A Taste of Garlic

La Fourchette S’est Emballée - Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

provence alpes cote dazur  La Fourchette Sest Emballée   because we all love reading blogs about life in FranceLa Fourchette S’est Emballée is the mysterious blog of Leslie Ray who lives in Aix en Provence.

Why mysterious, I hear you ask (go on, ask then!)…

Well this is just the sort of blog that I love and, even though it’s been going for forever and a day (well, since August 2006), I’ve only just come across it!

I hang my head in shame!

It seems such a  shame that a beautiful blog like La Fourchette S’est Emballée is not higher on the Blogosphere horizon.

I aim to change that!

Leslie says of herself…. “Leslie landed in the lavender and olives of Provence…fork in hand. Share the adventures (and misadventures) in (and out of) her little kitchen in the south of France.”

provence alpes cote dazur  La Fourchette Sest Emballée   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

All I can say is that I love both adventures and misadventures in and out of kitchens, especially Provencal ones!

And, you know what, this blog isn’t just a collection of tales from a Provencal kitchen….

No, it’s much, much more than that!

It’s also a beautiful travel guide to Provence filled with glorious photographs!

So let’s start off by looking at some…..

Wednesday Windows…

Like this one, for example.

Lovely plant pots, beautiful doors and a really rather sexy Velosolex!

What more could you want?

Well, if you fancy girlies in straw hats you’ll probably want to take a little peek here.

And with neither Velosolexes nor girlies in big hats about, Leslie has to resort to photographing a postcard of some rather naughty looking nuns to keep me amused!

She needn’t have been so worried; I’m already entranced!

I almost cried when I heard that her pushbike had been stolen!

Although her treatise on French Coffee soon made me smile again.

This Autumnal Study warmed my heart as well!

I wonder if there were any Ceps in those woods?

And possibly the only blog post that I’ve ever read about a doggie peeing in a box (and I’ve read some really rather specialised blog posts, I’ll have you know!) brought a smile to my face!

Time for a nice bowl of soup, I think?

A nice bowl of soup…..

In New Resolutions…er…I mean Soups we get some dietary advice (and recipes. Mustn’t forget the recipes!) for Magic Bean Soup and La Soupe “Brûle Graisse”

And in a Boxing Day Soups On! we get to learn about Lentilles au Petit Salé which is one of my favourite dishes of all time (although I do freely admit to having many hundreds, if not thousands of favourite dishes!)

Leslie also take the time to explain… “The French have three separate words for soup. Consommé is a clear, thin broth. Soupe refers to a thick, hearty mélange with chunks of food. Potage falls somewhere between the first two in texture and thickness. A potage is usually puréed and is often thickened slightly with cream or egg yolks. Today, the words soupeand potage are often used interchangeably.”

That’s nice, isn’t it?

Mind you, in this New Year’s Day’s Soups On! a little history lesson is concluded with a delicious bowl of Soupe aux truffes.

Foie Gras, Truffles and a chicken’s breast?

That’ll be right up the top of my list of favourite dishes to try one day!

Although even a simple Chick Pea Soup as explained in this mid December Soups On! sounds pretty good to me!

Tarts and Dates….

I’m rather keen on Tarts I do have to say.

Especially Date Tart (helped along the way with a dash of Snapps and Cinnamon flavoured cream!)

So I very happy to find that Leslie knows her tarts and how to make them behave!

In La Tarte Tropézienne we learn that, although the recipe is secret, La Tarte Tropézienne is… “Constructed with a giant flat brioche and filled with a lovely custard-y crème filling, there is enough here to be mildly indulgent and still share with friends! Yippppeeee!”

Yippppeee! indeed!

By the way, are there 4 e s in Yippppeeee or is it five?

In A Tart by any other name Leslie explains her love affair with Tarts, discusses the huge shoulder pads we all used to wear in the ’80s and tells a charming story about a romantic attraction to a French man in Nice.

The love affair didn’t last that long though – it appears the man didn’t have an oven in his apartment!

As Leslie says… “A fine fellow, this Monsieur T. but really…I mean…no oven?!?”

Quite right too!

This lovely post is concluded with a recipe for Aliens in the Kitchen Tart!

