Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Aromatic Gourmet Oils

I live in Central France, in what is known by the French as the Campagne Berrichone, meaning the Berry countryside, or as Parisians would say « the middle of nowhere, the land that time forgot”.
It is true that living in the countryside can be rather basic but that is one of the things that I love about living here. Waking up in the morning to pick up some fresh raspberries from the garden for a hearty raspberry smoothy, or popping round to see the next door neighbour to get some fresh honey that is just being extracted from their own bee hives, are some of the gastronomic delights of living in the countryside.

Over here, most people have their own vegetable garden and we are used to eating seasonally. Do not be surprised if you come here at lunch time and the restaurant’s waiters cannot tell you what is on the menu for the day because they are waiting for the head cook to come back from the local market with whatever fresh produce inspired him that day.

As I said, most people have their own vegetable garden or potager and often they end up with surplus vegetables that they have learned to keep in the form of richly flavoured conserves prepared either with oil or vinegar. I am not talking about ordinary oils or vinegars here. I am talking about vinegars and oils flavoured with anything from rose petals, herbs and fruits to hot chilli peppers. You would be amazed at the variety of oils and vinegars that you can find for sale, and even more at the creations that the locals make according to their seasonal ingredients and refined taste.
Here you will find some Aromatic Gourmet Oil recipes to tickle your taste buds.

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