Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What I Ate in Aix

What to eat in Aix?
Fruit fruit fruit! Olives are a fruit too you know...
Abricots are fabulous here! Last night I got to taste fresh fresh fresh apricots from a fruit grower in Provence who supplies Galeries Lafayette Gourmand, Thibaud Piqué Selection. He said his fruits (cerise, melon, strawberry varieties etc.) were picked ripe off the tree yesterday. And to eat them today (note the pit above). His father and uncle have been growing fruit for 40 year. Nothing tastes like fresh off the tree does it?
Eat ice cream in Aix! Very refreshing in the heat. Giovanni Gelateria on the far end of 47, cours Meribeau, the main drag. and Aix & Terra has excellent ice creams fruity flavors. Both were at the salon Côté Sud event thanks gawd...
Here's a regional specialty not-to-be-missed, Delices de Provence - candies that look just like fresh green almonds but there's not any almond what so ever inside. Just a supremely lush melt-in-your-mouth ganache that will have you wanting more. I brought them back to paint but in a moment of temptation tasted one and boom all three were gone : ( I have seen them in La Mere de Famille but they cost a small fortune...hmmm
Save yourself a convoluted trip to Saint Tropez and eat the famous pastry, la tarte Tropezienne here on 15, rue Gaston de Saporta.
These were first created in 1955 and even as a non-cream eater they are very hard to resist. Fortunately they have minis...
So you can save on calories and not overdo it with the full-size Tropezienne...
For all those fabulous spreads like anchioade, tapenade, moutarde, exotic salts, amazing jams like melon and the best lemon curd ever you HAVE to visit Aix & Terra. They were at the salon and I stood there trying out every single jar on chunks of bread. Unfortunately certain people can not be trusted with a whole jar of jam and they know who they are. Still you will be different I'm sure and will not go hog wild woofing these down with a spoon by the sink etc....
Go to the Aix marche for the best all round food and buy yourself a picnic.
Fresh everything plus prepared foods and the famous herbs de Provence and calissons.
Then find a seat at a café and go to town eating all the regional specialties. Much better in my opinion than most of the touristy restaurants I saw overflowing with crowds.
Do pick up a typical Provencal market basket to show off when you get home. Everyone will be terribly envious and impressed at your boldness...
Make a watercolor blob while your at it just to get into the colorful swing of things...
And do buy a representative Provencal dish towel for heaven's sake.

27 comments:

  1. Aix looks so enticing! Love all the colors. Did you follow your own orders, and bring back the shopping bag, the dish towel, etc?
    Jeannie

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    Replies
    1. They gave me a FAB bag at the salon. Blogging has its perks.

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  2. I want to be there right now. It all looks so yummy.

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  3. I would love to buy a dishtowel for heaven sake:) I am just not THERE..
    Oh you make me miss Provence so much..
    Your Café Au Lait bowl and palettes are so perfect!
    I LOVE the cherries too..how cute are they..do you know you can have fabric printed with your art? By the yard?

    I just saw something fabulous locally and thought of you.
    I agree about buying picnic food at the market and the doing " le Pique-Nique"..we did and I loved it..
    And the mimis" tartes "are cuter tan the big ones:)
    Again..gorgeous cherries.

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  4. Yum. Your travels are always so delicious looking! I'm sorry but I've been to Saint Tropez and noone there looks like they've ever eaten a Saint Tropez doughnut thingy! They must be trying to fatten up the tourists. (Mission accomplished!)

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    Replies
    1. Ya gotta try it.
      I agree but it is very light, almost fluffy
      It was surprisingly delish though it looks the opposite
      I was in St. Trop a couple of times way back when..
      I've heard French friends rave about the Tarte Tropezienne and there are knockoffs everywhere now.

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  5. The opening watercolor is great...
    My favorite food photos are of the tropeziennes.
    They look delicious :)

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  6. Okay, now I am starting to become very envious of you. I love the idea of a picnic - that is so smart.

    When you travel to very hot places how do you avoid hat-hair? I really wish someone would say since I don't weather well and end up looking like an unmade bed.

    Your colors are glorious today.

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    Replies
    1. Nobody takes off their hats there = sunstroke I guess
      In a place like Aix it takes too much effort to worry about stuff like that
      It ain't Paris! ;)

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  7. The color!!! The fruit!!! I swoon! And I want one fo everything....no, make that TWO!

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  8. Oh my. I am a cream eater, and the full size tarte looks divine! It must taste like heaven!

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  9. Anonymous11:43 PM

    I love your blog today! I am going to Provence in September and I can't wait to eat all the delicious juicy fresh fruit. I hear the melons are really special! We're going to Nimes, Uzes, Avingnon and Orange and then to the Luberon and finally from Cassis to Ventimiglia! Ah! What a wonderful French Fruit Extravaganza and lucky me, because I'm a Fruigavore!
    So happy you moved to France. I would love to sometime. But till then, your blog gives me a little piece of France everyday!
    xox Patti

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  10. Anonymous8:09 AM

    Thanks for the great post on Aix. You have a gift in capturing the essence of a place with your pics. The little vignettes bring back memories. I didn't think to take photos of the little details like the baskets. Merci Carol. Virginia

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  11. Carol, on this windy, rainy, grey day in NYC, I thank you so very much for bringing beautiful colors and light ... and all those delicious foods to my morning.

    Very cheering! xo

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  12. Beautiful colors, Carol. I think I prefer the colorful Provencal market basket over the blah Parisian variety. :) x Katie

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  13. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Thank you for allowing me to relive a wonderful trip to Aix - I love the colors. I have a request when we were in Aix we had a wonderful Peach Apparative and I have been looking for it ever since but can not find it. I do not remember the name of it and i keep searching are you familiar with it? thank you for any help you can give me
    Cecilia

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    Replies
    1. Cecilia,
      do you mean a peach Aperitif?
      I'm no longer in Aix so no access but try dear old
      Google.

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  14. Well, it's a good thing it's fruit -- otherwise I'd gain 15 pounds! I'm loving these colors. It's a happy spot for me, I think. Now to see it in person! So glad you made such a pretty watercolor and happy blob!

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  15. Carol, I don't know which of these captures my imagination more--your beautiful sketch or those wonderful pictures!
    I am (sigh) one of those guilty culprits who stand by the sink and devour globs of those fabulous spreads.(YUM)(!)
    Such bright,happy,heavenly colors!
    You made my day! (again!)
    Thanks!

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  16. Is there a better place to eat than the sink I ask you?

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  17. Anonymous11:30 PM

    Loved everything today...your water color is so wonderful to be sooo talented..I could not just eat one of anything....
    Lynne

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes you would in Paris
      It's that or join the whale club ;(

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  18. Anonymous11:55 PM

    How lucky you were to have the fresh 'abricots' which would be sold in Galeries Lafayette at an exorbitant price.
    Love the cherry painting, & the blobs, still working on trying to get my blobs to look like yours and not a muddy mess.
    Barbara

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    Replies
    1. Work with less colors and in the same warm family
      Just reds and yellows
      Lighter colors go down 1st Always...

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  19. What beautiful sunny colours in this post. The fruits and the bags all look equally delicious.

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  20. Loving the color blobs, Carol! So vibrant and gorgeous

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