My husband and I wanted to take some days off, between Christmas and New Year, so the decided to go to the Alsace, the place for a Christmas feeling in France…Now, where is Alsace? It is in the border with Germany, and historically speaking, this area has belonged to France and Germany intermitingly…this is why, it is both French/German in spirit…you have the impression you are in Germany, but people speak French….
The most important city in this area is Strasbourg, but there are little villages like Colmar (here in the “night” photos) that seem to have come out of a story-book for children! Did you know that there is a special relationship between Colmar and New York?! Yes, Frédéric Bartholdi, the French sculptor and architect was born there…and he is the one to have created, and designed the Statue of Liberty!!
Culinary speaking, the German influence is felt in savoury dishes made with pork, in different forms…going from the simple but tasty Flammenküchen, a sort of very thin pizza, with crème fraîche, and “lardons“, to “choucroute garnie“, where there is a “festival” of sausages of different kinds, plus some salty pork cuts! (When are we starting our diet??!!)
|Little pigs as lucky charms!
From the point of view of decoration, I loved the different restaurant signs…..
and special arrangement for windows!
In all the region, in all cities, no matter how small, you will find a “marché de Noël” (Christmas market) selling you from handmade products, to hot spicy wine to beat the cold!!
The symbol of Strasbourg is the stork, since they make their nests on the roofs of Alsacian houses…due to the winter and its unusually low temperatures, no storks in sight, only in the stalls!!!
On the sweet side, the most typical pastry of the region is the kougelhopt or kouglof, a kind of Alsatian Panettone, sprinkled in icing sugar (see the special decorated molds for it), and the Alsatian macarons, made with coconut! (which reminded me of American macaroons!), plus a zillion other things, nougats (turron) of all flavors, and the ubiquitous bretzels! (or “pretzels”), in sweet and salty versions!
This is only a glimpse of a very rich (culinary and historically speaking) visit I wanted to share with you!! I hope you have enjoyed it!
And I say goodbye for this year, wishing to find you again in 2011, with all your comments that fill my world, and that encourage me to think..”what can I do for my blog?”, to taste, to succeed, to fail, to change, to feel depressed when a recipe goes wrong…to start singing “I’m a genius” (we all need self-approval!!!) when something I make looks spectacular and tasty..
Thank you for being there for me…I will also be there for you!!!
The best for you all !!! from the bottom of my heart, from my tiny (almost non-existant) Parisian kitchen…!