Vendanges 2012 chez Zusslin, Alsace

It’s been a tricky year for Alsace wine growers, confirms Jean-Paul Zusslin of Domaine Zusslin in Orschwihr – drought in winter and spring, bitter cold alternating with deluging rain, heatwaves and more monsoon rains. Growing grapes and making wine is a challenge at the best of times, in the best of years; this year’s been… Continue reading Vendanges 2012 chez Zusslin, Alsace

A [Better] Taste of the Languedoc

In an earlier post about Languedoc, I was feeling so grumpy about the miserable food we met on our recent visit that the region’s new wave wine makers – the whole point of stopping off there – got rather short shrift. Here are some comments on the wineries we visited and enjoyed, plus some we… Continue reading A [Better] Taste of the Languedoc

Languedoc wines rock…shame about the food

When on my travels I’m at least as interested in what’s on my plate as in the contents of my glass. The places that do it for me are the ones that offer stimulating food and interesting wines in equal measure. Little wonder I feel at home in Alsace (where I live) and in Catalunya… Continue reading Languedoc wines rock…shame about the food

Who On Earth Eats Slugs?

It’s a serious question, which occurred to me after I was out this morning in search of mushrooms. After days of relentless rain, the forest is awash with them (slugs, not mushrooms, sadly). Who, for goodness sake, are their natural predators? Not humans – at least not this one. I’m with MFK Fisher (The Art… Continue reading Who On Earth Eats Slugs?

What’s the Point of Growing Broad Beans?

Every year, prompted by fond memories of Mum’s walled veggie garden, I fall once again for the great broad (aka fava) bean trick. One look in the catalogues at those pictures of plump pods bursting with the promise of beautiful green beans and I’m off again. I sow the big brown seeds early in my… Continue reading What’s the Point of Growing Broad Beans?

Autumn Workshops – Save the Date(s)

Now and again I give workshops here in my country kitchen in Alsace – not too many so as to keep things fresh, and to leave time for writing (and gardening, and cooking, and playing tennis, and getting down to Catalunya to see the kids and Marc). These are hands-on sessions, not demos. Some are… Continue reading Autumn Workshops – Save the Date(s)

Alp Cheese is Tops

For the past twenty-three years, between June and early September, Ernst and Margrit Kübli have moved their Simmentaler cows from their farm in the valley up to an alp above Saanenmöser in the Bernese Oberland. The Chalet Horneggli, where they spend the whole summer, is the real deal, weathered and darkened by the years. From… Continue reading Alp Cheese is Tops