Since COVID has scrambled plans about traveling this year, there are still many things that excite me about life in Uzès. Like food. This post is all about food south of France, and how it literally “fills me.”
All About Food South of France
I never take a good meal for granted here in France, whether it’s prepared for me, or I fix it myself. With fresh produce, bakeries, three butcher shops, and a handful of good restaurants within easy walking distance of my apartment, there’s no excuse for eating bad food.
All About Foods South of France
Some days I join friends to drive a few miles out of town to somewhere special. It’s always for lunch—Max three persons per car. Everyone in the vehicle wears a face mask.
This time we drove down the road to Le Tracteur in Argilliers. The unpretentious, family-staffed restaurant is one of the favorite places for locals to go for perfectly prepared south of France foods. Chefs and cooking school gurus around Uzès say it’s their top choice. The imaginative menu is boosted by the restaurant’s simple setting that’s like an oasis in the middle of nowhere.
Virtually Cook’n with Class
An extraordinary cooking adventure I was invited to join last week was an online class with Chef Eric of Cook’n with Class. Imagine cooking in France along with classmates from distance places like Australia, in their own kitchens!
So that I could take it all in, I chose to watch the class, not cook. That’s an option with Chef Eric’s online courses. With the recipes and the video, I can try out the recipes with no one witnessing my mess!
The theme for the class was L’Apero Provencal. We prepared foods traditionally served for l’apéro and un apéro dînatoire, coached by the pro.
L’apéro or Apéritif?
You say “tomato,” I say, “tomato.” In France, or at least around the part of France that I know, “l’apéro” is the short name for “l’apéritif.” Typically it means serving a pre-dinner drink with simple finger foods — chips, olives, nuts, and perhaps, a petite toast with a topping. You usually have l’apèro after 6 PM. Never serve so much that your guests don’t eat your dinner.
Un apéro dînatoire
These days a popular event among friends here in Uzès is an expanded version of l’apératif or “un apéro dînatoire.” Guests arrive around 6 PM and stay up to 3 hours. For the occasion, the host can expand the quantity and range of foods to include small plate items that require a fork or spoon to eat. Cold vegetable veloute (creamed soup) and seafood (salade de poulpe) are good examples. Often you see slices of pizza on the table, especially the savory anchovy and olive pissaladière. Some “un apéro dînatoire” guests bring a favorite dish to share. Foods range from savory to sweet. Beverages can include a sparkly cocktail — Aperol Spritz, Kir Royale — champagne, and of course, wine.
Whatever the day, the time, or the occasion, the good life here is about food. If you’re anxious for a taste of the south of France, this is your chance to invite a French chef into your own kitchen. What fun is that?! Please view the video for a taste of Cook’n with Class.