Sunday, May 04, 2014

LOCAL FOOD SUPPLY


When I came home Friday from shopping I realized that most food items I bought, are from the local Poitou Charentes region. An unintentional discovery. 
We can argue about a lot of things French that are just not all that good ( i.e. politics), but one thing is certain, they do regional food supply right. Very right, the way it could be everywhere and maybe should be. I know it's harder in the northern regions of Canada, but not impossible. It's a way of living and how much time one can make to achieve that life if so wanted. I never really focused on going local or start a vegetable garden before, but must admit  it's great to know that even the wine I had with dinner comes from inside 100 Miles (68 to be exact).

Long before we even thought about moving to Europe, we had one of those coffee table books at home that you pick up at Chapters because of the pretty pictures in it. Culinaria France is a guide to all the regions in France and what each area is famous for. We brought it with us and still look inside once in a while when we planned a road trip to see what we could find  where we were going. 
I think the fact is, aside some industrial areas up north, France at heart is a country of agriculture in  the broadest sense. And that is maybe what makes is very special to be here. Just close eyes and ears to other things one does not enjoy about being here and focus instead on the good things you can eat?

I never really subscribed to the 100 mile diet concept back in North America and even questioned the carbon footprint measurements once in a while. Here it could almost become a good habit to see how narrow your circle of food intake could become.



ILE DE RE POTATOES WITH BROWNED BUTTER AND SEA SALT


NOT SURE ABOUT THE GARLIC, ALL ELSE IS FROM THIS AREA

VERY LOCAL EGGS FROM THE MARKET

ILE DE RE POTATOES - 88 MILES


50 MILES

ILE DE RE SEA SALT - 96 MILES

LOCAL VINEGAR - 49 MILES

LOCALLY GROWN HERBS  FROM A GREENHOUSE

POITOU CHARENTE IS FAMOUS FOR GREAT BUTTER

SEEDLESS RED CURRANT JAM

CHEESE FROM THE PARIS REGION

ALL THINGS PORK

LAMB

7 comments:

Nadege said...

You are making me hungry!
I am the reverse of "locally grown". In the US, I buy french cheese because I know the cows have been eating REAL grass with flowers in it that give the milk distinct flavors. I buy french jam because it is the tastiest. Irish butter (because it is hard to find french butter sometimes). San Marzzano canned tomatoes because they are the best… Rao's jarred tomato sauce that is be made in New-York… The problem in the US is that fruits and vegetables look beautiful but unfortunately, are not always good, even organic ones. The same recipe for bread will taste better in Europe than in the US because of the quality of ingredients… Even organic, cage free… eggs are not really cage free.
Home made french food is delicious and simple. If you want sauces that are hard to make you go to quality restaurants. I always drool when I see Ken's food photos. I wish I had his or your passion. I have become average american, which is not a bad thing, it is just different from an average european life.

Nadege said...

Sorry, I forgot to add more to my rant. I have seen too many times garlic that was grown in China. That is were I draw the line. No food grown in China for me. I shop a lot at Marukai and Mitsuwa (japanese super markets). I cannot buy shitaki mushrooms as they are grown in China, but the ones sold at Trader Joe's are grown in the US. No more pine nuts from China either. I also look for the provenance of frozen organic food. I buy certified european and US frozen vegetables and fruits but not if they are "certified organic" from Mexico, Guatemala, Chile… because that term doesn't mean anything to me. Their rules are different from ours. I will buy wild shrimp, but none if they are farm grown in Thailand, Vietnam…. I pay $19 for 3 baskets of organic strawberries. They are better than the ones everybody else are selling, but they are not as good as the strawberries I get in France. You definitively have better quality food in Europe.

H.Peter said...



Yes, I hear you Nadege. Flavors.
Re.: China. It does make me think about my health after having been there so many times and always indulged in their cooking. 20%, maybe more of their farm land being contaminated.....
And yet, their flavors are just unreal. Maybe the best fish I ever ate was in China.
I would not want to see my blood analys ......

Emm said...

What Nadege said -- quality of ingredients and flavors. I've recently discovered Aldi's, German chain, parent of Trader Joe's -- more down-market, but many of their items are from Europe. French mustard and so on. She's right, even "organic" food here isn't all that good, probably because the soil is often depleted; I buy from local farmers when possible.

I, too, drool over the various food bloggings. Peter's potatoes here set me off. :)

Leafy Satori Risk said...

....well, what everybody else said, for better or worse. I too buy mostly at Marukai or Nijia and get my Aldi fix at Trader's. Farmer's markets are the only place where on can find good local produce if one knows where to look. Of course that egg costs now close to a dollar/piece, still worth it though. Food quality in the US is really really low.

Enjoy what France offers as long as you can;) I so enjoyed that when we were living there, I really miss that!

H.Peter said...



Good morning Emmm,
I think that maybe small batch gardens such as all over Europe along the railway lines near cities might produce better tasting products. It's a matter of lifestyle choices though, as Europeans seem to take the time to feed themselves, as in North America we go to the mall and the movies?

H.Peter said...



Schrebergarten, that's the word I wanted to use and am certain karl may remember them from Austria?
As much as you miss the true flavors of France, we do miss that roadside Taco stand in Santa Ana.
Hence the 6/6 plan to enjoy best of both?

I find it funny, how few people in the US know about ALDI or LIDL and yet everybody loves TJ.