Under the Mosset Moon

For the last week I’m in a small village in Mosset ,France. Google it , really , cutest village in France. A province of Catalogne in the wine region of Roussillon in the Pyrenees mountains. Picturesque . It has me in sensory overload. I’ll explain and go into that later. The Pyrennees is the mountain range between Spain and France, the border. If you start at the Medeterrain and work your way west about 80km, thru the mountains you get to Mosset. I can see Mt. Canigou every morning from my window, and yes it still has snow. The folk lore is, the aristocrats who lived in the chateaus wanted Ice in they’re drinks would send runners up Mt Canigou to break off chunks of the glazer and run it down. So once a year in the entire Catalogne they have a festival to celebrate the ice runners. Even today, there is no ice for your drink. no such thing here. Unless you want to run up the Mt. Serious. In the summer they still herd( not truck) the cattle, sheep and goat to the mountain for grazing. All the livestock and poultry is free range. No slaughter houses. You buy the whole animal. Mosset is so remote and small you still go to the farm for your supplies, eggs, cheese and meat. Etc. Mostly everyone has an enormous garden and grows they’re own veggies. Mosset does have a ( convenient store)but it is open 8 -12 closes and then reopens 4-7 only. It is convenient but only sells local wares. It also happens to be the only place with wi-fi. The Post office is open 1 hr per day. You can drive 20 km down a winding very thin road with a sharp steep drop off (unbelievable scenic drive) if you want civilization and necessities. Otherwise Mosset is it. Time stopped in 1900’s.
It’s not very active, yet it does have a small population, not very visible, I’ve been told its very underground( I’m not sure what that means) . It’s definitely not touristy. It has one resteraunt , and all the locals hang out there. It also happens to be the cafeteria for the local school. 40 students from 1st to 12th grade. Very family orientated, a mix of earthy back to the land lovers to wealthy yuppie hippie thru backs to Artist to writers to Jungian Physiologist ( Avary’s landlord) to true artisan farmers and musicians. Blacksmiths, etc . It’s a real community.
I’m fortunate to have my friend Avery to show me the ropes and get me around. I’m also fortunate that a lot of the residents are Dutch and speak English.
The village of Mosset dates back to 10th century, but didn’t get its revival till 1960’s. Just like Spain , the area is rich in history. Old roman ruins to medieval Chateaus. I’m pretty burned out on picture taking, but I will post a few of a hike I did with Avery and Andre to a Roman Ruin called Chateau Paracoll nice climb thru beautiful French country. Both Avery and Andre are very knowledgable about the local foliage and plant life and What was edible. As always I was making that nights salad in my head, as we hiked, and how do i get it back to the states. We also walked thru a Therapeutic Spa Resort called Motif de Bain that has hot springs and botanical gardens. Originally built by the Romans, but then used only by the rich in the 1800’and early 1900’s. Now anyone can go, so whats an American to do, hiking the country side of France , check it out. Lunch was fantastic. Also on June 21st was the summer solstice celebration, again the folklore tells that the people on top of Mt Canague light a huge bonfire, then carry the fire to each village below to lite they’re to celebrate the summer solstice moon. Very mediaeval festival and alot of found, the whole town involved, free food and wine, dancing. And everyone in Catalogne celebrates. It’s also the longest day, and the most amazing Full moon, that seems to be here.everynight. Ive tried taking pics of it thru my bedroom window. it doesnt come out, so its my memory only. Hence the blog title ” under the Mosset moon, cute. And then of course, local wineries and tastings. The region has been producing wines for centuries, mostly amber sweet wine, very very similar to Cognac, but now it’s become the new hot market for French Wines, my favorite is the white Granche . Also leading the French market in organic wines. Look for wines from Roussillon in a coffeehouse near you. France’s hidden secret, yum.
Everyday I walk a beautiful country road to Avery”s place for either dinner or aperitif . I pass horses, donkeys and an abundance of wild herbs. Cherry trees are in bloom, and then every nut you can imagine. Pine, walnut, almonds, chestnuts. Plums , figs and Apricots are not quite ready yet. Wild field greens for the pick in. Sensory overload again, how do i get this home to the states. Avery is a fantastic cook as is her roommate, native French Catalonian Andre. He is a wealth of local knowledge and a really good cook as well. The two are putting together a cycling tour group thru the Pyrenees for next summer, of which i hope to join them as they’re personal cycling chef. if your interested. mailto:sumneravery@gmail.com
After my Camino ended in Ocebrero and I headed to France. It really was afterthefact an arguably unreasonable decision to take a long walk alone in a foreign country, undoubtedly unprepared in order to discover or possible save myself. l truly felt overwhelmed with the whole 31 day , 714 km backpacking experience. I did it and really just wanted to get off the trail. What the hell was i thinking ?
What did come out of it, is, I now have a mission and ready to move forward. This last stage in Mosset, ends too soon and makes me sad, it gave me the chance to relax, healed my aches and blisters . Im now focused, always hungry and driven to start cooking.
Avery happens to be a writer and a foodie and will be a big help with my new cookbook.
At this stage
I have an option to end this blog or continue under a different pretext. I can Write the stories and recipes and get your feedback. It will help generate interest for the book.
If you want to continue following me on the new journey, please let me know with your comments. Or just unsubscribe. I must say , I’ve been grateful so far, today I have over 300 followers and it does put a smile on my face when you do respond. Your the best!!’ Hope to hear from you.
Bon appetite !

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