January 23, 2012

Beer and burgers in the Napa Valley

Until recently and like most probably do, I thought Napa Valley was all about award-winning wines and gourmet food. Well it is indeed, and I surely enjoyed touring around a few of the local wineries and tasting their respective Chardonnay, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Zinfandel to mention only a few. But that's not all, as people up there "in the Valley" also do other things very well, like beer and fast food for instance and as surprising as it may sound!

January 18, 2012

Galette des rois, or kings cake

As far back as my memories go, I remember "drawing the kings", or sharing a "galette des rois" every year at or around Epiphany early January. Although the "kings cake" tradition also exists in many other countries, galette des rois is characteristic to northern France, and consists of a puff pastry case filled with almond paste or "frangipane". A small porcelain figurine or "fève" (literally bean, for a broad bean was originally used) is hidden inside the cake, and the person who receives the slice with the fève becomes the king or the queen of the feast.

January 9, 2012

Whitebait pattie stop on the West Coast

Once back on the road after welcoming the new year in the Fiordlands, we headed towards NZ's West Coast through Haast, the gateway village into NZ's Glacier Country. I had been reading that Haast was famous for whitebait fishing, a practice attracting a number of amateur fishermen eager to earn a few extra dollars since the yearly catches started to shrink and the fish to consequently gain in value a few years ago, and that the most common way to indulge the precious fish was in a "whitebait pattie".

January 5, 2012

Wild venison in the Fiordlands

After a decidedly disappointing venison sandwich on our first day in NZ (which we probably ordered a bit too quickly, as venison does not seem to fit that well in a sandwich thinking about it now…) we reconciled ourselves with the meat a few days later, by enjoying a superb rack of the wild game on New Year's Eve.