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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Petit Beat: Orange Chocolates & Yellow Girolles

Well, the Beat is back! Ok, just felt like saying that to be silly, because today I'm in quite a silly mood. Or maybe it's more like *giddy* because tomorrow we're going to a chocolate festival. Yes, chocolate festival...ohhhh. And well I've surely talked a lot about loving living in Europe because of the colors, food, and fashions, there's something so exciting about attending a festival in France...or Italy...or just about any place I can get me hands on a thick bar of the good, dark stuff......who's with me?

1. Chocolate & other ridiculously great festivals
Lately it seems that if we're not spending half of our lives eating (I've had to seriously double-up on my power-walking folks), we're spending the other half searching online for upcoming festivals.  And it just so happens that there are two festivals running this weekend - the Salon du Chocolat at Belgentier & the Fete de la Chataigne (chestnut) at Collobrieres.  Well, it was a close call, but our old friend Mr. Cacao was a clear winner. And wouldn't you know it, the chestnut festival just happens to run for the next three weekends (that's a lotta nuts), so I've got a pretty good idea where we'll be next weekend.

As for myself...I plan to look a bit like these kids tomorrow. I mean how can you go to a chocolate festival & not go all out?

In the meantime, just when you thought the French might be a little uptight about our American holidays (who said that?), the chocolate shop windows are filling with Halloween-themed goodies. Ok, so most of these babies do say truffles on them, which kind of makes any reference to our mini-Snickers bars seem silly, but they've sure got the right spirit about them.

The display below looks a little more in line with the American version of the holiday & let's just say there's been quite a few French folks asking if we're going to have a Halloween party. Hmmm...something tells me I'll be seeing quite a few Gaulish pirates & smallish Napoleons come the end of the month.

2. It's mushroom season...are you a fan?
I've never been a huge fan of the mushroom unless they've been hidden in a cream sauce & accompanied by a steaming plate of fettuccine.  The texture makes me a bit nervous & frankly, I've never been skilled at cooking them. Until now (duhn duhn duhhhhn).  Since it is the season, and when in Rome and all, I decided to take the plunge & bought my very first mushrooms at the market this afternoon.

Well, I also discovered these darlings don't come cheap.  I had a few French recipe ideas I was kicking around which called for just about every mushroom under the sun (trés elaborate my friends) but when I experienced that bit of 'shroom sticker-shock, I decided to build the recipe around one mushroom. The designee: the not-so-petit Girolle.

I purchased these beauties for €5 euro at the market - just a round mass of them with the price written beneath the bowl.  It seemed like a good deal, and after a purchase of some lovely Chardonnay, penne pasta, and comté cheese, looks like we've got the makings of a darn good seasonal inspiration tonight - or at least a valiant try.

Here's the link to the recipe I'll be attempting via Epicurein: Penne aux Girolles et Comté.

That's a little bit of what's going on chez nous (at our house) & around Provence.
Bon weekend a tous! ...& surely they'll be lots of choco-updates coming soon to a blog near you. xx

For more on festivals in Provence, visit Provence Verte & Visit Var.


  1. I'm finding a pattern here: every time I read your blogs I need to get myself something to eat, it could be a chocolate, candy, or cereal like tonight. Your blogs are conducive to some weight gain. Dangerous! however, I love them

  2. Chocolate and truffles, the best things in life! Have fun at the chocolate fair and thanks for taking us along!

  3. mmmm delicious! it's funny, in the US before I left you can already feel automn in the air. Then I move to the south of France where it's more or less summery. But lately, with the vineyards turning red and yellow fall has come back and I'm starting to miss my comforting pumpkin-flavored delights. Love your pictures! And I'll be on a witch hunt for Thanksgiving goodies from now until... well, until I get my fix! Great post and love the insight!

  4. Thanks for the great comments. I agree, it's hard to go wrong with all the tempting foods you find in France - at any time of the year, but I especially enjoy the attention paid to celebrating the seasonal offerings...makes you more aware of what's fresh & really changes your shopping habits as well. Yet another great reason to love France :)

  5. I went mushroom hunting yesterday! A bonus of living in the middle of nowhere is that I'm surrounded by lots of forest, perfect to find mushrooms :-)

  6. This post made me nostalgic. This time last year I was in Italy and the sight of mushrooms took me back. Missing Europe at the moment...

  7. Love this time of year! Every October we *have* to walk through the forest just to see the floor covered in mushrooms and fungi. Yours look delicious, to me. :)

  8. Sara, mushroom hunting is next on our agenda, might ask you for some tips!
    Corinne, hope you can make it back to Europe soon, we'll keep the mushrooms ready for you :)
    Nicole, thanks for the comment! Love this time of year as well, so many seasonal delights :)