the “Palais du Louvre” owes its name to the fact that the Louvre was called the “Palais des Arts” at the time the bridge was built. This remains the spot for those who want to immortalize their love by engraving their initials on a padlock and fastening it onto a railing.

Pont de Mirabeau. This green bridge has a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty with the Eiffel Tower towering behind it. It was the largest and highest bridge during the time of its construction and it holds 4 allegorical statues representing the ‘City of Paris’, ‘Navigation’, ‘Commerce’, and ‘Abundance’. These statues are placed on either side of the bridge on the two piles of the bridge which represent two boats.

Pont Alexandre III symbol of the friendship franco-russe, the bridge connects the Champs-Élysées quarter and the Invalides quarter, widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris, this is a terrific place for saying ‘I love you’ and bringing an eternally romantic touch to your special stay in Paris.

ponts de paris

pont neuf

Ponts paris

pont Alexandre III

Photos from pinterest

The “éclair” in the French pastry

« L’éclaire » appears around 1850 in Lyon. We don’t know who invented it but it is a choux pastry filled with pastry cream flavored with vanilla, chocolate or coffee in classic recipes and covered with icing of chocolate fondant.

In 19th century, the greatest specialist of the choux pastry was Antoine Carême. He developed many inventions; one of them was  “La duchesse”. This choux pastry was coated of almond. Later, Antonin Carême moves the almonds and makes the paste of apricot marmalade and pastry cream of chocolate or cream with icing sugar. Although this dessert does not yet have the name of “Eclair”( it happens 20 years later, after the death of Antoine Carême). We also do not know where the eclaire’s name comes. “Eclair” in English means “a lightning”. Many historians said that the name comes from the phrase:”This cake is so good that you can eat at the speed of light”. Others cite the “éclaire” is so bright that it evokes the light of the lightning.

In foreign countries this cake preserves its name. Today, it goes beyond the traditional chocolate, coffee or vanilla of our grandmother’s recipe: “éclairs” with white chocolate, truffle, red berries, caramel… the pastry creativity has no limits and we continue to eat a good “éclaire” at the speed o f light!

Pictures from Pinterest, Fauchon et le Nôtre.

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