29 May 2009


Galettes are savory crepes that are traditionally made with buckwheat, salt, and water. And I found them in Paris. Some people will tell you it's hard to track down restaurants that serve them. I think that's because few people have heard of galettes and call them crepes. I know I hadn't heard of the alternate name until I started doing some research.

Before leaving for our trip I made notes of some specific restaurants, but they were in neighborhoods we hadn't otherwise planned on visiting. On our last full day in Paris we made a point to travel to one of those areas and seek out galettes for lunch. 

Along the way we got distracted. We were in Montparnasses after having visited the cemetery. We decided to wander around a bit before getting on the Metro to seek out lunch. And low and behold we came along a boulevard full of lunch-seekers and cafes and creperies to accommodate them. I started reading the posted menus carefully. I quickly discovered that galettes and crepes were two different foods, to the French. Galettes are often posted as salee, and crepes are sucre. That means galettes are savory and are supposed to be for your meal and crepes are sweet and for dessert. And many places make the galettes in the traditional way with just buckwheat. 

I had one of the great French food experiences completely by chance. I ordered my galette salee avec jambon et fromage (with ham and cheese). And it was great. It was so delicious that I felt bad that I couldn't finish it. It was just too filling. 

Later that same day I found a grocery store that sold packaged plain galettes. I bought some and a jar of orange marmalade. The person at the checkout register tried to stop me from such a heretic combination. Galettes salee shouldn't be mixed with a sucre filling. It just isn't done. He had a look of true sadness on his face when I told him I couldn't eat ble, wheat. He said, "It won't be the same." 

It wasn't the same. But they made for light breakfasts that were good enough some mornings on the road.

Buckwheat has two different names in French. Buckwheat flour can be farine du sarrasin or farine du ble noir.

13 May 2009

savanna dry premium cider

I don't get a lot of ciders to drink here. The supply of Woodchucks I brought with me ran out a few weeks ago but soon afterward I had the opportunity to place an order for Savanna Dry Premium Cider from South Africa. They arrived last weekend to much anticipation.

I'd read a couple reviews and I hoped they would be drinkable at least. And that's about what they are. I like my ciders to be a bit darker and dryer than these are (despite the fact they are called "dry"). I think they are more light and sweet. Apparently you're supposed to drink it with a lemon wedge stuck in the neck, like a Pacifico or Corona. I haven't had the chance to try that yet because lemons aren't always available here.

I do enjoy them for the sake of trying a new African beverage. Savannah ciders are made in South Africa from Granny Smith apples. You can taste a little bit of the Granny Smiths in the aftertaste. 

So, not the greatest, but certainly not the worst. I'll gladly finish my case, but I may not be as protective of them as I was my Woodchucks. I'll share them to spare others the fate of buying them by the case and paying shipping fees from South Africa for a beverage that they may not find phenomenal. 

12 May 2009

perky's nutty rice crunchy cereal

Right now one of my favorite cereals is on sale from Amazon.com Groceries. When I first saw the ad for Enjoy Life products being on sale, I figured I’d glance at the list of products but probably not buy anything because I haven’t loved anything I’ve had from them. But I can’t let any gluten-free stones go unturned.

I’m glad I took a few minutes to look. I had no idea that Perky’s Nutty Rice Crunchy Cereal came from Enjoy Life. I love this stuff. I mix it with granola or other sweet cereals. I eat it plain. Per the serving suggestion on the front of the box, it's amazing with fresh blueberries or strawberries.

The back of the box has a recipe for an easy crumb pie crust with jam filling. Mmm, cereal and jam in a convenient pie formation.

But I digress. Now through 31 May you can get 20% off selected Enjoy Life products, including Nutty Rice and Nutty Flax cereals, when you enter the code ENJOYLIF at checkout. Note that neither of these “nutty” cereals actually contain nuts. I think they are trying to cash in on the Grape-Nuts fans who had to go gluten-free. (Although, these cereals are much easier on the teeth and gums than Grape-Nuts.)

And from the Enjoy Life website you can download a coupon to use at your favorite grocery store.



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