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Make Your Radishes Blush

radish preserves

Colors make me happy. Preserving food does, too. Now put the two together, and you have an immensely happy Caroline.

That’s exactly what happened yesterday. Admiring the radishes my favorite farmer friends had gifted me with – taking in all the shades of purple, pink and white, plus the fascinating black, as well as the various shapes and external textures – I realized that soon it would be way too hot down here for them to grow, and I would be left without the crunchy little rounds. Unless I pickled them. So I did.

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Crazy Foods

liquid, flavored salts

Maybe I should have chosen a title like “The Anatomy of Foods from A – Z” for this post. Or “What today’s Foods tell us about the Foods of the Future”. Both of these lines might have been more informative and accurate. But they both also sounded really, really boring to me. That’s why I stuck with my initial idea, “Crazy Foods”.

Crazy is not just crazy, I like to point out. There’s good crazy and bad crazy. Amazing crazy, wild crazy, surprising crazy, scary crazy and even crazy crazy. Projected onto food, crazy can mean sickening as well as healing or health supporting. Easy as well as complicated, natural as well as artificial, wholesome as well as invading. Crazy suggests progression and evolution, crazy foods are more debatable, less normal and more interesting than just foods.

beautiful packaging for cookies

Crazy is fascinating, and so was the totally overwhelming array of foods I saw during my recent days at SIAL in Paris. The “Salon International d’Alimentation” is a bi yearly food show that celebrated its 50est anniversary this year. 12’500 exhibitors from 100 different countries showed their countless products to somewhat around 300 000 visitors from 200 countries. – If you imagine a zoo, now, you perfectly got the concept (and will understand the choice of my title): A Food Show of this extent indeed is a zoo, although one of delectable nature. And, of course, highly interesting for everybody interested in food, nutrition and hedonism.

So let me share with you a bunch of ideas, products, packagings, trends, novelties and renaissances I encountered while walking the sacred halls of food in Paris. I hope you enjoy. And go crazy for food, once again! Continue reading “Crazy Foods” »

A Bug’s Life

glass jar wrapped in tissue

I love going to the market. Strolling along the different booths feels like a ritual. It’s about visually taking in all the colors and textures, touching leaves and roots and skins, smelling vegetables, fruits, herbs and plants. It’s a way of celebrating nature’s beauty and bounty – and the great food it offers (or vice versa). Although I do have my preferred vendors for each product and usually do stick with them, I play this game every single time I visit a market. It’s inspiring.

Even more than as a customer though, I love to attend the market as a vendor. I do this every Saturday in the town I live, setting up a table with 15 or so different kinds of cheeses, plus matching accompaniments. While these mornings can be aggravating at times – for instance when a pregnant woman declares that she is not allowed to eat cheese (wrong!), or when somebody tells me they are “not doing dairy” because it makes them gain weight (wrong again!). Luckily these are the exceptional moments.

glass cheese jar with lid

Most of the people who stop at my table come to say hello, learn about and/or buy cheese. They are strangers who have become friends, people with whom I share (at least) one passion: Food. So it is not surprising that people who meet at my booth often become friends between each other. They go out for lunch throughout the week, cook, or even travel together. And they come back to the market on Saturdays to share their – and my – stories. Sometimes more.

And that’s how I got my hands on a Cheese Preserver. One of my customers, a lady with an extremely opinionated cheese palate and a fine nose for everything vintage and antique, rushed to my table rather late one morning, literally pushing every one around out of her way. “Look what I found for the cheese lady”, she exclaimed, handing me over a big brown paper bag.

instructions for cheese preserver

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