Now I’ve never seen an aliens in my kitchen (although there is some green stuff growing behind the refrigerator that could be an alien life form?) but, should I ever find any, I’ll certainly give this recipe a go!

A mini series called Queen of Tarts Tuesdays wasn’t about what I thought it might be about but, all the same, is well worth reading with recipes for Quiche Lorraine, Apple and Shallot Tart (which sounds absolutely gorgeous), Apple Pizza and Tarte Poire et Roquefort au Paprika.

What more could you ask for?

Perhaps some Dates in December?

Why not?

In that post Leslie tells how she totally failed to get a date with Nicholas Sarkozy and thus pigs out on 13 Desserts in Provence instead!

Well, you know what they say about Flirtatious Sisters and Plans gone awry?

Which is largely about Tarte Tatin, you’ll be glad to hear!

A feast of recipes to die for…..

Let’s start with It’s not your onions for the  Sauce Bolognaise à La Fourchette.

Then we could look at Stewing in Provence for the excellent  Daube de Boeuf.

This post starts with a search through Nice for a packed restaurant in which no English was being spoken.

A suitable place was found and this is Leslie’s memory of that night… “Here is where I had my first taste of fried fresh sardines. It was here that I discovered a pesto pasta that made little tears in my eyes. (So taken with it I was, that the lovely artist/waiter/manager told me a couple of secrets about what the chef does to finish this dish…but you’ll have to come back another time for that, because…) this was also the first place I had ever tasted Beef Daube. It put any and all beef stews that I had grown up with to shame and I never returned to those old tired and watery stews. This was something different. Perfect flavors. Perfect technique.”

In Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire… we get a recipe for marinated pigeon’s breasts cooked and served with chestnuts and garlic.

Yum, bluddy yum! is all I the eloquence that my rumbling tummy will let me spout!

So, summing up…..

Now, I have noticed that the frequency of posts has slowed down on La Fourchette S’est Emballée which, to my mind, means only one thing….

I believe a concerted effort (from all the visitors to A Taste of Garlic) should be made to order Leslie back into the kitchen where, in the nicest possible way, she certainly belongs!

If your taste buds have been tickled by this quick review of La Fourchette S’est Emballée you should hurry on down there for a bite to eat!

Quick, before all the best dishes are gone!

And me?  Well, I’m going to take a good look at the Mushroom Memoirs!

The recipe for Wild Mushroom and Walnut Tarte Tatin sounds divine!

Care to join me?

I’m sure there room for another chair?

All the best

provence alpes cote dazur  La Fourchette Sest Emballée   because we all love reading blogs about life in France


  • By Deborah, January 5, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    What a gorgeous blog – great find, Keith! Thank you for putting it out there.

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 5, 2011 @ 12:13 pm


    It is lovely, isn’t it?

    I can’t believe it took me this long to find it!

    All the best


  • By Leslie, January 5, 2011 @ 12:15 pm


    You have sooo made my day! You may even remain at the top of the list for making my year…but it’s still early…on verra.

    Merci – mille fois for your ever-so-kind review of La Fourchette. You are right: I’ve been a little distracted…errr…for about a year. But I’m back in the kitchen and you, my new blogging friend, will always have a chair waiting.

    What a lovely review. Thank you…again…and again.

  • By Keith Eckstein, January 5, 2011 @ 12:34 pm


    Your blog was a joy to review!

    I haven’t had so much tasty fun for ages!

    All the best


  • By LaCheshireChat, January 5, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    This is a GREAT Blog! Thanks, Keith!

    Now see? Had I only read Leslie’s Blog back in 1996, I would have realised that 1) a man living without an oven or cooker of any description was suspect and 2) realised that it would be a mistake to date such a fellow. (Let alone marry him all of three months later. Foolish moi.) The fact that I was given a cooker INSTEAD of an engagement ring…. well. (I heard Mrs. Garlic gasp from here.)
    See? I just needed better girlfriends to point out the error of my ways! Or a Blog to read to make the realisation!
    PS. Yes, 1996 man is now EX, in all senses of the word.

  • By margaret, January 9, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    If you love food stories from southern France you should read “caca boudin” from Americanfamilyinparis.com. Very funny!!

  • By waled kamal, January 15, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    It is lovely

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