Salicorne

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I mentioned this plant in a previous post (Sept 2015). At the time I’d picked some and bitten into it and had found it very unpalatable.  It is a marine plant which grows in swampy areas (which are common in this particular area on the west coast of France) and it is usually preserved in brine and served with pork terrines and the like. The other day I found it being sold fresh (apparently salicorne is best eaten in the springtime as tends to be tough and fibrous the rest of the year) and I couldn’t resist finding out, first of all, what it is called in English, and secondly, how I might prepare it to make it palatable.

  1. glasswort or pickleweed
  2. after soaking it in water and rinsing it well, I blanched it very quickly then tossed it into the wok with some chopped garlic – which incidentally makes anything and everything, including snails, taste great.  I ate the remaining raw weed another day as a salad with a bit of vinaigrette, a totally different experience but potentially repeatable – although I doubt I’ll find it in our new location down south due to the relatively hot and dry climate there.

I was actually near Toulouse last week for 24 hours to check-out some potential homes. Although the housing visits were fruitless, I happily stumbled across the weekly open-air market in the village where we will be based and was delighted to see all of the usual suspects displayed along the Esplanade: good quality cheese, fish, bread, fruit, and vegetable stands overflowing with fresh produce. There were piles of plump, red, juicy cherries for under €4.00 a kilogram! I was also pleased to learn that the locals enjoy food so much that they hold an annual festival (Le marché Gourmand of Pibrac) for those who enjoy eating (…that would have to be the majority of French folk) which is happening on the 24th of this month. I won’t be able to go but I’ll be sure to be there in 2018.

Official moving date = 3rd week of July. Between now and then is typically a busy time of the year: there are school evaluations, field trips, school fairs, end of year performances (music concerts, sports tournaments), birthday parties for children born in summer (for fear of their guests being unavailable during the summer vacation), late dinner parties and bbq’s which take advantage of the extended daylight, town festivals of all sorts (such as the Marché Gourmand), tying up loose ends at work, vacation planning,  spring cleaning and gardening, and this year, even more political elections (by the end of the month there will have been 6 for the year!). Everything stops in France in the month of August so it’s a scramble to stuff as much in before then. However, In my experience, it’s nothing compared with the intensity of September when EVERYTHING starts up again with great fervor.

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On a recent long weekend, we went to the Château de Tiffauges which at one time belonged to a rather sinister fellow called Gilles de Rais better known as Bluebeard. There were numerous things to do including archery, crossbow, riding ‘horses’ and watching demonstrations of medieval weaponry

I  just have to mention the fleeting but thoroughly enjoyable visit from our mélomane friend Fabrice – whom I hadn’t seen for over 9 years. Recently he has been living between Brittany and Saint Pierre and Miquelon – now that’s a part of France that you may not have (like me) known about! Merci Fabrice et à bientôt.

AND hot off the press I’m excited to announce that my big sister and ‘big’ nephew (at 13 years of age he’s taller than her) will be arriving for a visit in a few weeks!

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