But wait!!! I can’t leave I haven’t tried the snails

My mother was married to a Frenchman named Eddie Fayle , and if my memory serves me correctly , Eddie was born in Toullouse France, only a few km from here in the Pyrennies. It all makes sense now, Eddie loved food and wine. And my mother was very good at indulging his likings . However i do remember the constant argument over who made what recipe better. Ratatouille (french)or Caponata (Italian) sautéed eggplant with peppers, onions, tomatoes .they really are the same . I was raised on Italian Aglio Olio ( pasta or vegetables sautéed in garlic and olive oil, chili pepper optional, but mom later made French aioli ( garlic with emulsified olive oil, fresh parsley optional) for Eddie. (Very Catalogne) the trick is in the adding of the olive oil. it had to be by the drops while mixing to avoid separation. However don’t fret if it separates, its still edible. just takes practice. Ah, the Bouillabaisse, French people dispute over which region makes the best, but my mother definitely did, hands down ,Italian Style. I’m sure Eddie and his family conceded. I make our family recipe quite often at the coffeehouse. Start with a whole fish( gutted and descaled) garlic,chili pepper, onion, fresh tomatoes. Cook till fish falls apart. Drain, and keep broth, keep big pieces fish. Add squid, any shell fish, real good cooking wine and lemon zest, my mother added potatoes because she always had an army to feed, top with fresh parsley. If you want to do traditional French, don’t add potato and add fennel. Serve with fresh baked crusty bread. And a good dry white, Preferably a Souve Classico or Verdiccio from the Venito region in Italy , and if all else fails Pinot Grigio, or French wine Bordeaux .
My favorite part about my time in Mosset and travels thru Catalogne is no doubt the food and wine. Simple mediterrain cooking.
This was my last few days and Avery was a most gracious tour guide. She took me to an olive oil grove, Le Presbytere for oil tasting. Carmen the owner is native born Cuban, she was exiled to the US in 1968. She studied in France and met her now husband. They bought the grove 14 yrs ago and is now in the top 10 in France, they are known for they’re biodynamic methods as well as all organic.
With biodynamic method farming it is in harmony with nature and the human well being, and is now leading in the market.
Then off we went to a honey bee farm and met Vincent. His job is to make the bees happy, then steal they’re honey, over a million bees. I asked him, if he made any money, doing it. His response , was “i don’t need alot, so i make plenty”. He was quite the character and very good with showing us every thing about how to run a bee farm. Im thinking, as we are leaving, damn ” We ( the entire human race, that depends on plant life) needs this guy, and he doesn’t realize it yet. Wow. One of my all time favorite meals, ever. Foie Gras sautéed in butter, drizzled with honey infused with lavender served with toast point, and A really good Sauternes, (French dessert wine from Bordeaux, ) or Port. Yep honey is essential.
Then on to the beautiful French Mediterrain. Oh lala!
Later that day , we went to a concert at Domaine Treloar Vineyard. Friends of Avery and Andre. I cant remember they’re names, but a young British couple, who lost they’re jobs at Merrill Lynch in New York after 9/11 and said “what now “, so they bought a vineyard in France”. That night, they had a band playing called” No Sleep till Depford”, From the UK. Really, it was a bunch of old men playing rock n roll on electric guitars. They had fun , so did we , danced the whole night. Great fun. And the wine was good. I can’t remember the name of the wine, except it had Promise on the label and they won an award for it. Oops!
The next day I got to meet Pierre who had the best ass in town, The Catalonge donkey is the best in France, George Washington even brought one back to the USA, known for the wide strong back end. Pierre took us all the way up the mountain while the Donkey carried our packs (wish I had a Donkey a few weeks ago). Our guide was very knowledgable about the French history and the land. We ate a traditional French lunch of bread, pâté and cheese and wine. Could not have been a more perfect day.?
I’m pretty sure I tried every dish in Catalogne, except , the snails. With that said, it’s decided I have to come back. I have fallen in love with Catalogne, in particular , Mosset. I believe you can get this book named , Life in a Post Card, written by a local Rosemary Bailey. She does a great job telling about Mosset’s history, its people and the food. I will count the days. Meanwhile I will dream of Andres rabbit pâté . Adieu

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