Castles, Wine and Charcuterie

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redzed
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Castles, Wine and Charcuterie

Post by redzed » Tue Sep 08, 2015 22:29

Hey guys! I've been off the radar for the past week as I am in France cycling along the Loire River. We have everything we brought in bike panniers and are cycling approx. 50-60km per day with stops along the way visiting castles, churches, interesting villages and wineries. I have also made a point at trying various charcuterie products and the French have no end to them. In less than than a week I have tasted several saucisson sec, five pates, and three headcheese type products. So far I have not been disappointed by anything. As we are staying in hotels and B&Bs, we have no cooking facilities so I have not tried any of the fresh sausages. And as to how many wines I tasted is something I'd rather not share.

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Two different sausisson sec.

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Rosette (Will be making one soon. If half as good as this one I will be happy!)

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Wine festival and plenty of free tastings in Champtoceaux

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Lively jazz band entertaining at Champtoceaux wine festival

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Chateau in Nantes

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Chateau in Angers
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Bob K
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Post by Bob K » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:45

I hope you are bringing home the recipe for the Rosette de Lyon :mrgreen:
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Sep 09, 2015 14:14

Looks like a great trip. I once had the opportunity to be an exchange student in France but I chose not to go because of a blue-eyed sweet thing. I would have lived with a baker and his family and worked in their shop for a summer so I could hone up on the French language. Oh how I regret not doing this especially when I see things like this.
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Post by Cabonaia » Wed Sep 09, 2015 15:35

Redzed - did you have any andouillette? I was there a couple years ago and choked some down. Had to try it, but concluded that it was the first sausage I wouldn't have twice. :shock:
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Post by redzed » Wed Sep 16, 2015 14:05

Bob K wrote:I hope you are bringing home the recipe for the Rosette de Lyon :mrgreen:
I sure would like to because it is on my "to do" list, but unfortunately my high school French is not good enough to wangle the recipe from one of the craftsmen here. Sure would be great to spend a few days working with these guys. Everything They make is just superb!
Butterbean wrote:Looks like a great trip. I once had the opportunity to be an exchange student in France but I chose not to go because of a blue-eyed sweet thing. I would have lived with a baker and his family and worked in their shop for a summer so I could hone up on the French language. Oh how I regret not doing this especially when I see things like this.
The baked goods here are are also a dream. When we cycle through the small village there often is no commercial establishments but there is always a bakery with fresh and usually still warm breads for sale. Working in one of these bakeries would have been a great experience. But hey, you could still come here! We are a couple of geezers managing to find our way around with little French. And the the French have actually changed, they are friendly, helpful and so many now speak English. Wonderful country and so different in their approach to life than our North American ways.
Cabonaia wrote:Redzed - did you have any andouillette? I was there a couple years ago and choked some down. Had to try it, but concluded that it was the first sausage I wouldn't have twice. :shock:
So far I have not tried it, but it is on almost every restaurant's menu as an appetizer. I am willing to try it and it can't be all that bad since it is so popular here. And I do like beef tripe dishes so this is somewhat related. :lol:

Today we are in a small town called Beaugency on the Loire. After 12 days of cycling and 542km we took a day off because it's raining cats and dogs. So I have a bit of time to spend on the net and catch up on things. We have seen a ton of interesting things, there is no way better than from a bicycle! Below are are a few pics from past few days.

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Cycled through miles and miles of vinyards. Grapes are ripening and harvest has begun.

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Very slick combine strips the grapes off the vines perfectly. And I thought they do pick by hand!

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We bought some fantastic truffle flavoured cheese from these guys

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Decisions, decisions decisions!

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Display at a tomato festival

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Our transportation

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Chateau at Villandry

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Heading toward Le Château d`Ussé
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Post by redzed » Thu Sep 17, 2015 21:17

Well, today I did it. Went out tonight to a nice restaurant in Chateauneuf sur Loire and ordered the andouilette! For pure research purposes and the fact that I paid 15EU for the dish I managed to eat half of that sausage. Needless to say, it was probably the worst thing that I have ever eaten, and I have been around the block a few times! To begin with, as soon as it arrived it smelled of a pig barn and the taste was absolutely revolting. And yet it appears on almost every menu here and the lady at our B&B says she absolutely loves it. Go figure!

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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Sep 18, 2015 14:56

Thanks for all the beautiful pictures - you are really doing it right. Glad you tried the andouilette as the sooner you get that chapter behind you, the better! Sorry about the 15EU though. I hope you had a nice dessert.

As to all those beautiful shots of cheeses and sausages....should you really be posting them without warning labels? We are protected from such poisons by the USDA. It's a wonder the French did not all die out years ago! :wink:
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Post by redzed » Mon Sep 21, 2015 22:31

Yes and not only are they all alive and well but they look a lot more healthier and fit than we North Americans! They eat bread continuously, delight in cheese and charcuterie, drink wine like it was water, take two hours off for lunch, and yet you can go for days before you see someone who is overweight! I think we have a lot to learn from the French!

We have now finished the cycling tour, having pedaled over 700km along the Loire. Other than 2 flat tires, all went well. I visited at least 2 dozen butcher/charcuterie shops, bought many products to sample and even managed to get a recipe for a saucisson sec from one kind butcher. A couple days in Paris and we will be back on home soil. I leave you with a few more pics from the journey.

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Post by Butterbean » Wed Sep 23, 2015 16:08

Awesome photos and write up. Thanks for sharing.
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Post by redzed » Thu Sep 24, 2015 17:38

Thanks to all of you who read this thread about my French trip. Hope I did not clutter the forum since I appreciate that most of us are not interested in looking at other peoples' vacation pictures.

I am now back on home soil and will dedicate more time to providing relevant and informative information directly related to our interests here. But the trip to France did inspire me to study and make more French style dry cured sausages. They are very popular there and taste fantastic. And I managed to bring home some quality French garlic and spices, so I'm looking forward to the task at hand!
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Post by Cabonaia » Thu Sep 24, 2015 22:15

Thanks Redzed - I really enjoyed your photos and musings! Glad you shared.

Jeff
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Post by ursula » Mon Dec 14, 2015 06:07

Hi Chris and everybody,
Still around but this year have been engrossed in firstly building two big sheds, and currently in the middle of a building project to extend the house so that I can set up all my heavy machinery semi-permanently in a big butler's pantry, making the sausage and cheesemaking and all the rest easier to manage.
Chris, I absolutely LOVED your photos - what an amazing way to see a country and to keep fit too ( leaving plenty of room to fit in that lovely French food!) The photos left me drooling!
You do travel a lot. Lovely to see how other people live and cook and eat.
This year I spent a month in Nepal backpacking on a couple of independent treks, managed to avoid the big earthquake by two days - that was an amazing adventure too. Now I'm getting my teeth into this building project and hopefully back on track making sausages and salamis when things settle down later next year.
Best wishes Ursula
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Post by redzed » Tue Dec 15, 2015 19:38

Hey Ursula great to hear from you! I was beginning to worry that you turned vegan or something horrible like that! :grin: Hope you will post pics of your new addition, always great to have nice place to work in. Thanks for the complement on the photos. I have always had that wanderlust in me and to date have visited 81 countries. You are fortunate in having been able to hike in Nepal. That is a place that we had intentions to travel but never made it. I have a friend who has been there a couple of times and he describes it as an incredible place with mountain views that are unmatched by anything else in the world. Unfortunately, I haven't been doing any serious hikes for almost 2 years, although my wife still goes backpacking in the mountains each year. Will have to stick to pedalling, and we are planning another cycling trip in Europe next year.

Wishing you the best and do give us an update now and then.

Chris
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