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An impromptu dinner party in France

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How many days can one continue to indulge in foodie heaven!!?  The Languedoc region of South France is known for its incredible array of fresh produce. On every day of the week you can find fresh food markets within a thirty minute drive. I’ve explored Limoux, Mirepoix, Carcassonne, Quillan and several other smaller villages over the last few days and I’ve learnt some valuable lessons already: buy only what you’ll eat that day and the next; cheese goes with every meal and even though they say the markets open at 6.30am, don’t bother showing up until 8.30am.

I had an unexpected but pleasant opportunity to cook for 4 last night. I kept it very simple as I was working in an unfamiliar kitchen, but the produce made me look good. It needed so little fussing with because it’s so fresh and in many cases it’s organic (and has been forever!).

I chose a very fat piece of cod (cabillaud) (only AUD24 for 1.2kgs) and served it simply with a lemon, butter and herb sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes, blanched asparagus (the biggest and sweetest I’ve ever seen!) and baby pommes de terres (potatoes). The French always serve a salad afterwards with cheese – most often just a bowl of plain salad leaves with vinaigrette. And of course there is always a baguette or two on the table.


I post this in haste as I am out the door for my next gastronomic experience – seafood no doubt as we are now in Sanary-sur-Mer.  This is for sure one of France’s best kept secrets.  Only an hour from St Tropez, two from Nice and yet this cute little fishing village tucked away from the tourist hype offers superb fresh seafood in restaurants nestled right at the port – at very reasonable prices.  I’ll report back on my verdict soon!

Bonsoir mes Amis!


With grace and gusto,



Author: graceandgusto

I'm 34, an Australian mum of 3 kids under 7 (currently living in the South of France) and I love design, cooking, my family (not in that order) and learning new things ...

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