Saturday, November 25, 2006

Horizons, New and Old

Was this the last gorgeous autumn sunset visible in Aveyron? Is Christmas shopping time already in full swing? Where does time go?

Maybe a few of you have noticed that I haven't been posting to this blog nor Cuisine Quotidienne as frequently as before. (How can I write a cooking blog when I don't have time to cook?)

Blogging and I haven't fallen out -- but life is very full. My teaching job excites and enthuses me as much as ever, and it is in full swing: new classes with company clients, tests for my college students, activities to supervise, papers to never ends.

Also, there are new horizons opening up to me: professional business blogging , the fun of writing about wine for a great site with a fantastic editor, and also doing a bit of educational writing for an ESL publishing company in Taiwan. So you'll forgive me if La France Profonde is not updated as much as before. It all depends on what else is going on in my life...and right now, there's a lot!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Le Gaillac Nouveau est Arrivé

All over France, Beaujolais nouveau is in the news. But local "new" wines have made significant inroads into the vin nouveau market. The proof is in the product. When I stopped off after work today to buy a bottle or two of Beaujolais nouveau, the fresh food market I shop at had a choice -- and tasting -- of three Gaillac primeurs and just one Beaujolais. Hats off to Gaillac wine producers for making their new wine a commercial success. I would say that here in Aveyron it has almost dethroned Beaujolais nouveau.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Well Fed Gets Even Better

As you may know, I also write for the Well Fed Network, and the site has just gotten a spiffy face-lift. Check out some of the new sub-sites: Just Baking, Cook Smarter and Kid's Cuisine look especially promising.

I used to contribute to Growers and Grocers, but have recently switched over to Wine Sediments, edited by Andrew Barrow of the excellent wine blog Spittoon. Andrew just took over editor's duties for Paper Palate too, and I hope to find a little time to write for this site which deals with cookbooks and the culinary press.

If you like France, you probably love cooking, so I hope you'll take a look at some of the above sites. And if you stop by, don't hesitate to leave a comment!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween on the Wane in France

You wouldn't have known it from the thirteen thirteen-year-old French witches partying it up at our house on Tuesday night, but Halloween may be on its way out in France. has announced the demise of the holiday, quoting several French newspapers -- and check out their great photo.

"Halloween was a marketing gimmick aimed mainly at children. It's a big festival of consumption selling outfits, masks, gadgets and it couldn't last forever," declared former "Non à Halloween" president Arnaud Guyot-Jeanninin to Reuters. His group has disbanded, its mission accomplished.

As an American expat, I have always had mixed feelings about the importation of Halloween to France. Although I was happy that my children could celebrate it with their friends -- and one daughter especially loves the holiday -- I can understand the consternation of French people who don't want to adopt a celebration that is foreign to them, despite its Celtic origins.

And then there is the uncomfortable cohabitation between Halloween and All Saint's Day, or la Toussaint, on November 1st. The latter is a national holiday and serves as the French family Memorial Day; traditionally, it is the time to decorate family members' graves with flowers. The idea of whooping it up in ghoulish costumes the night before visiting the family cemetery legitimately represents a disconnect for many.

What do you think? Has le Halloween come and gone?